Friday, July 16, 2010

Literature rack & QR codes

I have been considering different ways to utilize QR codes in the IRC since returning from the Computers in Libraries conference this spring. I think they have potential to be an interesting creative outlet (instruction session scavenger hunt and student interaction, saving LibGuides to phones and simple signage tools) and they are a quirky fun technology. I wanted a way to make them feasible, functional, and visually appealing.

I created new signs for the Newbery and Caldecott sections of the juvenile collection; they lead-off the stacks. Signs are complemented by small literature holders with print copies of LibGuide pages, a more traditional handout format. New signs were created with screen shots of the LibGuide and a side bar with a QR Code displayed and text: "Snap! Send the QR Code to your Web Enabled Phone for the URL." My student workers thought it was fun after I explained, but there was not much interest in the signs (library wallpaper).

After contemplating the empty literature rack, I tossed all of the handouts at the end of the spring term,  trying to decide if it needed to be removed and what could be displayed in its place, I remembered the QR codes. Instead of updated handouts I generated QR codes for seven of my most popular education LibGuides and the IRC blog. After laminating, they fit cleanly into the rack with a small bit of tape securing them. The ninth opening has a definition of QR Codes and a small recycling statement.  I have not wasted paper on multiple copies, students can save URLs to their phones and print if they want a particular LibGuide and the rack has helped green the IRC. It remains to be seen if the rack/display garners interest or increased LibGuide use, but I am pleased with the result.

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