Qr codes and libraries


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Qr codes and libraries

  1. 1. QR Codes and Libraries Katrina L. Miday Library Consultant State Library of OhioWhat are QR Codes?QR Codes, short for Quick Response Codes, are two-dimensionalbarcodes that instead of being traditional multiple-bar layout, theyappear as a pixilated square. They are being used more frequently for avariety of reasons. Traditional Multiple-Bar QR CodeBarcodes are used because they are easily and quickly read by scannersand provide a great deal of accuracy and functionality. As barcodeshave become more popular, barcode users have needed to store moreinformation with them. (For example ISBN switched from 10 to 13 digits in2007.)Multiple-bar barcodes only store data in one direction; QR Codes allowinformation to be stored vertically as well as horizontally, allowing a greatdeal more information to be held in them. Conventional multiple-barcodes can only store a maximum of approximately 20 digits. QR codeson the other hand can hold numeric, alphabetic, symbols, binary, controlcodes and other data; up to 7,089 characters in one barcode.QR codes can store numbers, text, hyperlinks, bookmarks, contactinformation, calendar information, email addresses, phone numbers, SMStext information, Geo locations and maps, social network information,and much more.QR Codes and Libraries 1Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  2. 2. Along with storing a large amount of data QR Codes can displayinformation in a variety of sizes and resolutions depending on how thecode will be used. QR Codes will also work up to 30% of the time whenpartially damaged, unlike “multi-bar” barcodes which becomeunreadable.Reading QR CodesReading and using QR codes is limited to people who own smartphonesor other mobile devices with cameras and a barcode scanning app. Ifyou own such a device and would like to get started, go to your device’sapp store, and download a barcode scanner, there are free and paidversions.http://news.cnet.com/qr-code-readers-for-iphonehttp://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-readers/http://gizmodo.com/5713768/the-best-barcode-scanner-appshttp://www.theitechblog.com/1552/11-best-qr-bar-code-reader-scanner-apps-android/http://socialwayne.com/2010/08/30/code-reader-iphone-apps/(These are in no way an endorsement of individual applications, just aplace for you to start to investigate and research yourself.)Once you have your app installed, find a QR Code to scan. Like this one:With most apps, after you scan the QR Code it asks what you want to dowith the information, depending on the type of information it holds. TheQR Code you just scanned should have opened an email addressed tome, or asked if you wanted to send me one.QR Codes and Libraries 2Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  3. 3. Utilizing QR CodesQR Codes are used in the same way conventional barcodes have been,but are now also being used to link people to a plethora of informationwith a simple scan. They appear on a variety of products, advertisements,websites, and they are even being used by realtors, appearing inpeople’s front lawns. Starbucks uses QR codes in their mobile application for Starbucks Cards. Instead of handing the barista a card, customers can now open the app on their phone and allow the barista to scan the QR Code that appears. Starbucks also, in partnership with Lady Gaga, held a scavenger hunt in their stores utilizing QR codes. Customers would scan the codes around the store and the first customers to solve the puzzles won prizes.Other Examples • United Airlines uses them as digital boarding passes. • Google provides a QR Code to your business’ Google Places page when you register your business with Google Places. • Art galleries and museum exhibits are using them to display information about the piece or exhibit. • Barnes & Noble includes them on brochures to lead customers to their nook mobile Application.Use in LibrariesMany libraries have begun to integrate QRCodes into their library services.HyperlinksLibraries can do many things with simplehyperlink QR Code: • Link to the mobile version of the website • Link to videos the library has created o Video interviews of the staff o Book commercials o How-to videos • Display links on physical materials to digital materials o Add links to the stacks to collections of online resourcesQR Codes and Libraries 3Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  4. 4. o Display QR codes to online databases for journals and articles o Put QR codes directly on materials to link to book reviews, movie trailers and more. o Add QR Codes directly to books to link to the digital versions of the titles • QR code generators can create calendar events that patrons can add to their personal calendars on their devices o Add QR codes to event posters o Add them to your online calendar so patrons can add them to their phones and devices quickly and easily • Open a text message to the library • Integrate the codes into scavenger hunts within the libraryHow to create a QR CodeTo create QR Codes yourself you http://on.fb.me/lPvfJowill need a computer with aninternet connection, and knowledge how to save an image from theinternet, and then add that image to documents or print it out. 1. Use a QR Code Generator to create your barcode 2. Scan the barcode to make sure the data appears how you would like it to and does what it was intended to do 3. Save or print the QR Code image that is created for your information 4. Place the QR Code image within documents, or add it to physical itemsThings to consider while creating the QR Code: • Size o Where are you going to display the barcode? o Will the image be large enough to scan?QR Codes and Libraries 4Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  5. 5. • Clarity o Will the barcode be easily readable by a mobile device at the size you are creating it at? o Example, which is a better choice?All three of these QR Codes link to the same URL, but each has a differentversion or density, and each has a different level of error correction. If youwere to display the QR Code at the displayed size, the first would be most easily scanned, and the last would most likely not work for most devices. • Use, how will the QR Code be displayed? o Will it be on a poster that a person can walk up to and scan the barcode? o Will it be on a large sign a person would not be near (a banner, billboard, directional sign) o On a website Make the QR Code as simple as possible for the amount of information you are storing. All of the items above should influence how you create your QR Code. Remember, if a person can’t scan it, they will not have access to the information it provides. QR Code Generators There are many QR Code generators available, the one you will use depends on what type of information you would like thebarcode to hold, and what you plan on doing with it once generated.QR Codes and Libraries 5Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  6. 6. 1. Choose the type of data you would like the barcode to store. a. The types of data allowed depends on the generator you are using, some are very basic, others allow you to store almost anything. 2. Enter your data. 3. Choose your QR Code settings a. Size i. This is usually the actual size of the image generated. Some sites display in pixels, others have a simple small, medium, or large choice. b. Version i. Most generators automatically chose what version to use, or simply give you no choice. ii. When you do have a choice, what you should choose depends on what you are storing with the barcode. iii. Further explanation of QR Code versions can be found here: http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrgene2- e.html c. Encoding i. This usually refers to the type of information you will be storing, for most things, choosing the default setting or allowing the generator to choose is fine. d. Error Correction i. This setting sets the level of barcode correction; if it is damaged if it can still be read. ii. You would change this setting depending on how the barcode will be used or how damaged it may become over time.Here are three basic web-based generators, but do further research tofind one that fits all your needs. QR Generator http://qrcode.good-survey.com/ This site is very easy to use. It allows you to encode text, hyperlinks, bookmarks, contact information, calendar events, email, phone numbers, SMS (texting), geo location and maps, social networks, iPhone and Andriod information (links to apps, market, reviews),and wifi network information. You can then also set the size of the imagecreated, padding, version, encoding, colors, error correction. It thenallows you to download the QR Code in BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, SVG,XAML, EPS, HTML, ASCII, and zip bulk formats.QR Codes and Libraries 6Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  7. 7. Quafter http://keremerkan.net/qr-code-and-2d-code- generator/ This generator allows you to store a vast variety of information than the standard hyperlink or email information. Some of the more unusual information stored are Foursquare venue URL, sent a tweet,YouTube URLs, and formatted text, just to name a few. It also allows youto create micro QR Codes (not all scanners can scan this type), set thesize, colors, and output type and error correction levels. QR Stuff http://www.qrstuff.com/ This one lets you include a variety of information including Paypal “Buy Now” link information, social media information and more. It also lets you set the color of the barcode, but it does not allow you to set the size, resolution or encoding, and forces you to signup for an account (free) for other advanced settings.Resources: “About 2D Code,” Denso Wave Inc., accessed June 15, 2011, http://www.denso- wave.com/qrcode/aboutqr-e.html. Gwyneth A. Jones “Cool QR Codes in the Classroom and Library,” The Daring School Library Blog, December 16, 2010, accessed June 16, 2011, http://mhms- media.blogspot.com/2010/12/cool-qr-codes-in- classroom-library.html.QR Codes and Libraries 7Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  8. 8. Jamie Turner, “2-D Codes: The 10 Commandments for Marketers,” Mashable, January 28, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/01/28/qr- code-business-tips/. Jamie Turner, “HOW TO: Grow Your Sales and Revenue Using 2D Codes,” Mashable, February 18, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/02/18/2d-codes-for- business/. Jeff Korhan, “How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business,” Social Media Examiner, February 7, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-qr-codes- can-grow-your-business/. Jennifer Van Grove, “Starbucks & Lady Gaga Team Up On Scavenger Hunt,” Mashable, May 19, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/05/19/srch/. Jolie O’Dell, “Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [INFOGRAPHIC],” Mashable, March 4, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/03/04/qr-codes- infographic/.QR Codes and Libraries 8Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  9. 9. Robin Ashford, “QR Codes and Academic Libraries: Reaching mobile users,” College and Research Library News, vol. 71 no. 10 (2010): 526-30, http://crln.acrl.org/content/71/10/526.full. Todd Wasserman, “Picasso Exhibit Gets Interactive With QR Codes & Augmented Reality [PICS],” Mashable, February 10, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/02/10/qr-codes-picasso/. “What does it mean to be human,” Smithsonian Institution, accessed June 15, 2011, http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/multimedia/mobil e-apps. “Where in the Library is Carmen Sandiego?: An Interactive Library Mystery Game”, Lafayette College Library, last updated September 6, 2010, accessed June 15, 2011, http://library.lafayette.edu/carmensandiego.Image Sources:http://www.flickr.com/photos/halfhollowhills/4504965499/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/25095603@N07/5021688103/in/set-72157625028207818QR Codes were created by the author using a QR Generator:http://qrcode.good-survey.com/QR Codes and Libraries 9Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011
  10. 10. Additional Reading:QR tags and mobile phones in the libraryhttp://librarymobiles.blogspot.com/2009/10/extreme-makeover-transforming-face-of.htmlWhy QR Codes Will Go Mainstream [OPINION]http://mashable.com/2011/03/08/mainstream-qr-codes/QR codes for libraries - some thoughtshttp://musingsaboutlibrarianship.blogspot.com/2010/02/qr-codes-for-libraries-some-thoughts.htmlHOW TO: Use QR Codes for Small Business Marketinghttp://mashable.com/2010/06/23/qr-codes-small-biz/HOW TO: Use QR Codes for Event Marketinghttp://mashable.com/2011/02/22/qr-code-event-marketing/5 Unique Uses for QR Codes http://mashable.com/2009/01/07/qr-codes/HOW TO: Create and Deploy Your Own QR Codeshttp://mashable.com/2010/08/23/how-to-create-qr-codes/QR Code Generators Online http://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-generators/QR Code and 2d Barcode Readers http://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-readers/“Staff QR Code Posters” Delaware County District Library, last updatedMay 15, 2011, accessed June 15, 2011,http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.222388107787338.74586.130204850338998.QR Codes and Libraries 10Katrina Miday, Library ConsultantState Library of Ohio06/23/2011