Pinning Down the Latest Library 2.0 Trend: More Than I Bargained For

Another social media tool I know nothing about: Pinterest. (And I used to think I was somewhat tech savvy.) I’ve been sitting on an invite to join from a friend, who has over 775 pins, 23 boards and 53 followers – wow, am I behind!

I follow my friend’s invitation to sign up and screech to a halt: I’m told I need to link through my Facebook account and that it will subsequently update my Facebook account to Timeline, something I’ve been actively¬† avoiding. Luckily as I’m pondering what to do next, I am redirected through to sign up, and my Facebook stays the same. I hate being forced to add apps to Facebook, and to change “looks” in my social services (new Gmail is looming).

~Noooo: I now have Timeline. Insert a few minutes here, while I come to grips with this. Ahem. Apparently inevitable as of next week anyways. Apologies for the interlude.~

There are quite a few “Top [insert number here]” lists on how you can use Pinterest for your library.The Social Networking Librarian lists 6 including creating boards & pins for new books, activities/programs, collections, displays, movies/media, and sharing them on Facebook & Twitter. Edudemic expands the list to 20; some of the more interesting options are “showing pictures of the library”, “helping patrons start book clubs”, “collecting learning materials for parents”, “running reading programs” and profiling library staff.

A recent Library Journal blog post, “More on How To Optimize Pinterest” reminds library Pinterest users that like for any other social media, it’s important to have a strategy, including keeping the account up to date. For example, in order not to seem too commercial, be sure to Pin interests outside the library.

The ALA is even offering a web cast on how to use Pinterest in academic libraries: I may need to take this. I can’t figure out how to find which libraries are using Pinterest, or how they link to it. I searched “library” in the Pinterest search bar, and after scrolling through all the library-related images looking for a library name, I finally found something pinned by Montgomery College Libraries (Maryland).

MC Libraries’ boards include reading picks, displays, images from their archive, upcoming events, and more.

MC Libraries Pinterest Screen Shot

From their activity page it looks like all their pinning is very recent, possibly indicating a new account. Their Pinterest main page has a link back to their Facebook page (although it’s not hyperlinked – perhaps a Pinterest limitation?), but I don’t immediately see a link back to Pinterest from Facebook (my forced link shows under apps), until I scroll down through their recent Facebook posts and see that they’ve shared a link, and they ask if patrons are following them yet, encouraging patron interaction.

MC College Libraries are clearly interested in social media tools, as indicated by their links and likes on their Facebook page, and as a patron/student there I’d certainly follow their Pinterest account and their Facebook page, provided they continue to update these tools on a regular basis. However Pinterest is not noted, anywhere that I can see, on their library’s home page.

From this experience, I can say as a new user that Pinterest is not as intuitive as I’d like it to be – but I’m definitely interested in playing around with it some more and learning more about how it can be used both personally and in libraries.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alyssa
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 19:41:59

    I agree that the Pinterest user interface lacks a certain level of intuitiveness I’ve come to expect from social media tools. The ALA webcast looks really interesting, and at only $40 for a student…


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