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2 Jul 2007 / Julie

QR Codes and libraries

As I type this I’m aware that not everyone has heard of QR codes, let alone those in libraryland.

The next gen barcode, “a QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are most common in Japan.” (Wikipedia entry on QR Codes) [official qr website]

QR codes haven’t yet found their way en masse into American culture but I see them as a new way of interacting with our world. Think about it- you’re looking at some random public art and you want to know more than is on the plaque (if there is one). Point your phone at the QR code and read more about it. Or point your phone at the code on the book at BN and find that your local library (which is 2 blocks away) has a copy available for checkout.

I don’t yet know all the implications of and uses for QR codes in libraryland but I am most excited to see where we could go with this. I think as soon as the telecom monoliths get their hands on this we should hop on board to be one of the firsts to create or link the content to the people.

We’re getting closer and closer to an “information wherever you are” world, but this might be able to integrate things more than we might ever think.

What do you think of QR codes? Do you know of any current library applications?
I’m still reading up on them, so i might have more to add later…

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