Pinterest Basics


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Introduction to Pinterest

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  • How often have you been looking online and stumble across a craft idea that would be perfect for autumn—which might be 6 months away. Maybe you printed out instructions or saved a link in a file to remember later. Pinterest will allow you to create a ‘pin’ of that website and store it on your pinterest page. You might make a craft ‘board’ and save your craft ideas there. Essentially, it is a way for you to organize the things you find on the internet. Although, there are also ways to use it to create content to help promote your library services. We’ll get into that in a bit.
  • For personal use, many people organize recipes, home design ideas, wedding planning ideas, book suggestions, funny/inspiring quotations, crafts. The key here is ‘ideas.’ Many people use Pinterest as a way to store ideas for projects they would like to remember in the future.
  • Ok, let’s get right to it. I’ll discuss crafting policies, pros/cons of a pinterest page after we’ve explored what Pinterest is. One thing to keep in mind is that much like Facebook, Pinterest allows you to follow people and have people follow your boards. For example, we follow several other libraries and local institutions like the Childrens Museum. We’re going to go quickly go through the process of signing up for an account. Until recently, Pinterest required an invite to join the site. At this point, anyone can sign up using their Facebook, Twitter or email account. Please keep in mind when you set this up that it is unwise to have just one person have access to the page. If that person leaves unexpectedly, you might be unable to alter an account that is tied to your organization. It is best to use a password that is used departmentally. If possible, you might want to have your IT department create an email account that is accessible to the entire department, or one that is used specifically for your social media.
  • We’re going to create a pinterest page just to give you a quick overview of the process. On Pinterest, there are two names you need to be aware of: your username and your account name. Your username is the name that will be used in the URL of your Pinterest page (, but will not be the name that is displayed on your profile. If possible, make this easy to remember. For Generic Public Library, you could do name that will be displayed on your Pinterest page (and will be the name that people use to search for you on Pinterest) is your account name. So if you’re setting up a page for your library or school, Pinterest will still ask for your “First Name” and “Last Name.” What you will need to do is fill in those fields as if your business’ name was your name. (For example, Generic Public Library would fill in the account name as First Name: Generic, Last Name: Public Library.) For our Youth Services Page, we have First name: Hamilton East Public Library; Last Name: Youth Services.” You will also get to choose your Profile picture. Choose a picture that will work well on Pinterest. Let me clarify by saying your profile picture does not need to be a work of art. But you do want it to be something that catches people’s attention, clearly demonstrates who you are, and stands out in the visual realm that is Pinterest. For businesses, company logos with solid colors tend to stand out better on Pinterest’s all-white background. (Keep in mind that the dimensions of your Profile picture are 160×160 pixels—photos smaller than that will look stretched.)
  • Now you will choose four photos to give Pinterest an idea of the types of things you might be interested in. Based on these, you will automatically start following certain Pinners. Don’t worry, you won’t have to follow these pinners forever.
  • You can add more information to your profile to give other pinners a sense of your organization.
  • The ‘About’ section is a good place to put your mission and general library information. For location, you can be specific with city, state. We have two branches in two different towns. For this reason, we limited our location information to Indiana. Under search privacy, I would recommend leaving it off for your organization’s Pinterest page. This will allow your pinterest page to appear in search engine results. For example, a google search for ‘youth services pinterest’ will return the HEPL-YS pinterest page in the results. If you want to be able to log in with a Facebook or Twitter account, turn the Social Networks to on.
  • When you log into your pinterest account, you will see the recent pins that your ‘friends/pinners you follow’ have pinned. This is the basic landing page you will see when you log in, this is the reason you will want to unfollow the people Pinterest suggested if they aren’t really what you are interested in. Otherwise, your landing page will be littered with fashion suggestions, travel photos, cheesecake recipes etc. This might be appealing for your personal page, but it can really take a lot of time to sort through for your library page in order to see pins that you might actually be interested in. Hint, if you ever maneuver away from your landing page, just click the pinterest logo at the top to return to it. Now that you see all of the things that are showing up for the PinnersPinterest assigned to you, let’s look at them and see if we really want to keep following them.
  • Regarding the pinners you don’t want, I’m going to show you how to unfollow these people. To ‘unfollow’ the peoplePinterest automatically signed you up to follow, click on your name in the top right hand corner. This will take you to your page.
  • Click on the link of the people you are following, not your followers.
  • Simply click the unfollow button for any pinner you don’t wish to continue following. The box and Unfollow text will be very faint, don’t let this throw you! When I first saw it, I thought this meant it wasn’t an option available to me to click. When you first sign up, it is very likely you will want to unfollow most, if not all of the pinnersPinterest preselected for you. You can choose to follow specific boards for a pinner instead of everything they post, but we will get to that in a minute.
  • Now that we’ve gotten rid of all of the people we don’t’ want to follow, it’s time to find some Pinners we would like to follow. (Go through pins, boards and pinners to show examples of what you can follow. Search for library) You can see there are three options: pins, boards, pinners. I would suggest starting with pinners that you might want to follow all of their boards. When you follow a ‘pinner,’ their pins will show up in your feed. This is the default landing page you will see when you log into pinterest. You will see the things the people/institutions that you follow have pinned. You can also follow specific boards. You might not want to follow all of John Doe’s pins, but maybe he has a really wonderful craft board that you would like to keep tabs onIt is really helpful to explore pinterest pages for similar entities, in this case libraries or schools. Check out their boards, see what they are pinning. Take notes, do you like their board titles? Borrow from the best!
  • Choose Add and then Create a board
  • You will need to name your board, select a category, choose whether you want it to be secret and decide who can pin. If you want other people to be able to pin, you can add them individually. For example, if you do a What Are You Reading Board, you can add each of your followers. Or for a ‘What The Librarians Are Reading’ board, you could add your librarians.
  • This is the easiest and fastest way to populate a board. For this, you hover over something you would like to re-pin and then click the re-pin button. You will then have to assign it to a board and add a description. Use keywords in your description. This will help others find your pins in your description. But try to avoid making it too wordy, this clutters Pinterest and is a pet peeve of many pinners. But keep in mind that pins should lead to a webpage with the information you are pinning. To check out the original source of a pin, simply click on the image.
  • When you re-pin, the original description will appear. I would edit this one to include the title and author as well as it’s book awards and the year it won.
  • If you click on a pin you want to check out before re-pinning, you will see this screen. fTo go to the site, click on the image again. Pinterest is notorious for having broken links attached to pins. This is really frustrating for users. I recommend checking to make sure the link is still working before re-pinning anything.
  • You can upload images and create a link or you can pin things you find on the Internet instead of just re-pinning content you find on Pinterest. For example, I wanted to pin the Teacher Tube website, which is similar to youtube but geared towards educators and I wanted to pin this information about Google tips and tricks. These are websites I knew about or came across on the internet and wanted to pin. They were not websites I found on pinterest. There is a ‘pin it’ shortcut you can add to your toolbar that will make it easy to pin images as you browse the internet.
  • If you click your add button, you can choose ‘add a pin’, Then you will type in a website address. Pinterest will search for images you can pin. If your library has a blog, this is a great way to add original content of what you are doing at your library as well as promoting your organization.
  • You can select from the images Pinterest finds on the website. You will choose the category and add description.
  • You can also upload a pin. This is useful for a couple of things. For example, we uploaded images from some of our programs as well as examples of crafts we would make at a program. Click your add button and select upload a pin. Choose the image file you want to upload. To add a link to it, choose edit.
  • For this link, we linked back to our program sign-up page. You can edit any of your pins at any point simply by hovering over the image and selecting edit. I am partial to original content. This shows what your library is doing! If you have an upcoming program, you can promote it via Pinterest.SHOW MIKE MULLIN VISIT PIN IN LIBRARY PROGRAMS Is an author visiting? Pin an image of his/her book or the author and include brief details about the visit. You can also link to your program sign-up pages. SHOW LIBRARY INFORMATION Promote a survey your library is doingSHOW DREAM BIG, READ board Promote your SRP program. Include specific programs you’re doing and other pins that fit the theme. SHOW NEWBERY BOARD But my absolute favorite way for libraries to use Pinterest is to create visual bibliographies. I pinned all of the Newbery books. I included a brief summary and the year it won. I LOVE how appealing this looks. This is visually incredibly appealing. The best part? I can link it back to our catalog. If your catalog doesn’t include images, you can upload your own image and link it to your catalog that way. I did have to work with our IT person to get the right link figure out. You might also have to do that, so be nice to your IT person. 
  • Make sure Point out that you can add a pinterest tab to your facebook pageAnswering these questions can help you write your pinterest policy
  • Please don’t freak out. There was a huge hub-bub early this year that all pinterest content was in violation of copyright terms. A "nopin" HTML meta tag was released by Pinterest on 20 February 2012 to allow websites to opt out of their images being pinned. On 24 February 2012, Flickr implemented the code to allow users to opt out their photos.[52]Pinterest released a statement in March 2012 saying it believed it was protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions.[53] No major copyright lawsuits have emerged as of March 2012.[42]In early May 2012, the site added automatic attribution of authors on images originating from Flickr, Behance, YouTube and Vimeo. Automatic attribution was also added for Pins from sites mirroring content on Flickr. At the same time Flickr added a Pin shortcut to its share option menu to users who have not opted out of sharing their images.[54]A Scientific American article criticized Pinterest's self-imposed ownership of user content stating that "Pinterest's terms of service have been garnering a lot of criticism for stating in no uncertain terms that anything you "pin" to their site belongs to them. Completely. Wholly. Forever and for always".Pinterest's Terms of Service stated:"By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services".[55]Under the terms all personal, creative and intellectual property posted to the site belonged to the website and could be sold.The fact that the content could be sold particularly unsettled another Scientific American blogger who said, "Problematically in the same paragraph, Pinterest states: 'Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content'. So which is it? Do they claim ownership to the content or not? And what are they planning to sell, anyway?"[56]In March 2012, Pinterest unveiled updated terms of service that ended the site's claims of ownership once implemented in April. "Selling content was never our intention", said the company in a blog post.[16][17]
  • Pinterest Basics

    1. 1. Basics
    2. 2. Melissa M. DragooYouth Services LibrarianHamilton East Public
    3. 3. What is Pinterest?Pinterest is an electronic pinboard. It is awebsite that allows you to store andorganize interesting/useful things you findon the web. You can also see what otherpeople are pinning and re-pin the thingsthat they find.
    4. 4. The Mission of PinterestOur goal is to connect everyone in the worldthrough the things they find interesting.We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipecan reveal a common link between twopeople. With millions of new pins addedevery week, Pinterest is connecting peopleall over the world based on shared tastesand interests.
    5. 5. How Do People Use Pinterest?
    6. 6. Ready, Set, Go!
    7. 7. Getting StartedChoosing your Username and Account Name•User name will be in your URL•Account Name will be displayed on yourPinterest PageExample: Generic Public LibraryUser Name: Name:First Name: Generic; Last Name: PublicLibrary
    8. 8. Your Profile
    9. 9. Ok…now what?
    10. 10. Searching• In the top left hand corner, type your search terms into the box• Choose Pins, Boards, Pinners• You can choose to follow Pinners, Boards or re-pin specific pins
    11. 11. Creating a Board
    12. 12. Re-pinning
    13. 13. Original Pins
    14. 14. Things to Consider• Come up with a list of priorities for the board. Do you want to start small and focus on highlighting your collection? Promote your programs? If you clearly delineate your goals, it will give your pinning focus. (Re-visit this periodically and update as needed)• Keep it fresh! Create a goal for the number of pins you would like to add per week• Who will maintain your page? Will it be one person responsible or a team? Keep in mind that if someone isn’t assigned responsibility for the page, it can easily fall by the wayside• Will you allow non-staff to pin to certain boards? Who will be in charge of monitoring these boards?• Promote your Pinterest page on your website, blogs, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc.• Will your board be library wide? Branch specific? Divided by population served?• Consider adding Pinterest specific policies to your Social Media policy
    15. 15. Copyright Issues• There is concern of copyright infringement by re-pinning others work• Avoid this by writing original comments/descriptions when you re-pin• Uploading original content is also a safe bet• The burden is on the infringed party to notify you to remove an item
    16. 16. Useful Articles
    17. 17. Library Pinterest Pages of Note