Pinterest In Action

University of Regina Library

Launched: April 2012

Focus: Library collection

History: Before the University of Regina Library began engaging in outreach through Pinterest, they established an evaluation process as well as a division of labor among the staff. Five staff members would dedicate their time to maintaining the library’s Pinterest account. They promoted their new Pinterst accounts online, in newsletters, and during events and meetings. One of the special features of their Pinterest outreach is a collaborative “What are you Reading?” board where students and staff are encouraged to pin their latest reads. By October 2012 the library had 160 followers, 500 pins, and 40 boards (Hansen, Nowlan, and Winter 3-6).

Status as of May 15, 2014

  • The University of Regina’s Archer Library can be found on Pinterest here.
  • They have grown to 770 followers, 1,173 pins, and 35 boards.
  • Pins are added regularly.
  • Board categories: library resources suggestions, library building, library love, archives and special collections
  • Pinterest Profile is linked to library website and Twitter
  • Description: “What’s happening at the Dr. John Archer Library, the main library at the University of Regina.” followed by address.
  • Link to Pinterest profile supplied on library homepage

Overall, the University of Regina Archer Library has maintained a healthy presence on Pinterest. They consistently pin a variety of content, and boards are well organized into subject areas. Pins of library print resources link to the catalog.

University at Buffalo’s Health Sciences Library

Launched: 2012

Focus: Research guide

History: In 2012, the University at Buffalo’s Health Sciences Library was concerned with the relevance of their Consumer Health Wiki that served as a research guide. Recognizing that most information seeking occurs online and their mode of sharing information was outdated, they decided to migrate their Wiki content to Pinterest. They reorganized the links from the Wiki into boards on Pinterest with working links.(Stellrecht 403-405).

Status as of May 15, 2015

  • The University at Buffalo’s Health Science Library’s Consumer Health Guide for seniors can be found on Pinterest here.
  • They have 70 followers, 11 boards, and 57 pins.
  • The last pin was added one year ago.
  • Board categories: library resource suggestions
  • Pinterest Profile is linked to original research guide, but not the library homepage or social media.
  • Description: “The information found on this page was originally compiled by Deborah Chiarella and can also be found at the following site:”
  • I was unable to find this profile through the library website.

The University at Buffalo’s Health Science Library’s Consumer Health Guide is an example of an unsuccessful Pinterest board. It has been neglected for a year and is not advertised well. Its targeted audience (senior citizens) is a difficult demographic to reach through online methods such as social media.

Central Methodist University

Launched: 2012

Focus: New items in library collection

History: As a small liberal arts college in rural Missouri, Central Methodist University does not have subject librarians. They found that faculty and students wanted to know when new books and materials were available at the library, but without subject librarians there was no easy way to distribute this information. They began using the Pinterest app on the iPhone. As new items were processed as student assistant would take a picture. The picture would be uploaded onto a new books board with commentary and annotation (Dudenhoffer 328-329).

Status as of May 15, 2014

  • Central Methodist University’s “Smiley Library New Books Board” can be accessed  here.
  • They have 111 followers, 1 boards, and 825 pins.
  • Pins continue to be updated. Last pin added 2 weeks ago.
  • Only one board exists, and it features new books.
  • Pinterest board is not linked to library homepage or social media
  • Description: “New acquisitions at Smiley Memorial Library, Central Methodist University”
  • Library homepage does not contain a link to Pinterest board.

Central Methodist University’s new books board, maintained by Cindy Dudenhoffer, has been successful regarding its goals. The Pinterest board showcases new books in the collection with images. A sentence or two in the comments area describes the content of the books. It is updated regularly, but pins are not linked to the catalog. The board could be better advertised.


Murray State University

Launched: November 2012

Focus: Suggested library resources

History: Librarians at Murray State University recognized that most students (off all ages) had some sort of social media presence. Pinterest was a way for them to reach out to their student patrons. Librarians built subject-specific boards, aiming to construct a “digital research library of free, credible resources for our local and distant students.” (Richardson 253).

Status as of May 15, 2014

  • The Murray State Libraries Pinterest account can be accessed  here.
  • They have 188 followers, 48 boards, and 198 pins.
  • They continue to add pins, last pin was 4 weeks ago.
  • Board categories: new books, interesting things, archives, online library resources
  • Pinterest account provide links to library homepage and Twitter
  • Description: “Services and resources in support of the Murray State University community and a virtual library of free online resources for both academic and professional use
  • Library homepage does not contain a link to Pinterest board.

The Murray State Libraries Pinterest account is another example of a success. Their boards are carefully structured and organized. They continue to update their boards and add pins. They even have a board about using Pinterest in libraries. Murray State Libraries has transformed their Pinterest account into a virtual reference service.





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