Get book information from OskiCat via texting and QR Codes

Until now, there were only so many ways to get book locations and call numbers from OskiCat, the UC Berkeley library catalog.  You could print out the screen, export the information via e-mail, or write it on a piece of paper or on your hand (yes, people do this).

Two new options can save you time (and possibly some hand-washing).  You can send information directly from OskiCat to your cell phone via text/SMS, or use your phone’s camera to scan a QR Code from the computer screen.

These methods will not give you enough information to cite the book in a paper, but it will be enough to find it in the library.  For example, the QR Code for The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility by Stewart Brand reads as follows:

The clock of the lon:: ::BD638 .B73 1999 Moffitt:AVAILABLE

To use these functions, click on the title of a book, journal, or other printed item in your search results to go to the detailed record.  In this illustration, the top red arrow shows the Text/SMS area.  The bottom red arrow shows the QR Code.  See below for detailed instructions.


Text book information to your cell phone:

  1. If the book is owned by more than one library, select the radio button of the appropriate library.
  2. Select your cell provider from the menu list. If your cell provider isn’t included in the menu list, contact the Library Web Manager.
  3. Type in your 10 digit cell phone number (example: 5101234567)
  4. Click on the Send button.

The text message will include the following information:

  • Title (truncates at 20 characters)
  • Call number
  • Location
  • Status (Available, Checked Out, etc.)
  • Note (Library Use Only, etc.)
  • Author
QR Codes
QR (“Quick Response”) Codes are two-dimensional barcodes which can be scanned by a cell phone camera prompting the cell phone to display text contained in the code.

What’s included in an OskiCat QR Code:

  • Title
  • Location
  • Availability
  • Call number

In order to make use of QR Codes you need:

  • A cell phone with a camera
  • QR Code reading software
    • Find QR Reader software for your cell phone:
      • via
      • search the Web for the model of your phone along with “QR reader”
      • get the free QR app for the iPhone

For more information about QR Codes, see this Wikipedia article.