Making Physical Objects Clickable: Using Mobile Tags to Enhance Library Displays

Laura Baker

Abstract


Many libraries struggle with making library displays fresh and effective.  This article describes how Abilene Christian University Library (ACU) used two-dimensional barcodes to enhance a library display for a freshman common book experience, providing interactive learning and a greater connection between the library’s physical and electronic resources.  Two dimensional barcodes, also called quick response or QR barcodes, are
part of a larger technology known as mobile tagging.  They are barcodes that contain more information than conventional barcodes and are readable by cell phones.  Patrons connect to online information simply by using their cell phones to scan the tag rather than typing a URL.  As an information delivery method, mobile tagging offers huge, yet untapped potential for bridging information in physical objects with digital information in databases and websites.  By using a mobile tag enhanced display, ACU experienced a
95% checkout rate for display books, greater utilization of related library resources, and a new method of delivering mobile library services that was free to implement, had high patron impact, and required relatively low library effort.

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ISSN: 1947-525X