Love Your Library? Pin it!

Pinterest, a popular social media site, allows users to follow boards that they find interesting.  You pin ideas or repin ideas that you like; every time someone comments, likes, or repins your posts, ideas and users make connections.  It’s a great way to find ideas, quotes, photos, projects–nearly anything you can imagine–and it’s an excellent resource for libraries.

Libraries began using Pinterest almost at its inception, making them some of the first and most effective users.  Basically, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board.  Libraries can create one or more boards; often, they differentiate boards for different topics or departments.  For example, the New York Public Library has a variety of boards, including ones for current events and holidays, as well as subject-specific boards, including a board for wedding ideas.  Boards vary from the highly social, community-building and marketing focused, to the highly useful, including boards that may actually help patrons find links to resources.  Other libraries, such as the Westerville Library, have extensive collections of boards, including boards for Staff Picks and quotes about reading.  Libraries clearly use Pinterest in a variety of ways–to market programs, services, and collections, to inform patrons of upcoming events, resources, and community events, etc.–but at its heart, Pinterest is about sharing ideas and images and creating community.  It’s a vital tool that is easy to use, fun, and current.

The Downside

There are several limitations to Pinterest.  First of all, it’s really for images and videos, so it’s not conducive to conducting in-depth conversations.  It isn’t a blog and shouldn’t replace one.  Also, since it is so visual, it’s important that images and videos have pizazz, or they’ll be overlooked or ignored.  Finally, copyright must be observed–it’s in a sort of fair-use gray area, so it’s important that libraries observe copyright limitations when posting material.

The Lowdown

What new knowledge, skills or understanding have you gained?  (Description)

This week, I learned about how libraries are using Pinterest.

How can you use what you have learned?  (Application)

While Pinterest is not an effective stand-alone technology, it is a supplemental social media site that libraries may use to help connect with patrons.  Based upon the user community served, it may be a very effective community-building, relationship-building tool that libraries may choose to use to enhance marketing and create relationships with the user community.  It’s definitely a resource librarians should keep in mine when selecting technologies.

How does it relate to library work?  (Reflection)

Pinterest directly relates to library work as it is a technology that libraries may use to establish relationships, connect with patrons, and market services, events, and resources.

What resources (activities) have helped you to understand and/or have been interesting to use?  (Activities/Resources)

Boyer, K.  (201).  Using Pinterest @ the library.  Public Libraries Online.  Retrieved from

Drittler, L.  (2015).  Pinterest for libraries: Building community through social media.  TechSoup.  Retrieved from

Rummel, J.  (2012).  How to use Pinterest for your library.  Voya.  Retrieved from

Szkolar, D.  (2012).  Pinterest: A new social media opportunity for libraries.  Information Space.  Retrieved from



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