13 Aug 2012

Libraries and Pinterest

Pinterest is a social photo sharing website where users can collect and share their photos on a visually pleasing virtual pinboard interface. Pinterest is somewhat similar to social bookmarking sites such as Delicious. Sites like Delicious allow users to save websites as bookmarks and add some notes and tags to organise them. Users can search bookmarks created by others. Pinterest provides a similar functionality but uses pictures and video instead of text. Users can 'pin' a website and Pinterest represents it with an image that comes from the webpage. Users can also upload their own images or videos ('pins') and organise or categorise them on pinboards. Users can browse other user's content and 'pin' an image or video on their own pinboard. Users can add hyperlinks to images or infographics so that when the image is clicked it will open a webpage. Pinterest has had a huge growth since it was set up in 2010. It now has almost 12 million users and has been described as the breakout social network of the year and '2012's hottest website'

Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined so it is clear that any organisation interested in marketing and promotion of its services needs to be aware of Pinterest.

Different types of libraries are beginning to use Pinterest to showcase their collections, promote exhibits, highlight services and provide orientation material. Public libraries such as the New York Public Library showcases its current events and merchandise available for purchase. it also has a reading recommendations board:

More of these pinboards can be found at http://pinterest.com/nypl/

Academic libraries are beginning to innovate with Pinterest to assist with orientation. Pinterest can help with introducing the library with pins on pictures of the library, posting pins about basic services and operations, diagrams to commonly asked questions and introducing staff. The following Purchase College Library pinboard provides an image tour of their library:

Pinterest was previously invite only but it has just been opened to all who want to join.


  1. Thanks Ronan! Learnist is also one to watch (http://learni.st/). A bit like Pinterest but the focus is on sharing learning resources.

  2. Cool. Will check that out.