Today I spent most of the day on Pinterest. I was making my generic categories more specific (and no I still haven’t finished). I have a few ‘library’ categories- sayings, re-purposed books, interesting ‘stuff’ but it made me wonder what libraries would use Pinterest for.
First I had to define why I use it. I am a visual person. I love nice things. I have always been the type to rip photos out of magazines, collect pictures of things I wish I could make, and use esoteric sayings and pictures in my presentations. (See my presentation from NLS5 below- it won’t really make sense as there are no words to go with the pictures, but you will get the idea of where I am heading here.)
Then I did what any self-respecting ‘can’t be bothered doing it properly’ librarian would do- I googled Pinterest and Libraries. To be fair I did look way beyond the 1st page, ending up with about 30 tabs, even before I clicked the pages from Australia button.
So what did I gather from the many pages I looked at. (Disregarding the hey we are on Pinterest, come follow us pages).
Pinterest is important to libraries because it empowers patrons as self curators and it gives us a service opportunity to mark and share books and resources with users through their pictures and those they discover.- Joel Murphy
extensive, quick google research it seems that ways academic libraries can use Pinterest is to:
- Promote Library and Campus Events
- Help find Gaps in the Collection- Get users to suggest titles.
- Promote Art and Archive Collections
- Promote New Titles
- Promote Hidden Collection Features (eg. Did you know your university library has a dvd collection?)
- Provide News and Information – (Pin the Library Newsletter or Blog Posts)
- Libguides/ Subject Resources
- Provide a Visual Tour of Your Library
- Show Library and Campus History
- Educational Infographics
- Highlighting information for parents of new students
- Highlighting information for students with English as a Second Language
- Use as a social research tool for selected subjects.
Also from my
extensive, quick google research it seems like public libraries are in the best position to get the most out of Pinterest. (However, I could be and will gladly be proven wrong).
Ways articles have suggested Public or Community Libraries use Pinterest are to (as well as all of the above):
- Promote New Titles (Pinning Book Titles)
- Promote Popular Titles
- Promote Titles in different areas- Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s, Sci-Fi, etc..
- Promote Events such as the Summer Reading Club
- Organising Reading Lists
- Promote Book Clubs and Associated ‘Kits’
- The Librarian’s Lists (Staff Title Selections)
- Promote Local History Collections
- Allow Community Contributions to Local History Collections
- Allow Community Contributions to Adding to the Collection (What books do you want in the library)
- Provide learning materials for Parents (from Baby, to School Years)
- Teen Programs- Promote Games, Technologies etc…
There are still problems with staff engagement with Pinterest, like any other social medium, and complications with its correct usage; such as does it comply with copyright regulations, timing (what will you miss if you leave it for too long) and pin descriptions (wording, consistency).
Other good links about libraries and Pinterest are from David Lee King: Pinterest for Libraries – what we’re doing and from the Library Journal: More on How to Optimize Pinterest (as well as many many more).