Thursday, January 05, 2012

Pinterest for Librarians

One of the things that has surprised me lately is the number of emails I get with questions about Pinterest. I thought it might be handy to put some tips together. I know I am not the first librarian to write about Pinterest, by any means! I hope this helps someone out there though.

How do I use Pinterest? 
There is a pretty good help page. Pinterest is still in beta mode, but you can request an invite from Pinterest.com. It sounds like most people are getting them within a few days. If you can't wait, you can email me for an invite, and I'll try to send one on. Not sure how many Pinterest will let me send though. If you have any questions, I will try to answer them, but I am a librarian, not a Pinterest staffer. It is also important to remember that Pinterest is still a start-up and is somewhat prone to crashing. A victim of its own popularity, if you will.

One thing I would like to point out is that it is extremely important if you are adding a pin (by which I mean being the first person to pin something) to make sure that the source is correct. For example, if you are pinning a Flannel Friday post, you want to make sure that it will take you back to the right post in the future and not just the main blog page.

How can I use Pinterest "on the clock" for library purposes? 
There are so many great ways to use Pinterest at work. You can find ideas for programs you are planning, decorating ideas, craft ideas, and printables to give to parents/teachers/etc.. To give you an idea, here are some of my work-related pinboards:
Library Bulletin Boards and Displays
Kids Sewing Projects (for our Sewing School program)
Superhero Camp
Spy Camp
Lego Programming Ideas
Camping Storytime
Library Carnival Ideas
Circus Storytime
Western Theme Storytime
Outer Space and Robots Storytime
Pirate Party
Star Wars Program
Art Attack Program
Instant Awesome Storytime Ideas
Printables for Parents (I like to give out ideas for road trip games, indoor activities, etc. as seasonally appropriate)
Gaming Programs
Library Puppet Show Ideas

There are also a collaborative board for teen programs, and of course Flannel Friday's page. If I am missing some good boards, leave a comment and let me know, please.

How can I encourage people to pin content from my blog? 
I've been experimenting with this a little bit, and I have a few suggestions. First is that Pinterest will not accept a pin if there is no image on that page, so always include an image. It can be an image from Openclipart.org or a banner you made just for that post (like my Pinterest for Librarians banner at the top of this page) in MS Paint. It does not have to be anything fancy.

Another way is to give people a freebie. Whether it is a printable list of 100 books to read in kindergarten, signs to use for library displays, or something else entirely, I see lots of freebies pinned in my feed. This category could also include innovative ideas for marketing a collection, storytime crafts, or really any topic applicable to librarians.

Pins from sotomorrowblog.com
Can I see what has been "pinned" from my blog? 
Yes, or for any other site as well. But be careful because it can be addicting to see! And, as always, not everyone will like your content.

There are two ways to do this.
1. Put the URL in after this address: http://pinterest.com/source/. So to see what has been pinned from So Tomorrow, you'd visit this URL: http://pinterest.com/source/sotomorrowblog.com/ (Make sure you drop the HTTP and WWW portions or you will get an error message.)
Other examples from some of my favorite sites (not all work-related):
http://pinterest.com/source/schoollibraryjournal.com/
http://pinterest.com/source/marthastewart.com/
http://pinterest.com/source/younghouselove.com/

Items that were pinned from my blog before I purchased my own URL are pinned here: http://pinterest.com/source/sotomorrow.blogspot.com/.

How to find other pins from the same site


2. You can also open any pin and see what else has been pinned from the same site. Down on the left side of the Pinterest site is a box that says Also From (it's highlighted in orange in the image). Click the link and you'll be able to see what others have pinned from that site.

6 comments:

Our library system (Indianhead Federated Library System)is hosting a Webinar, January 11th at 1:00, about Pinterest for librarians.

Thank you for a great post.

I just finished attending Georgia (and Jessi and Jill)'s webinar and got alot out of it. I was busy pinning starred items on my RSS feed and I had starred this one. Great tips especially nice for a blogger. My first hint Pinterest existed was looking at where my traffic was coming from. And now I'm on"board"!

Try
http://pinterest.com/literarylion/stay-and-play/
too- mostly ideas for sensory playtimes and stay and play sessions

I've been coming across references to Pinterest but this is the first post I've seen that actually describes it in detail. I hope to find the time to try it in the future although I sure hope they get to fix the crashing problem then.

One little tip I might add...I recently lost some pins and some great resource links. So it is often helpful to put enough key words in the description that you could find the posts again with just a .pdf of your board and all the pins.