Have your QR codes been used?
Posted November 3, 2011on:
I have felt for some time that online subscription resources within libraries always seem to attract the same phenomenon. Although they are always chosen to be highly appropriate to students and in a lot of cases are just the online equivalent of the print resource, the combination of their high subscription costs and their low usage figures seem in a lot of cases to make their purchase questionable value for money. It can seem to be a full-time job devising and creating marketing campaigns to attract students to try the resource with, in a lot of cases, little return. I don’t proclaim to hold the magic formulae, as I really don’t think there is one, but I do plan over the next few blogs posts to tell you about the work we are doing at school to promote our resources and the reasoning behind our strategies.
I have been talking about how QR codes can be useful for marketing within libraries for some time now but just how useful are they?
I recently asked one of my library staff for a list of all the print magazines to which we subscribe so that I could go through the list and identify those magazines for which we also have an online full-text version either directly from the publisher or through an aggregated collection such as Infotrac.
I wanted to create labels to put on the print journal with a short link directly to the online version of the magazine and a QR code. This would provide two advantages: from looking at the print magazine it would be easy to spot that we also have it online and how to access it from a computer; and it would provide anyone with a mobile phone or tablet an easy way to access the online version. But I then returned to my initial question: just how useful would the QR codes be?
The answer came via @CraigTaylor74. http://delivr.com is a free website for creating QR codes and short URLs. Delivr differs from other QR code creators because of its powerful reporting facilities. Delivr gives me the ability to see how many times each link has been used along with the number of times that the QR code has been scanned and when. It also reports the type of device that has been used and the geographical location from which it was scanned (which is not much use for my mini-project, but interesting nevertheless).
So now I have a dashboard that I can log into at any time to see whether the QR codes have been used.
Using this rich information in conjunction with the monthly usage statistics I receive for our resources should help me assess whether this form of promotion is worthwhile.
Its early days at the moment (we only put the labels on today) and as yet I haven’t trained the library team in how to use them. I’ll keep you updated with how it all goes and how the stats are looking.