Pinterest is a social media channel that's best used to collect ideas and inspiration and then store them in easy-to-find collections, or boards. Other social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter, are designed to communicate with followers, whereas Pinterest is more of a resource to followers.

According to Lauren Drittler, assistant director at the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System (Dardanelle, AR), Pinterest is a tool everyone can use, both for personal and business purposes. The key is to look at your organization and find the little niches that can then become your boards. For the library, Drittler uses Pinterest to reflect every component of the organization. She says everyone thinks of a library as just books, but they have much broader programs and services. For example, Drittler has a storytime board so parents who aren't able to attend with their children can recreate something similar at home. For more inspiration on how this looks, see https://www.pinterest.com/ARVRLS.

If you're new to Pinterest, Drittler offers the following advice:

  • Be prepared to fail. You will need to experiment with your boards. Some won't work, but that's okay. Just keep trying.
  • Find someone who likes and understands Pinterest internally (staff or volunteer) and task them with getting your boards up and running.
  • Don't forget that, just like other social channels, you need to constantly update. Consider logging in once every day or every two days to make sure you're staying relevant. But beware of time — social media can be a big time-sucker without parameters.
  • Start small — maybe 10 to 12 boards to start. This will help you see where to put your focus at the beginning, but as you get savvier, your boards will grow and your presence will evolve.
  • To appeal to volunteers, consider creating a board showcasing what you do, how volunteers are involved, how to get involved, how to apply and so on.

Source: Lauren Drittler, Assistant Director, Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System, Dardanelle, AR. Phone (479) 229-4418. E-mail: aquis@centurytel.net. Website: www.arvrls.com