Have you seen these? These square-shaped matrix-style barcodes with black geometric pattern are called Quick Response codes – aka QR codes – and they’re really useful in today’s smart-phone driven culture for linking to digital information whether it be bibliographic information from a SearchWorks record (yes, QR codes are available for every item in SearchWorks!), a Website, a text message, someone’s contact information etc. QR codes can be scanned by QR code apps downloadable to iphone/android smart phones and ipads/tablets.
Well, you may have noticed some of these QR codes showing up in the wilds of the Jonsson/Social Sciences Reading Room and government documents stacks (W1 and W2). Kris Kasinovitz, Barbara Celone and James Jacobs have just released some QR codes to test their viability and utility in connecting the library’s vast physical government documents’ collections with our equally vast and rapidly growing digital government information resources. These particular QR codes link to government agency pages, SearchWorks records or directly to digital resources such as Proquest Congressional Publications. You’ll notice that we’ve placed QR codes in various shapes and sizes; this is to test which QR codes are more noticeable and useful. We have placed information about and directions for using QR codes in several locations around Jonsson/SSRC so that users will know what we are doing.
This is a pilot project; we are trying to determine if QR codes will work for what we are trying to accomplish – that is, connecting the library’s physical collections with our digital resources. To that end, in the weeks ahead we will be gathering data on how often the codes are scanned and the type of devices used to scan them. We’d be most appreciative of your feedback on QR code usability. Please email your feedback to Barbara Celone (firstname.lastname@example.org). We welcome your input!