Library Street Fair: QR Code Activity

The Library Open House street fair and a QR code scavenger hunt activity on October, 24th 2012 was a huge success!

The Open House started at 11 am and lasted until 6 pm. It was quite a lively place, with 6 stations set up. A good crowd gathered for the afternoon to  learn about the services provided by the library, loan an iPad and scan the QR codes placed strategically around the library drawing patrons to the areas of interest for the purpose of the Open House, and to meet the library staff in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoyed snacks provided by the Library. It was a good opportunity for the guests of the library to take an iPad and get familiar with a QR code reader which were preloaded with a QR code reader. The QR codes were placed on each station- point of interest for the Open House. The patrons had to go to every station and scan a QR code and write down each answer/keyword on an answer sheet which was provided to them at the front of the library.

  • 72 people entered the raffle, hoping to win a prize. They were eager to learn about a QR code reader and to participate in the QR code Scavenger Hunt, and to fill out their QR code answer sheets;
  • 48 people borrowed an iPad, the rest either used their own Smartphones with a QR code reader available for a free download on a smartphone (Apple, Android, BlackBerry, as well as, Windows Phone) or worked in groups with the patrons who had an iPad or a smartphone.

At the iPad loan table we encourage people to sign up for the raffle while giving out free stress balls and book lights. The library staff introduced patrons to iPad medical apps., demonstrated a multimedia presentation, encouraged patrons to use iRequest service.

The Library open house attracted many visitors who had many complimentary things to say about it. At the end of the Scavenger Hunt, the patrons had to return the answer sheets and their names entered in a raffle to win an iTunes gift card. It was great to see such a high level of activity and enthusiasm about the a QR code scavenger hunt.

In the end of the Scavenger Hunt, patrons had to scan a QR code that connected them with an online survey which consisted of 5 quick questions:

1) How long does it take you to complete the QR code activity?

93% (39 out of 42 patrons) stated that it took them 15 min. and less to complete the activity.

2) How enjoyable was the method of using a QR code?

79% (33 out of 42 patrons) stated that they found a QR code activity “very enjoyable”.

3) Have you ever used a QR code before today?

69% (29 out of 42 patrons) stated that they had never scanned a QR code before. And 31% (13 patrons) stated that they were familiar with QR codes.

4) How effective was a QR code activity in helping you learn about the library?

43% (18 out of 42 patrons) stated that the use of QR codes in the library was “very effective”; 26% stated “Effective”, and another 26% – “Somewhat effective”.

5) What comments or suggestions do you have after using the QR codes in the library?

Comments left in the survey about the use of QR codes at the event said:

Really fun and ensures students hit very station!“, “Very interesting“, as well as “Probably easier for those used to technology, so more of a familiarity item than use at ease“. Also, valuable suggestions, such as this: “Ask us a question that we answer through asking the booth or learn from them. It will make it more challenging!“.



Navigating Physical Resources

Frequent questions:

  • WJ
  • Scan the poster LMN poster


Create a qr code tutorial. Location: library front desk.

Go Mobile QR code – connects to mobile homepage

QR codes to study guides – connects students with the students’ page

“Don’t see it on the shelf? Scan the QR code to request it”. The QR code will connect the students with online resources.



Ownership on the QR code?

internal (Citrix) vs. public website

How can we track the times the QRcode was scanned?





The Library Street Fair Open House With Quick Response Codes

The idea is to ask students collect QR codes on the Information Street. They will pick up the question sheet and the answer sheet. After that they will need to stop at each booth and scan the QR codes. Then, write down the answers on the paper provided and turn it in at the end of the “Treasure Hunt”. If they collect all the QR codes, they will be entered to win an iTunes gift card and have $5.00 in fines forgiven.

The worksheets provide students with instructions for major phone platforms available now along with some suggestions on bar code readers. The QR code can be copied, saved (to make previously scanned content easy to reuse, i-nigma automatically saves the last 50 codes scanned in the HIstory list.), or embedded instantly. Recommended friendly QR code readers were: QR Reader (free from iTunes); QR Droid (free from Google Play); QR Code Scanner Pro (free from Blackberry App World), and BeeTagg (free from Windows Phone App Store). Currently my favorite QR code scanning app is i-nigma. It’s available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. It is available at to download.

The QR code answer sheet will require the students to fill out their name and phone number, as well as follow the instructions to scan the QR codes located at each booth and write down a specific answer. The library street fair will consist of the following stops: Technology Lane; Access Alley; EndNote Bend; iPad Blvd; and Memory Lane.

I will be using Treasure Hunt Generator:

I will be using any of these three to create a QR code:


QR Codes To Deliver Library Services

In order for libraries to stay relevant, librarians might implement the technologies that users routinely employ in their daily lives. Today’s QR codes appear to have a good chance of success. Librarians are finding uses for QR codes in the libraries and sharing their experiences with colleagues.

Summary of ideas for using QR Codes in Libraries:

  • Provide point-of-use instruction at point-of-need locations (printing instruction, elevators’ operation, etc.)
  • Have step-by-step instructions on machines like photocopiers and printers
  • Post QR codes by study rooms. Students would be able to check the availability of a study room, and then book it from their cell phone while standing in front of the room
  • QR codes in the stacks could bring up a list of LibGuides on topics related to books in the call number range area
  • QR codes in the stacks could show where the ebooks would be on the shelves
  • QR codes around campus could link to digital libraries or items from special collections related to the different buildings
  • Add QR codes with your contact information to your library website
  • Direct users to a service that’s specifically aimed at mobile devices users, such as a chat or IM reference service, or the mobile version of the library’s catalog or databases
  • QR code to the online Ask a Librarian site could be posted at the physical reference desk and at all public access computer workstations
  • Library tours – barcodes can be placed in different areas of the library so visitors can access information relevant to that particular space. Audio tours can also be provided this way.
  • Library Maps – Instead of just a map that has, Reference, Reserve, Computer Lab on it, put QR codes for every area that has a web page, so that the patron can go directly to that web page for more information.
  • Library reviews – if someone has done a review on a book or item, a QR code can be put on that item, linking to the review.
  • Link to Phone number on a web page so people don’t have to dial the number on their phone.
  • Link to a web page associated with an event by placing a QR code for the web page on the event’s poster.
  • QR Codes can be posted at public service desks to advertise services: Laptop checkout, fines, and book renewal information could be posted at the point of service, for example, the Circulation Desk.
  • Help Desk info could be posted on QR codes
  • Tag exhibits (“Mobile Tag Closeup”)
  • Librarians can tag pre-formatted tailored searches for events and exhibits
  • Add QR codes to poster, flyers, and other library instructional or promotional materials