Thing 9 : QR codes

QR (quick read) codes have been around for a long time and not everyone is convinced of their appeal or popularity , but still they persist.  They can contain hundreds of times more data than conventional 1-dimensional barcodes and can be scanned easily with a smartphone.

QR codes are useful IF your library clients know what to do with them, if your staff know how to generate them and if you need to connect your physical and online spaces for some reason.  (They also create pretty nifty storytelling pyjamas  and quite informative carpets).




  • What digital services does your library offer that are ‘invisible’ in the physical space?  Could you use a QR code to provide a link to some of your eResources for your clients?
  • Does your library have an app?  Is a QR code reader incorporated into the app?
  • Could you use QR codes on signs pointing people to your social media channels?
  • Have you created Wikipedia articles about local people, places and events?  Could you use QRpedia codes as pointers to local historical information or multimedia around your local area? (eg. signage on location)
  • Could you use QR codes as part of a library orientation or information literacy program?



7 Comments on “Thing 9 : QR codes

  1. Right now I’m using a QR code I created on business cards for teens. The code takes teens to our area Teen’s Choice book awards site which is an active discussion blog for teens. Because we award volunteer credit for reading and reviewing the books, we get a lot of comments on the books, and lots of votes in the polling tool on the site. The url isn’t long, but it’s nice to have the code so that kids who have the technology can jump right to the site and begin placing holds on the books, or making comments. The QR code also appears on the review books themselves for ease of commenting on the blog.

  2. We’ve placed QR codes on shelf talkers to promote online databases and I would like to see them utilised to support booking into an event. Call me cynical but my suspicion (and stats appear to indicate) is that no-one uses the shelf talkers. I know I’ve never used a QR code out and about, and I have never seen anyone use one. Has anyone? That is not to say there are not some valuable uses for them. Not to mention some creative uses too!

  3. I feel the same as Jodie, I’ve never seen anyone scan a QR code and I haven’t either. When I first heard about them 3 or so years ago I expected that pretty much everyone would be using them. It seems as though they’re just not getting that much use. I can see plenty of applications in our library for them and I do like the idea of using them in our teen area. Maybe linking them to good reads and activities and useful websites

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Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013