QR Codes in The Library
Like many Special Libraries, we’re on the small side of the spectrum so space is at a premium. However, I am crazy for creating special collections! Here are the special collections I’m currently collecting for:
- Arab American Graphic Novels
- LGBT Arab American Collection
- Arab American Hip Hop
- Sheikh Themed Romance Novels
- Arab American Community Created Cookbooks
The problem is that some of these items, like the Graphic Novels and the LGBT items, already exist in our larger Arab American collection. We don’t have the space to have separate places for all of these AND we certainly don’t have the budget to buy duplicate items, so what do I do!?!
So today I thought that instead of having them in physically separate places, I can just create collections online through online bibliographies. The books themselves would have bookplates that indicated that they were part of a sub-collection! It is then that I thought, “Well if I’m adding the bookplates & collection information, why don’t I link to the online list as well? QR Codes would be great for this!” HEY HO!
So I thought that I could use the QR Code bookplates for other things too like items that are listed in our Online Bibliographies! So I tried it out today
In addition to the QR Code I also added a URL for people who don’t have Smartphones, which facilitated the need for shortened links. I used bit.ly to create the QR Codes and the shortened link because it was easy AND I can track the clicks. I am debating on the usefulness of tracking the clicks because as a Special Library we don’t circulate a crazy amount and so the click rates would be marginal but it would be interesting to see if they are being used.
There are a couple of issues I have to address with this project. One being how I will curate the links to keep track of them and check them periodically. Secondly, what about books that are on multiple lists? Will I have multiple bookplates with multiple links? I haven’t decided how I will solve that issue yet but I am willing to listen to ideas!
Either way, I like connecting the physical books to online resources through QR codes. The ideal situation would be a research student looking at this book, possibly in the library, and finding the bibliographies via their smartphones. Though anybody who has checked out the book finding the URL and seeing similar books would be great.
Other applications for this project, particularly for Public Libraries, would be Read Alikes or some Readers Advisory. Perhaps at the end of the book you’ll see the book plate saying, “If you liked this book, maybe you’d like THESE books!” and the QR code will send you to the RA page. Many possibilities!