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On QR codes in the library and in our school newspaper

They’re popping up all over the place–in my magazines, on store fronts, on business cards.  And I’ve been thinking about how we too might harness the power of QR codes to disseminate information, enhance resources, and promote activities in the library and around the school.

I have lots of plans–I am thinking of embedding codes in books–to lead to book trailers, blogs, and author sites–and all over the walls of our school and physical library.  But when my friend and Chronicle sponsor, Ken Rodoff came by this week excited about his new ideas for the print component of our school newspaper, something clicked.

Why not use QR codes on the print version of The Chronicle to lead readers back to the online version?  Why not enrich that print paper with media very simply accessed by a little QR code box?

For instance, the codes could lead readers to thrilling footage of Spartan football or relevant websites for further information.  Each Chronicle issue features student-on-the-street interviews.  We can now celebrate and share video versions of these student stories, even more of them. (Our reporters believe that video will be easier.)  It’s not just a student-run newspaper, we want it to be filled with content related to student success, achievement, and interests.

Dan, our resident entertainment critic, plans to use QR codes to link his reviews to media trailers and to his own video Flip camera on-the-spot reviews after he leaves the theater.

The process is simple.  We are using, the link shortener’s, QR code feature.  Just add “.qr” to your shortened URL, and you will be taken to a page with a QR code for that URL.

When you scan that little boxy image with a QR code or tag reader, you are taken to the link that was originally shortened.

Other QR code makers:

Among the many QR code readers available for your mobile device:

  • Paperlinks
  • QRC Reader
  • NeoReader
  • i-nigma
  • Kawya Reader
  • ScanLife

If you are new to QR code reading, practice on these!

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. I love this idea, but I wonder how do we promote QR codes when cellphones aren’t “allowed” in many schools?

  2. joycevalenza says

    I think things are going to shift. We are working on new policies for mobile devices. And then much of the stuff we are planning to stick codes on–books, the newspaper–will be taken home to read. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I love this! More QR Code nom nomy goodness! I’ve already designed my next Moo business card with a QR code — but I LOVE the idea for publications! And I also LOVE having new resources for QR Code generation…I never knew about the Bitly and Google makers! Score!
    Thanks Joyce! Those little black and white codes just are adorable! They speak to the geek in me!

  4. Jane Lofton says

    I’m wondering if we can encourage students to enter their student IDs as QR codes we could then scan all those times when they forget their ID cards?

  5. Heather Kindschy says

    So excited about QR codes. I’ve been eating up all the information I can find about using them in the library and in the school. I am looking for a guinea pig teacher to work with on a collaborative project. Can’t wait to hear more about what folks are doing with them in the future.

  6. You can also use QR codes with ordinary PCs (instead of Smart Phones) IF your PC has a relatively high-quality web cam. Go to www. to try a no-download, flash-based reader. Good Luck!

  7. There is no doubt that QR code usage is growing! You can even incorporate your logo and pictures into the QR Code which is really cool. Check out how we are using QR Codes at PRONTO! Mobile Andy Lynn

  8. Ivy Howard says

    Yes QR codes can be really helpful, it can even be used for
    Convention and event nametags;
    Restaurant menus;
    Event ticket stubs;
    Our team are using this free software to generate QR codes for our products, pretty easy and cool~

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