m-Libraries Conference 2009, Second International m-libraries Conference

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QR Codes and their Applications: a case study

Kate Robinson

Last modified: 2009-06-18


A QR code is a two dimensional bar code that can be read on devices such as a mobile camera phone, a laptop or computer. When read, it allows the user to undertake an action such as reading text, accessing a web site, or texting a number. In other words, a QR code links the physical world (poster, print out, room, physical object) to the electronic (web resource) and facilitates communication (SMS message, phone call), adding significant value by improving accessibility to information for those using mobile devices. Alternatively, why not see how CSI explain them … http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=P-DntIQi2e8


As a technology, the generation and reading of QR codes on a mobile device is becoming more straightforward with web based generators becoming more available and easier to use, and the inclusion of the appropriate software pre-installed on many camera phones. This technology is starting to emerge into the mainstream across a number of sectors, including media and marketing. It offers great potential within education, exciting opportunities for learning and teaching and has potential applications for libraries.


At the University of Bath the Library is working in partnership with E-learning,Computing Services and the Students Union to explore and test library applications for QR codes. Initially, the Library is attaching QR codes to library catalogue records which hold class number information and allowing students to capture this on their mobiles, thereby linking the virtual to the physical for use when locating material in the Library. The Library is considering using these codes to draw resources together, to promote information skills sessions and to facilitate sign-up for these, and to transmit other forms of information useful to students. This is also supported by the ‘tiny URL’ initiative which assigns a more convenient or more memorable URL to resources which often have long or inconvenient URLs where users have little or no control over their format.


These Library initiatives with QR codes are ongoing and student led, with the emphasis very much on experimentation and discovery. This paper will consider lessons learnt and offer evaluation and future service models for this technology in the library context.


Full Text: Power Point Presentation