Last week was a busy week for me. Monday I attended a great class, “Information Anywhere: Mobile Technology, Libraries and Health,” taught by Technology Coordinator of the Greater Midwest Region, Max Anderson. It was very interesting, we learned about various apps and devices used in the medical and health science workplace. We also got a chance to create our own mobile friendly website using Google Site. Google Site might be the perfect resource to create a quick and simple mobile website, but it would work in a pinch for most places that don’t have a lot of tech people who can easily create a whole new mobile website for the library. The big thing to consider when beginning to create a mobile website is to remember that the mobile site is not a mini version of the full website. It is a unique site that is used differently because of the size of smartphone screens AND the way/why we use our smartphone to access a resources.
Another interesting part of the class was the discussion of QR codes. I have been seeing these square codes everywhere, from grave markers, party busses, hotels, in the back of a book, and out on the street. While have seen them in a lot of places, and I have been thinking of the various ways they could be used in a meaningful way in libraries. During the class we learned how we could not only create a QR code but also brand the code by adding our logo. Max slides showed a blue one with NLM in the middle, I couldn’t find that online but here here are some other examples of QR codes with logos. We also did some brain storming on how QR codes could be used in the library. One example that really resonated with me was posting the QR code on the book shelves letting people to scan the code to learn about online textbooks that aren’t on the shelves. Our library just discussed this problem last week in a staff meeting. As we buy more and more online texts and even online reference texts how to we guide people to the updated books that aren’t on the shelf. There are an awful lot of people who still do a lot of shelf browsing and don’t use the catalog to find books. Perhapswe could add the QR code in an obvious area on the shelves and have link to that stack’s subject area to online text books. It is a thought. I’m not sure how it effective it will be but if you could figure out how to measure usage of those codes that could be one way to measure if people are clicking on them.
Is your library using QR codes, if so how? Perhaps you aren’t using QR codes but you have an idea on how they can be used, leave a comment so we all can learn.