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Insider Article [April 2013] [04/09/13] (Member Spotlight)
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Member Spotlight

Fullerton Public Library

Pinterest and Libraries

Why Pinterest?  What benefit does the library get from using it?  How much time do you spend on it a day?  Who are you trying to reach?  All these and more are the questions we asked ourselves when we started. 

So, why Pinterest?  Pinterest does many things for the library and all at once.

  1. Branding – Libraries have always struggled to make themselves heard.  We want our patrons to remember that we are there and willing to help.  If your Pinterest page is current, your content will continuously appear in the feed of your followers, sometimes on a daily basis.  This exposure is just as good as driving by the library and getting a reminder of its existence.
  2. What’s New & Reader’s Advisory – At FPL, the “Staff Picks” is a popular display that promotes circulation.  Create a “Staff Picks” board in Pinterest and link it back to your catalog so that patrons can place a hold.  Do the same for other promotions that you would normally create a pathfinder for.  We also use Pinterest as our “free” software to promote new titles for items that are not quite on the shelf, but in cataloging.
  3. Marketing – Advertise your programs any way you can!  Convert your flyers and posters to pictures and upload them with links back to your event calendar. (Secret:  If you repin to the same board it will show up in your follower’s feed again.  Do this on a daily basis a few days before a program to act as a reminder of the event).
  4. Resource Promotion – Get more exposure for your databases.  Do you offer special services like applying for Passports?  Meeting rooms rentals?  Create a board for library resources with links back to relevant pages on website. 
  5. Local History – Any library with a good local history collection most likely has plenty of images.  Besides the catalog and possibly your website, Pinterest provides space to showcase these images.  Our staff has further utilized this by creating a board specifically to meet the needs of the local community and providing images used for an annual  3rd Grade History Project.
  6. Secret Boards – Pinterest recently introduced Secret Boards.  We use these “in-house” for such things as potlucks (upload a picture of the food you are bringing) and contests for staff.

 
Not only is Pinterest of value for your patrons, on the professional side, the large scale collaboration is incredible.  Need an idea for a display?  Search for it there.  Craft idea for storytime?  Find it there. 

Finally, as a plug for my own page, I recently created a page specifically for collaboration.  It has various boards, including Creative Campaigns and Displays That Work which provide librarians and library staff one-stop shopping for ideas.  By following those who follow the page, I am able to add everyone who wishes to be a collaborator to the boards, therefore getting ideas compiled in one spot.  (pinterest.com/publib).

Andrea Taylor
Technical Services Division Manager
ataylor@ci.fullerton.ca.us