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WSU libraries create smartphone app

Students can be instantly connected to a librarian for quick responses to questions

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Posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:27 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

Wayne State libraries are implementing new smartphone programs to help students get information quickly.

The newest program is the addition of Quick Response codes for smartphones. The library QR codes, developed for WSU two weeks ago, are barcodes that store any kind of data and can be scanned by smartphones. When the library’s QR code is scanned, it goes immediately to an “Ask-a-Librarian” screen to help students find academic resources.

To access the program, students need to download a QR code reader onto their phones from the Apple, Android or BlackBerry App Stores. When students scan the code, the “Ask-a-Librarian” screen allows live chat with a knowledgeable librarian. The “Ask-a-Librarian” program is also available online at lib.wayne.edu.

“Scanning the QR code was easy, and my question was answered within minutes,” WSU student Ziena Hatem said. “I didn’t need anything but my phone.”

The QR code aspect was developed to be “easy and accessible for students” said Sandra Yee, dean of the WSU Library System.

“College students are always on the go. We want them to get their answers fast,” librarian Anne Hudson said.

According to Yee, the library has gone “mobile.” In addition to the QR codes, the library has also developed a mobile site. The site, m.lib.wayne.edu, brings a user to a screen that is compatible with smartphones.

“Students no longer need to physically come to the library in order to benefit from the library,” she said.

The site gives basic information pertaining to the libraries: hours of operation, directory, “ask-a-librarian,” catalog, news, maps and databases.

Librarians said they are excited about helping the on-the-go student catch up to the fast-paced world of today.

“The library,” Hudson said, “is now in the palm of your hand.”

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