June 18, 2018

Use Pinterest to Promote Your Programs And Services

Have you been invited to “check out my stuff on Pinterest” yet? It’s a social media tool based on recommendations and works like a virtual pinboard. You can aggregate a ton of visuals to tell your story  and users browse your pinboard. (Just today I was saying that libraries need to redefine the word “browsing “.) Lots of libraries are exploring how to use Pinterest to promote their work.

 Mashable is a great source of information on Pinterest to get you going, including this beginner’s guide and list of top brands using e.  Pinterest is growing at a rate that’s outpacing Google+….I think because it is so visually rich and a lot more fun than Google+.

At Columbus Metropolitan Library we’re using Pinterest to pin book covers in order to showcase our collection. We’re also use it to showcase historic photographs (especially since Columbus is now celebrating our bicentennial.) Pinterest works great to give visibility to our gallery shows and a host of other things.  Here’s a snapshot at how we’re pinning books:


 Some libraries on Pinterest include:

  • NYPL
  • Westerville
  • Muncie Public Library
  • Awesome Library, Kitsap, WA
  • Fullerton Public Library
  • Northeast Kansas Library System
  • Clermont County Public Library
  • Omaha Public Library
  • BookExpo and NoveList are also on there.

So check it out. Once you get the hang of it you’ll love how it can visualize so much of what you have to offer the public!








Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.



  1. Has anyone figured out yet how to establish a pinterest account separate from a personal one? I have my own account but want to establish one for my library that is totally separate. Any ideas? We have lots of ideas for using pinterest at my library but haven’t gotten past this stumbling block.

    • Megan Dempsey says:

      We have a generic email account for our Ask-A-Librarian service. I sent a request to that email from my personal pintrest and then used that email account to set up the library’s Pintrest. Oh, we have a library Facebook page, and at this point in time it looks like you have to be on Facebook to set up a Pintrest account, so I used our library’s Facebook info as well.

  2. Megan Dempsey says:

    I should have mentioned you can find ours at http://pinterest.com/rvcclibrary/. It’s still in its infancy. :)

  3. We have a generic gmail address for the branch, which I used to set-up our pinterest account (http://pinterest.com/qlsteinway/). Queens Library also has one for the whole system (http://pinterest.com/queenslibrary/).

  4. Catherine Savage says:

    We started a Pinterest account (http://pinterest.com/VernonLibrary) a while ago even though we weren’t quite sure how we’d use it. Now that we are digging in and getting hooked, the ideas are coming fast and furious. It has been gratifying to see many of our materials re-pinned and commented upon, though it’s not necessarily our patrons who are participating. Still — if the tide comes in, all the boats rise, right? Seems like a good enough reason to play along, and just one more way to connect the public with library resources. I’m all for it.

    • Catherine Savage says:

      Oops, I forgot…. wrong URL… http://pinterest.com/vapld … our usual nickname, VernonLibrary, was already taken… yet another good reason to go secure an account even if you’re not yet sure how you’ll use it.

  5. Do any of you using Pinterest currently use Syndetic Solutions for your enhanced catalog content? Any problems or conflicts that you’ve encountered there? At Madison (WI), we’ve asked for an invitation but haven’t yet gotten started and had a chance to test it ourselves.

  6. We’ve tried to use Pinterest to showcase our new book titles. The problem, not being able to permalink into the catalog. It would be very nice if we could link to the title in the catalog so patrons could easily place a reservation. IT is working on it but is stymied by the system we are using and the system we are switching to is even worse.

  7. Information Waitress says:

    I created a new books page for my library and one viewer made an interesting, and disturbing comment. She said, did you think about the fact that you are violating copyright. That those cover images belong to the publisher and you really shouldn’t use them without permissions. Has this thought entered anyone else’s consciousness and what do you think about it?