Austrian City Uses QR Codes and NFC Tags to Build Outdoor Public Library

An Austrian city has turned itself into a hi-tech library by peppering its streets with QR codes and NFC tags which link to literary works.

Klagenfurt, a small city in the south of the country, has launched an initiative called Project Ingeborg which will see residents and visitors being encouraged to use mobile phones and tablets to scan strategicall placed QR and NFC stickers.

Links embedded within the stickers will direct people towards web pages from where they can download public domain works.

Many of the works are drawn from an online store of ebooks called Project Gutenburg, which hosts over 40,000 different titles.

The virtual literary project aims to make up for the fact that a significant municipal institution is missing from Klagenfurt – the city has no public library. This is especially strange considering that the city has hosted a major literary event, the Festival of German Language Literature, since its inception in the 1970s.

Many of the QR and NFC stickers will be placed in specific locations around the city that reflect the works they link to. For instance, Austrian author Arthur Schnitzler’s The Killer is to be linked to a sticker that will be placed near the police station.

Organisers of the project are also planning to work with local writers and artists to distribute their works through the new system. Search engines have been prevented from listing links to the hosted works, encouraging people to visit the city in order to gain access to them.

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