Ah, libraries. Since 1D barcodes are such an integral part of the check-out process now (miss you, carpal tunnel and old-timey rubber date stamp!), it only makes sense that libraries would also be on top of the hotness that is the 2D barcode. In an interesting piece last week, Barcode News explained how Ohio's Cuyahoga County Public Library is using the Boopsie BookCheck app to let patrons check out books on their own by scanning a barcode:
Historically, libraries have existed to promote access to information, to intellectual and cultural resources. The development of BookCheck reveals the fact that libraries are increasingly looking for creative ways to offer customers access to those goods.
Scanning the barcodes also gives readers access to reviews and author bios. Awesome! Adding Tags to books could take that one step further by giving library staff a free way to update what the barcodes link to anytime, and providing analytics so staff can gauge what readers are finding the most helpful.
Update: The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library is already using Tag to make it easier for people to locate books.
We've talked about Tags being used in books to connect readers with supplementary info, but what about bookstores? They too could easily use Tag to connect readers with a calendar of upcoming readings and other events, to provide in-store discounts, or to highlight the release dates of anticipated books. Scanning a Tag on a book or shelf display could also connect the reader with video interviews of authors. Used bookstores could incorporate Tags to tell patrons which used titles are currently fetching the most money or store credit – or even turn books into cash right there.
Would you scan a Tag in your local library or bookstore? Are there other publication ideas that'd make books more useful? Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter pages.
Image: openlibrary.org via Flicker