A PIONEERING library smart card is being trialled at the University of Cumbria.

Students at the Ambleside campus will be able to make more use of the library thanks to an innovative programme, which can capture information and display details on their smartphone or tablet.

Staff have developed the‘smart card’ which uses a quick response (QR) code to be read by digital devices. The card gives access to a virtual tour of the library, which shows a range of services on offer, from academic advice, through to wellbeing advice.

Barend Engelbrecht, service administrator at Ambleside, said: “The idea is that the card brings the virtual and physical experience of the library together. This opens up the library and show there’s a lot more to it than students at first think.

“Traditional leaflets are of use but unfortunately soon disappear.”

Alison Fishwick, campus assistant, said that as students have a lot to take in during the early days of their studies, the benefit of the smart card is that it can be fitted in a card holder or wallet and the virtual guide can be easily accessed in the future.

Using Articulate, a programme which is part of the university’s existing software, the cost of developing it has been minimal; just the cost of printing the cards which advertise it for students who will be arriving back at Ambleside next week.

“The smart card is not only a gateway to the library but also the university’s extensive variety of subject specific material, software and academic support which students has access to.”