Libraries and Pinterest

I love Pinterest.

I wrote about how I use the social media site for writing some time ago. One of my favorite bloggers, Livia Blackburne, also wrote about using it as a reader and a writer. But in addition to maintaining a personal Pinterest, I also am also a big contributor to my library’s Pinterest account as a member of the social media team.

Earlier this spring, a popular post was written about 20 ways that libraries are using Pinterest. There are some great (and very obvious) ways highlighted on the post. Most of our strategies are variations on those ideas, but we’ve done some additional things I think are worth highlighting.

The library I where I work is fun. We’ve got a sense of humor. This reflects our community, which is a quirky college town with one of the best Main Streets in America. Like our other social media platforms, our Pinterest reflects that. Here’s some things that we’re trying out.

  • Having Fun

We’re not afraid to get a bit silly, which is why we have a boards featuring hunky author headshots  and furry readers, in addition to more sharing some more traditional book humor.

  • Going Local

We’ve got boards that feature local artists and spotlight our favorite local restaurants in addition to our local authors. Libraries are the center of communities and about more than just books.

  • Mixing It Up

We spotlight our collections, whether it’s our extensive collection of books related to popular Pinterest content (you know…cooking and crafts) but we also mix it up with recipes or tutorials that we repin onto the boards or other related web content. So when I made a Roadtrip board, I included the travel guides from our collections as well as websites for destinations along the way.

  • Highlighting Programs

We start a board to promote our programs and curate related content. So in the weeks leading up to a visit from the Albuquerque Fractal Foundation we started a fractal board, and before hosting a evening exploring the visual history of comics, we’ve started a comic and graphic novel board.

  • Spotlighting Authors

Whether its because an author is in the news, has passed away, or is going to be visiting the library, we’ll create a board to not only spotlight their books in our catalog, but to also include links to interviews or images with their quotes and other fun pins.

  • Sharing Reading Recommendations

Not only do we spotlight our staff picks, which link to staff reviews on our book blog, several staff members also have a board of their own personal recommendations (that’s right, mine is “Forever Young: YA for Adults”). The Circulation department shares the music that their rocking out to while they work. But we also regularly ask our patrons on Facebook what their “life-changing nonfiction” picks or “books to read again and again” are, and curate those lists on a board.

There are a lot of libraries and other cool bookish places that have great Pinterest content. Here are the three accounts we’ve repinned the most recently.


Missoula Public Library

BookExpo America

There are a number of Pinterest plug-ins being developed. We’re currently using Pinerly, which is a great tool that lets us keep track of clicks, pins, and likes, as well as direct links to catalog records from the images of book covers without going in and editing each link manually. It is also developing the ability to schedule pins, which is a feature I’m eagerly anticipating.

Pinterest is a great tool for individuals and institutions to share and curate content around a variety of interests.

Do you follow your library on Pinterest? How do you use the site? 

5 thoughts on “Libraries and Pinterest

  1. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t use pinterest. I just can’t imagine adding one more more social media site to my list these days, but you’ve definitely piqued my interest in it. Maybe I’ll start (and follow my local library)!

      1. I actually only changed a link on this post, because I reread it as I’m working on a presentation about using Pinterest for libraries. I hate if I want to reorganize tags or update a post, it shows up in googlereader! I mean, it is addictive, but I don’t read magazines. I use it a lot for work and for recipes or for bookmarking gift ideas and such. It’s fun, but I have to set limits for myself!

      2. I find that annoying about Googlereader, too. For the posts I wrote in response to a current event, it makes me look like I’m reacting a few months too late. At the same time, though, it’s kind of nice to increase traffic to older content. I never look at the date of a post unless the content is obviously outdated.

        I’m terrible about setting limits for myself. I’m the type of person who would need someone else to change my password for me.

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