Connecting Users to Online Resources via QR Codes

23 04 2012

This spring, you may begin to notice signs up in the stacks and in other locations (such as the graduate student carrels) that feature QR codes. For users that have phones or other mobile devices (such as a tablet) with a QR code app on them, the codes on these signs can be scanned with a phone, which then opens up the browser on the phone to a specific URL that the code is linked to. Linda, Mike, and I have begun identifying online resources and services that students in the library might want to be alerted about.

In the reference stacks, for example, you’ll now see a small 3″x5″ sign attached to the shelves where the print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is located:

The sign alerts users that there is an online edition of the OED availabe and gives them a scannable QR code that they can use to get to it. The sign also features a short URL for those who just want to type in the address into a browser. Another QR code sign can be found on the 4th floor at HD30.28, where there many books on writing business plans; the sign at this location connects users to the Business Plans Handbook series in Gale Virtual Reference Library.

We hope to have more such signs in the stacks in the coming weeks. We don’t, though, intend to clutter up the stacks with too many signs.

Some sign ideas we’ve had so far include:

  • one in the 5th floor stacks in the computer science collection alerting users to the Books24x7 collection (we might even be able to have a sign in front of the books on, say, programming in PHP, that connects users to that set of books in Books24x7)
  • one by the print edition of the International Directory of Company Histories series that would connect you to the digital version from Gale
  • one by the print edition of the Market Share Reporter series (we have this online, too)
  • one by print resources used for the PUB 1250 assignment that would connect to Aisha’s LibGuide
  • a new “Reference Desk is Closed” sign that connects users to email and chat reference services

More details on the QR codes signs and links to pages where you can view stats on each code can be found on the QR code page in the reference wiki. If you have any ideas for other resources where there we have both a print resource and its online equivalent that merit the effort that goes into making a sign, please contact Mike, Linda, or Stephen, just leave a comment on this post on the blog.