QR Codes

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[edit] What's a QR Code?

Distilled from the Wikipedia page on QR codes:

QR code is an abbreviation of Quick Response code Matrix barcode (or 2-D code) -- other matrix barcodes exist! First designed for and used by automotive industry, specifically Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave, in 1994

What are all those boxes for? Picture showing elements of a QR code

A QR code can encode any kind of data, alphanumeric, binary, kanji, etc.

The QR code is an ISO standard, and the use of QR codes is free of any license. The term is trademarked by Denso Wave Incorporated.

[edit] How do you read them?

In marketing, they are intended to be read by mobile devices.

You need an app installed that can read QR codes. This can be a general barcode reader, or specifically a QR code reader.

[edit] Android

Barcode Scanner (free) -- displays the URL or text before it does anything with it QR Droid (free) ScanLife Barcode Reader (free)

[edit] How do you make them?

Recommended QR code generators (if we can identify a few tools)

Laundry list of generators: http://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-generators/

Bit.ly Allows tracking of use Go to info page once you make the URL to see teh QR Code Making a login makes tracking of your URLs easier

Kaywa http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ General types like URL, free text, SMS and phone number.

ZXing Project http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ Includes types like calendar events, contact info. May require certain readers to work.

[edit] What can they be used for?

What content is needed to make a QR code?

Ideas from the audience: Should be relevant and specific, not just the homepage Mobile-optimized is important for some people Give it some context, even instructions

Some ideas out there:


From http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-steps-to-a-successful-qr-code-marketing-campaign/ --

  1. Plan your QR code campaign strategy
  2. Create quality codes and test them
  3. Link your codes to mobile-friendly or mobile-optimized sites
  4. Track your scans with code management systems
  5. Deliver value and a favorable user experience


From the PDF linked here: http://luckierethinktank.com/2011/07/digital-insights-qr-code-marketing/ ...are these 4 rules of QR Codes:

  • Rule 1: Use a shortened URL
  • Rule 2: Provide instructions and expectations
  • Rule 3: Direct users to a mobilized destination
  • Rule 4: Provide users with valuable content

[edit] How do they fit into the library?

Reasons to use/purposes for QR codes

[edit] Current Uses

Report out from Suze Chapman, others.

Suze: The bookmarks that advertise MLibrary Mobile -- 146 scans since January 1st, 2011 Even if people don't scan it, it's a signal that it's something more modern, more tech-y.

Lynne: Has been using it to direct to websites that aren't necessarily mobile-optimized, but are informative.

[edit] Best Practices

  • See article "QR Codes in academic libraries" in publication ____________ for some best practices
  • Should every poster have a QR code for the event/thing being advertised?
  • If there is a QR code, should there always be a URL?
  • Does the website have to be mobile optimized? For library pages, you will only get the redirect to the mobile version when you come in from the top. For pages deeper in, YOU have to make the QR code for the URL that starts http://m.lib.umich.edu . Mirlyn will also only redirect at the top level, so if you are sending a link to someone or generating a QR code, use the m.mirlyn.lib.umich.edu
  • Minimum size? For a bit.ly URL, how small can you go? 1.25 x 1.25 inches according to some business best practices

[edit] Possible Uses

  • Exhibit content - more text, video
  • Instructional content on using databases?
  • What happens when you can't find your book in the stacks? - video -- need to consider mobile reception in the stacks
  • Think about tracking, make multiple QR codes that you advertise/post in different places
  • Displays in our public areas, Bert's Lounge, Clark Library

  • Look into other tracking options besides bit.ly , possibility to get a library-wide account
  • Embedding the MLibrary brand right in the middle of the QR Code
  • Microsoft Tag, similar, but requires a specific reader

[edit] Positive Uses We've Observed

  • Saw a poster, scanned the code, got an awesome mobile-optimized (moptimized?) list of events

[edit] Issues

  • Accessibility -- shouldn't be the only way to get information about something
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