I have never been a big fan of Pinterest. It seems like all the women in my life (yes, women, can’t say I know a man that pins…) from my sisters to my best friends, use Pinterest all the time. They seem to always find recipes and craft projects to share with one another. Maybe the fact that I don’t cook or craft is a reason I don’t care for the site but I decided to join anyway, and give it a shot. I created an account last year and found that I was able to search for things that interest me and even repinned a few things but overall I was unimpressed. I have not had the urge to log into my account in several months, which I find to be a big sign that it is not a social media site for me.
Last fall, my supervisor at the library I work at, asked if I would create a class for our patrons that covered Pinterest. I spent some time researching the website, talking to people who used it a lot, creating boards of categories I found interesting and looking at how it had been used by libraries. My class was fun. There were many patrons who had never used the site and wanted to know how it worked. Some of them were really impressed; it is a visually interesting website with a lot of great content. I, personally, just find it overwhelming and hard to categorize. One of my favorite boards on pinterest is of local history resources which I found through someone I follow on Twitter. He has images of events and places in our area which I love to see, since one of my passions is the town I live in and the history of the people and places within.
I think Pinterest can have some interesting uses in libraries. For the most part, I see libraries that create accounts make boards where they pin reading lists of specific genres of books. I also often see quotes or photos of libraries from around the world. While I don’t think these types of resources have a lot of value to a library, just showing users that the library is aware of and a PART of the sites they enjoy can help bring them closer to their library. Since I know a lot of people who are very passionate about Pinterest, I think there is value in libraries paying attention to what these users enjoy and becoming familiar with and a part of the social media network.