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Guide to QR Codes: What is a QR Code?

Quick Response Code

1. find QR code

Photo by CoCreatr 

A QR Code (short for "Quick Response") is a barcode that contains data that can be read by a phone's camera. Most smartphones come equipped with software that allows them to download a QR Code reader. Once you download a reader, the phone's camera acts like a scanner, allowing it to "read" the barcode.

These codes, once scanned by your phone, can provide you with a URL, contact information, SMS, or similar links to information right on your phone. Think of it as a black and white link, or a heavily pixelated one.

In order to read a QR code, your phone needs to have a code reader. You can find a list of readers to download to your phone (iPhone, Android, and more) at

How is NUS Libraries using QR codes?

You can find QR codes all around the library. We are using QR Codes in posters, near self-check machines and selected computer LINC terminals in Central Library, Level 3 and 4. Simply scan the codes on those pages with your mobile phone and you will have access to these services on your phone.

NUS Libraries' Mobile

Scan this code to access books,
thousands of research articles,
library hours, and more
via the library's mobile site.

Chat Reference 

Scan this code and you
can ask us questions
via chat on smartphone  

Common Craft Video

From the Common Craft website: This video explains how QR codes are changing the way we access information in the real world through scanning a new kind of code with a camera phone. It teaches: 
  • How barcodes and QR codes are similar
  • What happens when you scan a QR code with your camera phone
  • What scenarios are useful for QR codes and what's needed to scan them
  • How QR Codes make the real world clickable
You can also view the video by scanning this code:

Video - Use QR codes

via cnet Australia: "This tutorial explains what you can do with QR codes, and suggests free mobile QR apps for the major phone operating systems so you can start using these small graphics to send or read links, contact information or just about any other information." A great basic video about QR codes.


Sections of this guide were  based on the libguide QR Codes by Boise State University and created by Memo Cordova. Thanks for the permission.

QR Code this webpage