Is your library on Pinterest?

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. 


3 thoughts on “Is your library on Pinterest?

  1. isingidanceireadthings

    Being one of the many women of Pinterest (though yes, there are men on there too!), I have to say that I primarily use it for crafts and recipes. However, I really like the idea of a board dedicated to the activities and history of your hometown. I think that’s a great way to embrace local culture and heritage.

  2. Laura

    I’m not into crafts and that’s what I think of with I see Pinterest….I only see what my friends feed into Facebook from Pinterest. I cook but have not had a desire to look there. I’ve actually been trying to see if there would be ideas for my library as well. Reading lists is mostly what I see, from public libraries but that is not something we do — we are a community college. I’ll keep my eyes peeled!

  3. J. Andrews

    The way Pinterest took off shows there really are still gaps in the social media market. You think Facebook and Tumblr and Flickr would essentially do the same thing Pinterest does. But they really don’t.

    For me, it appeals to my desire to collect things. You can be the curator of your own collections of images/links! And you can do it really easily, and share it with the world, really easily. Maybe consider it for your next project? An anniversary party, a home remodel, an upcoming trip? It’s a way to collect ideas. Also makes a great wish list. Whether it’s things you want for yourself, or things you’re considering getting for someone’s next birthday.

    Or consider it for a local book group. Like, if your town is reading Frankenstein together, you can make a ton of boards related to Frankenstein! Pics of Mary Shelley, various representations of Frankenstein’s monster, a collection of related movies, pictures of the settings in the book, or of where Shelley wrote it, vintage photos of electricity animating dead frogs. A.. visual way of really exploring the book.


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