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Librarians Pinterested in Summer Reading

2012 February 3
by Thea Blair

Over the holidays, my sister-in-law invited me to be part of the latest “it” app on the web – Pinterest.  She used it to find crafts to make for holiday gifts.  She thought I would enjoy it, so she sent me an invite.   And what a great tool it’s turned out to be!   Pinterest is a cross between Delicious and Facebook without much text.   Users create a profile and then go out and “pin” various recipes, crafts and other visual elements from the web to keep on named bulletin boards.  Your boards represent your interests, your style and maybe even what you’re doing for summer reading club this year! 

There’s a social element to Pinterest in that you can follow friends and vice versa.  One great example of this is my fellow librarian, Angela Palmer, from Bee Cave Public Library.  I found that she was on Pinterest because we’re friends on Facebook.  That lead me to start following all of her boards on Pinterest.  We’ve been pinning each other’s pins for weeks now and it’s great fun to see what kinds of things she’s exploring out on the web. 

If you don’t want to “pin” something to one of your boards, you can simply “like” the item and/or provide a comment on it.  Though Angela and I share personal interests like dogs and books, there’s also our shared interest in library stuff!  We’re sharing some wonderful craft ideas for kids in the library. 

I’ve started boards on Texas Teens Read! for 2012, Get a Clue…at the Library 2012, general summer reading ideas, flannel boards, kid’s crafts for the library, library programs for kids , teens in the library and even some library display ideas.  You won’t be able to see these boards until you’re a member of Pinterest, unfortunately.  But hopefully, that will spark your interest in joining!

 Youth representatives involved in the Collaborative Summer Library Program from around the country have also started creating boards on the CSLP’s theme for this summer, Dream Big.  Since we’ll use the collaborative theme starting in 2013, this is great for future reference.  Though you might not be using their “Dream Big” theme in summer 2012, these pins make great programming, story and craft ideas for other times during the year. 

Many of the youth reps have pinned photos of the crafts they’ve created from the Dream Big programming manual.  You can upload your own content to your pinboards to share with others.  I loaded many of their dreamy suggestions to my pinboard called Summer Reading.  See example:

In fact, that’s the sheer beauty in Pinterest!   Programming manuals are great for their process suggestions, but most of the time, you want to know what other librarians are doing at the point of need.  You want that info collected all in one place of your own rather than on various websites where you have to bookmark or search. Pinterest solves that problem and it’s so easily shareable with others!

When you run across a great storytime concept with a photo on the web, simply click the icon that you added to your toolbar in Firefox that says “Pin It.”   Then, describe your pin, choose the board where you want the pin to live (or create a new board) and viola!  It’s saved there for you to retrieve later, for others to browse and perhaps pin too! 

Curious?  You can request an invite from Pinterest.  However, I’ve heard these take a long time to process.  Your other option is to ask me for an invite and that’s much faster.  So, email Dawn and I’ll get you going on Pinterest.  Just don’t blame me if you find yourself pinning kids dinosaur crafts at 2am! 

I’m off to do some more pinning……

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