How To Add QR Codes To III Library Catalogs

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Tips and Tutorials

Adding QR Codes to your Innovative Interfaces Library Catalog is pretty easy! Just follow the steps below. Note, you should be familiar with your III HTML files before attempting to make these changes. If not, contact your Systems Admin. I also recommend testing on your test-webport first.

  1. Backup two files in your /screens directory — wwwoptions and bib_display.html, then download to your computer (via FTP)
  2. In wwwoptions, look for ICON_RECORDLINK and change it to:

    ICON_RECORDLINK=http://YOUR_LIBRARY_WEBSITE/%s

    where YOUR_LIBRARY_WEBSITE is the URL of your Library Catalog. %s will dynamically display the unique record id.

  3. In bib_display.html, add in:


    <img src="http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=120x120&chl=
    <!--{recordlink}-->
    " />

    to where you want the QR code displayed. Be sure to put the recordlink token on it’s own separate line and aligned to the left.

  4. Upload both files back into your /screens folder and reboot the webports.
  5. Do a keyword search in your Library Catalog and find a record. You should see your QR code somewhere on the record display. (See image below)
  6. Take your mobile device and scan the QR code (using a barcode app). It should take you directly to the page with the catalog. This makes it easier for patrons to search for something on a desktop computer, scan it, and capture that data on their mobile devices to take to a librarian.

Recommended QR Scanner Apps

If you need a QR scanner for your mobile device, here are some I recommend. Download the appropriate one.

Further Reading

For further reading and more advanced QR techniques, read about it on Google Code.

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  • http://johnwright.me/blog John Wright

    Very nice! Great use of QR codes

  • http://php-princess.net Daynah

    Thanks John! :)

  • Emily

    Hmmm… I hate to be the naysayer here, but I think I’m missing the point. Sure it’s easy to do, but I question the utility of adding this to the OPAC. If you’re using this to link to additional content or information, then why not just use a regular link to lead there? Or are you using this as a permalink back to the record? In which case, I would think that it should link to the mobile catalog version of the record.

    Still, I’m not 100% if this would be too useful, at least not in our libraries. Usually our patrons get to the record, then either a. go find it on the shelf or b. click the request and put a hold on it. Asking the librarian a question about it is becoming more and more infrequent, and usually means it isn’t holdable or it’s missing from the shelf. Don’t get me wrong, I love adding bells and whistles to the catalog. But I am not sure if this would be a tool that would really support our mission and larger scale user interface goals. Forgive me if I’m totally missing something.

  • http://php-princess.net Daynah

    Emily, that’s a valid point! Thanks for leaving a comment. Maybe it would be more useful to have the QR code contain the Title/Call #/LOC instead. It’s very doable but will require a bit of Javascript and some hacking. :)

    If libraries want to use the permalink, a link to the mobile version would be much better. My library doesn’t own AirPac yet, but when we’ll do, I’ll be testing that as well. :)

    Thanks again for the insightful comment Emily!

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