5 Ideas for Your Library's Pinterest Account

Is your Pinterest account in need of a refresh or new ideas? Or perhaps you're just getting started in the Pinterest world and need some (p)inspiration? Lucky for you, we just had Lauren Drittler, assistant director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System (ARVRLS) and Pinterest expert, on our October webinar, Pinterest for Libraries: Building Community Through Social Media.

Under Lauren's supervision, the ARVRLS has 61 boards and 1,600 followers. She was first inspired by the Sacramento Public Library's tremendous Pinterest account (4,400 followers!). She wrote to the Sacramento library and asked for some tips for building up a Pinterest account. Here's how the librarian, Amy Loseth, responded:

"In general, we aspire to be entertaining, engaging, and educational, just like the library itself."

Here are some of the key tips Lauren shared during our webinar:

1. Create Pinterest Boards That Build on Your Existing Library Programs

Lauren showed us the ARVRLS' Play Date and Lego My Lego boards, which are based on the library's current programs. These boards let your program attendees take their projects or learnings home with them along with related craft ideas or more information on a certain subject. Some other ideas might be a craft board, a computer basics board, or a board built around a book club theme.

2. Use Pinterest's Place Pins Mapping Feature to Make Location-Specific Boards

Pinterest has a feature called Place Pins, which allow you to associate what you pin to a mapped location. Lauren showed us the some of the ways she uses Place Pins to build the Get-a-way: Staycation or Vacation ideas board. She plans to build some boards that map books to specific locations, too, which would allow Pinteresters to take a "book road trip."

3. Integrate Pinterest with Your Facebook Account

Featuring your boards on Facebook opens up your Pinterest collections to people who might not be avid Pinterest users. Lauren uses the third-party app Woobox to add the library's Pinterest boards to its Facebook profile. There's a free version available, which is what ARVRLS uses, and a premium version as well.

4. Make Pinterest Boards for Staff or Volunteer Appreciation

Lauren talked about a few ways she uses Pinterest for staff development. These boards are private (or "secret" in Pinterest terminology) and you can invite individuals to view or contribute to them. Lauren uses the staff appreciation board to come up with ideas to thank her staff or volunteers, such as pins or candy bags that say "My Boss Thinks I'm Kind of a Big Deal."


5. Set Up a Group Board for Your Patrons or Other Groups

Pinterest allows you to create "group" boards where you can invite multiple people to pin on a board. This can help you engage members of your community or other library staff in your system.

The ARVLS created a group board called Saying I Do with a local wedding planning business. Collaborating with another user is a great way to get more eyes on your boards because group boards show up on all contributors' accounts.

"It creates this whole network of people that have ideas and hobbies that you can utilize," Lauren explained.

Lauren said that the ARVRLS doesn't currently have boards that are open to patrons, but she mentioned that another library in the area has a community board. It can get overwhelming at times to have your boards open to anyone and everyone to pin, but you can monitor those boards by setting up email notifications for whenever a new pin is added.

Bonus Tip: Weed Your Boards

Just like you'd weed books in your collections or software on your computers, you need to weed your Pinterest boards and pins. Anything that's seasonal or tied to an event should either move down in order on your Pinterest account (that is, it shouldn't be listed first) or be removed. But don't worry! You don't have to delete your hard pinning work; you can set those boards' security to "secret" so you'll still be able to see them.

Pinterest Resources for Libraries

Images: Lauren Drittler