or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Reference Question of the Week – 3/27/11

   April 2nd, 2011

Lifehacker QR Code #1Instead of a reference question, here's something in honor of April 1st:

Yesterday, Lifehacker posted an April Fools QR Code Internet Scavenger Hunt - the point is to find and decode a series of QR codes hidden on various websites. But the trick is that you not only need to decipher the clues, but use reference skills to search and find the right websites.

It was fun, and the information provided in the clues is remarkably similar to library reference transactions - cryptic and obscure, but usually enough to go on.

So test out your reference skills - it's fun. It's also a very good example of how a library can use QR codes for an enjoyable and engaging project.

It would have also been interesting to sort of track peoples' search techniques and strategies, to see if librarians are any better at something like this than anyone else.

The article also linked to a handy online QR code decoder - neat.

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2 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 3/27/11”

  1. mugabo Says:

    QR Droid is useful, but Google (Places) has already declared the technology obsolete now that everyone has a phone with NFC capabilities. Umm, anyone?

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @mugabo: I don’t know – technology progresses, but applications always remain (after all, I still use a pencil every day). I can see NFC taking off first with businesses, because they might have the money necessary to make it happen. But QR codes are quick and free, so they will still be ideal for libraries and individuals for a long time.