Tag Archives: QR Codes

What are QR Codes?

14 Nov

By Peter Struzziero


Have you seen these weird black and white boxes popping up all over the place? They are seriously everywhere. They show up in electronic stores, in advertisements for real estate…. on Ketchup Bottles…. Just Everywhere. Have you got an Iphone, a Droid, or another 3g or 4g Mobile device? If you can download an “App” then you can use a QR Code-reader, and see what everyone else is talking about.

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data.

So what does any of that mean? It’s like the old school standard barcode, that only read numbers or would punch up a record in a retail setting. Well like I mentioned earlier… they are popping up EVERYPLACE now.


Libraries across the country are creating QR Codes to do lots of things. Some Libraries put them on DVD cases, sending patrons to online movie trailers they can watch on there phones. Other places are using QR Codes on books in the stacks, to direct patrons to similar online book collections.

Keep your eyes peeled around the building for codes like these popping up. They will lead you back to places like:

  • New Books
  • The Library Catalog
  • Social Media Accounts, like Facebook and Twitter
  • And… much much more to come.

The groundwork has been laid by many other Libraries, and we’ve already begun to get involved.