Monday, February 27, 2012

Repurposing = Awesome!

The Krafty Librarian has presented a very crafty idea, using old unbound journal holders and brightly colored paper labeling to make booklike shapes that sit on the shelf with the print books in a certain subject, highlighting the existence of ebooks on the same subject.

I like it! Partly because we have stacks and stacks of unbound journal holders where I work, too, and I always like to reuse things, so the idea of getting some use out of them now that we have hardly any unbound journals left is appealing.

Also, we are always trying to promote our ebooks.

However, Krafty uses QR codes, with a "scan this code to see ebooks on this topic" message, and I'm not sure about that part. I don't sense a whole lot of excitement around QR codes in our user population. Not that I exactly have my finger on the pulse of what's cool with that population or anything, but the one time someone used a QR code (to promote a workshop), I never saw anyone actually scanning it.

In fact, the main topic of Krafty's post is actually how one generates interest in QR codes, rather than how awesome it is to recycle journal holders.

Given our extremely limited but unpromising experience, I don't really have any advice on how to generate interest in QR codes, hence my focus on the crafts part of the piece. I'm wondering if it might not just be useful to put those up as a reminder that the ebooks are there, because it's true that not everyone thinks to look.

Maybe we could steal the booklike shapes idea, and just put a note on the label to "see our ebooks page for online titles on this subject," with a short URL. (We'd have to actually make short URLs for our ebooks based on subject for this to work, but...I'm supposed to be learning to code, I could figure it out. Or steal it from someone.)

And maybe a QR code too, I'm not opposed to QR codes, I'm just not particularly excited about them, but maybe simply putting them out there would encourage their use. Anyway, they look kind of cool and decorative, so what's the harm?

On the other hand, we're pretty desperate for shelf space right now, so taking up room with this sort of placeholder might not fly.

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