Book trailers are an engaging way for libraries to sell books to children to read. Even reluctant readers can be engaged by book trailers and are encouraged to select books they may never have been confident to try before. But how do we link the book trailers with the books? This is where QR (Quick Response) codes come into the equation. This year for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) book week I have generated QR codes for each title in the different categories, then printed and displayed the QR code on the corresponding book. There are also posters that contain the QR codes which are displayed in classrooms allowing students to do some research on the books before they come to the library. QR codes are scanned with the camera of an iPad or iPod Touch using a QR reader app. We have the Qrafter QR reader on iPads, iPod Touches and iphones, it’s free from the app store.
This may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. QR codes are easily made with a QR generator online. I used http://www.qrcode.cx/ because I liked the idea of having different coloured QR codes for each book, plus it made the poster bright and colourful too. You just need to do some investigation first and locate your link, in YouTube, a publisher or on another web site or blog. This will allow you to simply copy and paste it into the URL box to create the QR code. Then it is just a matter of deciding what colour you want to make it and then generate the QR code. Then you can save, print or copy the code. I saved my codes as images because I wanted to use them more than once to make different displays. Initially I started linking the publisher’s web sites to the books so students could read a longer synopsis of the particular title, but as my research gained depth I found great reviews and even book trailers on YouTube. Two titles, The Outcasts by John Flanagan and Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby have wonderful book trailers. Students in our year 9/10 ICT class are going to generate their own book trailers of some of the other titles.
I have noticed while cataloguing our latest collection of fiction novels that several have QR codes printed on the back outside cover of the book, so in theory you could view a book trailer or extra information about the title before you even buy the book.
Sample of what the QR codes look like when generated, a QR reader such as Qrafter is required to link them to the desired URL