The QR code is dead. Sean Cummings (2011) wrote nearly a decade ago about how QR codes might be salvaged, but it never revived despite still sporadically appearing here and there. Any time I have encountered a QR code, it was simply hyperlink in disguise, oftentimes a simple one at that. Instead of having a simple URL typed out, I searched my phone’s application store, found a QR code reader, downloaded the app, installed it, opened it, pointed it at the QR code until it registered, then had my phone’s browser bring up a boring website. What a waste!

The iTunes store is dead. It was essentially the only game in town for the better part of a decade, but streaming has taken over. Professor Stephens (n.d.) brought up in his lecture how he uses a music streaming service. I use one. Even Jan Holmquist (2013, August 24b) speaks of how he uses a music service while still occasionally buying CDs. Things have changed so much with how we listen to music.

I bring these two points up because libraries have to evolve too. We cannot let our mobile services be limited to QR code type technologies that will pass away and be forgotten. This also does not mean we need to employ only the most guaranteed of services. We need to take risks, yes, but adapt too. Apple did not let the innovative iTunes store gather Internet dust once its usefulness diminished—they pivoted to Apple Music. As Holmquist (2013, August 24c) points out, making use of mobile devices is meeting the community where they are.  It is not only about reaching the Long Tail that Casey and Savanstinuk (2007) talk about, but it is also about making the most of the connection with those who already use the library. It is important for librarians to have a curiosity about mobile technology as Holmquist (2013, August 24a) mentions because they need to explore and gain understanding with its use and implementation to better serve their communities.

It is great that many libraries have webpages and eBooks and eAudiobooks that can be used on mobile devices, but there is much, much more potential there. Like Professor Stephens (n.d.) mentions in his lecture, it is a great opportunity to share unique resources. Digital collections are only going to grow over time, and a wise librarian would see this as the perfect opportunity to cultivate and grow the library’s digital offerings, especially those that work on mobile devices. We all have seen how quickly everyone needed to adapt to online and mobile technology as a pandemic swept over the world. This is not just a suggestion but is instead a necessary evolutionary pathway for libraries. Laura Silver (2019, February 5) reports that 94% of Americans have mobile phones, and 81% of Americans have a smartphone. The time is definitely now to make the most of mobile devices.

References

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford: Information Today.

Cummings, S. (2011, October 16). Why the QR code is failing [web article]. Retrieved from http://www.imediaconnection.com/articles/ported-articles/red-dot-articles/2011/oct/why-the-qr-code-is-failing/

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24a). Mooc: curiosity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DBOa3-e_aaw

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24b). Mooc: keeping up with a world that is changing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/2pISttmyWmE

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24c). Mooc: why use mobile? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/LUVrPYrcNMA

Silver, L. (2019, February 5). Smarphone ownership is growing rapidly around the world, but not always equally. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2019/02/05/smartphone-ownership-is-growing-rapidly-around-the-world-but-not-always-equally/

Stephens, M. (n.d.). Mobile devices & connections [Video file]. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3b3faeae-3347-4f6f-8bba-aaec01569f55

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