Are you using QR codes already?

Some emails were floating around in SPUN some months ago regarding the use of QR codes and it seems that not many libraries are actually using it. So I thought I will put together a simple entry on how to create QR codes for your library services for those who are still seeing stars rather than the squares blots.

But first and foremost, a short video nicely done by The Ace Group on the use of QR codes:

Creating your own QR codes
Step 1: Select a QR Code Generator
There are many QR code generators out there and the difference at the end of the day is how well they work with the QR readers (again tonnes out there). For the purpose of this illustration, I am going to use Kaywa (free version)which seemed to work fine with most QR readers.

Step 2: Identify your target destination
Think about what is it that you want your readers to find when they zapped that QR code. Most commonly, it would be a url destination. For example, you can use put the QR code on your library posters/publications and bring them to your website; you can direct them to a video link on your webpage; you can direct them to your subject bibliographies or reference enquiry page; you can create a QR code for special promotions/announcements; etc. So there are basically endless things you can do, the sky is the limit.
I am going to create a QR code for the Civica blog page, so I will go to the QR code generator website (Kaywa) and select the content type “URL” and enter the Civica blog url. You can change the size of your QR code by selecting the desired size (S, M, L and XL) before you hit the “Generate” button.

Step 3: Save your QR-code
You will immediately see your QR-code displayed along with some HTML codes at the bottom:
QR Code Sample
Right click on the QR code and save the picture to your local directory. Kaywa also allows you to use the code off their site if you do not wish to save it, in which case, you would copy and paste the HTML string that is just beneath the QR code into your final documents. But I would suggest you save them locally, and do remember to give it a meaningful filename for easy retrieval.

And you are now ready to insert your QR code in any webpages/documents/objects that you want, just simply print or insert the QR code like any other images.

What do users need to read my QR codes? – Easy, all they need to do is search and install QR code readers on their mobile phones and they are ready to zap their way through to you.

Here is the list of what some libraries are doing with QR codes on Wiki Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki.

And by the way, if you are thinking about licensing issues regarding use of QR codes, here’s the good news -Thanks to Denso Wave, the developer of QR Code, there are no license fees involved as the specification of QR Code is disclosed and the patent right owned by Denso Wave is not exercised.  You may want to read up their patent FAQ page here.

Lastly, Nigel shared some latest updates about the integration of QR code on our upcoming iSorcer application and they look fantastic and I have asked that he writes something about it which he said he could. So look out for Nigel’s blog on QR code too …

About Rica

Director, Civica Library & Learning ... got teleported from the academic library space to the commercial library space in 2005 ...
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One Response to Are you using QR codes already?

  1. Pingback: QR Codes help win ALA’s 2012 Cutting Edge Library Services Award | Civica Library & Learning Blog

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