TAG | QR codes

Street Reads 2013 from BGS Library

For those who love reading and exploring, the Brisbane City Council, in conjunction with the Brisbane Writers Festival, is offering a different slant on a Choose Your Own Adventure story.

Beginning last week and running for two weeks only (4-15 September), you will be able to become a character in a story by scanning QR codes attached to the pavement. These will download part of the story, as well as the clue to the next part, depending on which adventure you choose to follow. You can choose the Hero’s story, the Zombies’ story or the Apprentice of Death’s story – or a combination of each.

All three stories begin at Reddacliffe Place, at the end of the Queen Street Mall , near the Brisbane Central Library.  Each story has been written by local Brisbane authors and each new action scene takes place at the location of the QR code: each new clue or twist in the story encourages you to explore parts of the CBD and South Bank that you might previously have ignored.

If you have a free couple of hours on the weekend, have a go and participate in this ‘location literature’ event.  Maps are available at both the Middle School Library and the Senior Library, or you can download one at streetreads.com.

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Bookmark Production Team

BGS Open Day was held on the weekend, and in a very busy 3 hours we had over 1400 people visit the Library! One of the most popular activities on offer was a QR code bookmark, with each one put together by a well-coordinated production team consisting of teacher librarian Ms Hunter, her husband and one of our Year 8 students.

Each bookmark’s journey began with Max taking a video of the visitor on an iPad, then sending this file to Ms Hunter. She attached it to a QR code and sent this file on to Mr Hunter who then dropped it and the visitor’s name into a prepared template. Once the bookmarks were printed the visitors could scan the QR code with an app on their phones and see themselves talking in our library.

Ms Hunter is keen to start up a lunchtime group to create and do things with different types of technology, so if you are interested please let her know.

Max videoing  Keen visitors

Checking the files  Creating the QR Codes




QR Codes on Open Day


On Open Day this year, as well as again making personalised bookmarks for visitors, we decided to also try a QR code treasure hunt in the Library.  QR codes are square barcodes which can be scanned with a QR code reader on a smart phone, and  this then links the user directly to a website, email address, telephone number or other information, without them needing to open a browser first and type in an address. We have used QR codes on books in the past, to link students directly to an author’s website or reviews about the books.

According to Tony Kuesgen, head of technology at Google Australia, “By 2013, more internet searches will be done on smart phones than desktop computers.”  Obviously, this has wide marketing potential for businesses, and many are now using QR codes to advertise their products. Ralph Laurent, Calvin Klein, Dunlop, Seiko, Swatch and Pepsi Max are all large companies taking advantage of this form of marketing (see 9 Real Life QR Code Examples and QR Codes in Advertising)

In order to complete the treasure hunt on Open Day, visitors needed to download a free QR code reader on their smart phones – either i-nigma or BeeTagg – and then use this to scan the barcodes. Each code gave them a question to answer, a word to collect and the location of the next clue.  So that those without smart phones didn’t feel left out, we also offered an alternative pen-and-paper version.

We found that some people knew what to do and had used QR code readers before, while others needed a little help in getting started. Many parents were quite interested, especially those who could see the potential for developing their own work environment! After Open Day our current students also had the opportunity to complete the treasure hunt.

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