QR codes are one of those things that has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ technology you hear about at conferences (and unconferences) to a really practical innovation you can notice starting to appear in libraries and library catalogues near you.
These barcodes provide a way for people to quickly store information by taking a photo with their mobile phone. You need a QR reader app too but there are free ones available for most web-enabled phones. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that and its early days yet but there are helpful guides available for libraries considering implementing QR codes (including one in the August 2010 issue of the MMIT Journal).
There are also plenty of creative uses of QR codes to help inspire and demonstrate the many possibilities of quick response tags.
University of Bath, University of Bedfordshire and University of Huddersfield are all using QR Codes in their library catalogue as a way to save book or journal title details. You can try it out on any of their OPACs. Just search for an item and you will see a barcode image on the item description page. Take a photo of this with your phone and the information will be stored in a format you can access later. University of Bath also uses QR codes within the floorplans of the library where they link users to an audio tour – it’s not just for awkward URLs, downloadable files can also be linked.
You can also see QR Codes in action at further education institutions – like the awesome Murder Mystery demo at Bradford College library .
There are more examples at the Library Best Practices wiki
Now to get started at making your own: