RovingFiddlehead KidLit

Kids Tech Club: QR Code Scavenger Hunt

October 19, 2011


This week Kids Tech Club did a QR code scavenger hunt and created QR codes to make their own for library patrons. If you are in the area, they’d love it if you come do their scavenger hunt. The first clue is above (and on the Kids Tech Club page). The clues will be in place October 21 – November 20.

I played around with a few QR code generators. I used Kawai QR-Code Generator to create some. It was really simple to use and can create codes based on text as well as urls. A feature I liked is that the source code for embedding the QR code into a blog is provided. Google url shortener and QR code generator keeps track of how many times people actually read the QR code so I used that for some as well so we’ll have a feel for whether or not people actually try our scavenger hunt. You must be logged in to your Google account to access the QR code generator portion.

I used a library iPad and borrowed from colleagues. The kids knew we would be doing this so one girl brought her father’s smartphone as well. The QR Reader I put on our iPad is RedLaser. It works really well and detects the codes from imperfect angles as well as a variety of lighting (although we had problems scanning the code on a shiny audiobook case). Don’t have a smartphone or tablet computer? You can read QR codes on a computer if you have a web camera. I have QuickMark installed on my laptop and it works well for both reading and creating QR codes. So now this is installed at the Children’s Desk so all patrons can participate in the scavenger hunt the kids made. Multiple codes are placed in CD envelopes at the clue locations so they can bring them up to the desk to scan if needed.

The Library’s Flickr account was a great place to start for some photos of places in the building like the Book Nook. Other clues led them to books in the stacks. For these I had hoped to use the series’ websites, but so many of the sites for really popular series are flash-based and therefore wouldn’t display on the iPads. Usually the authors were popular enough that they knew exactly where to find the books, but sometimes they had to use the library catalog to guide them to the right place. They had six clues which had them wandering around the library looking for areas of the collection and building. The final clue led them to the Children’s Desk where they received a compass tattoo (SRP leftovers).