To blur the boundaries between the physical and electronic world…


From Gerry McKiernan.

Walsh A. 2010. QR Codes – using mobile phones to deliver library instruction and help at the point of need. Journal of information literacy, 4(1), pp. 55-65


Though true location aware devices such as GPS enabled phones are
becoming more common (e.g., the latest iPhone includes GPS and
compass) developing services that “augment” reality is unrealistic
for most libraries due to time; money and technical constraints.

There is an easier option though – using small printed codes, such
as QR codes, around the library that link to resources and information
appropriate to their location
. QR (Quick Response) codes are a matrix
codes, like a two dimensional bar code. They can be read by mobile
phones with integrated cameras, with a small application installed.
Some mobiles come with the application ready installed, though it can
also be download for free from the internet and installed on PDAs,
smartphones and other mobile devices. At the University of
Huddersfield we have used QR codes to deliver context appropriate help
and information to blur the boundaries between the physical and
electronic world. We’ve developed mobile friendly materials to
deliver information skills materials directly to our users at the
point of need, linked by QR codes on printed materials and on
appropriate locations in the physical library. This article outlines
the practical uses we’ve found for QR codes and gives preliminary
results of how they’ve been received by our library users.