The West Virginia University Libraries are using QR codes to help students easily connect with a variety of library resources.

QR codes look like a square version of the barcode. When scanned by a mobile device’s camera and decoder app, the digital link takes the user to a mobile website. The page can offer a coupon, a video, or information about a product.

“We’re trying to reach users,” said David Roth, library associate at the Evansdale Library. “They’re excited about mobile devices, so QR codes are a great way for them to access resources. Increasingly, information is mobile.”

QR codes have been popular in Japan and other countries for years but are finally gaining popularity in the United States. They’re showing up in magazines, catalogs, and on the doors of restaurants and other businesses.

Last March, during the Big East Tournament in New York, WVU used a QR code to direct people to a website promoting the University.

The WVU Libraries are using the codes to direct users to services available on the Libraries’ mobile Web page.

This semester, the Evansdale Library began posting QR codes that enable students to reserve a study room, find materials on eReserve, find an available computer, and connect to the mobile Web page. The Downtown Campus Library has posted QR codes to connect students directly to a list of available computers.

“QR codes bridge the gap between our physical services and the digital environment,” said Martha Yancey, access services coordinator for the Evansdale Library. “We hope they will help our users.”

Once a student visits a page, it will remain on their phone until it’s deleted. Roth recommends that students bookmark the mobile pages they expect to use often. He expects students will especially appreciate the one dedicated to locating a computer.

“This is a great way to see what computers are open while you are on the PRT heading to the library,” Roth said.


CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, development representative with WVU Libraries

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