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Sacramento, Calif., Library Checks Out Pinterest

Libraries, zoos and other public-sector agencies use Pinterest to engage with the public.

Adding to the collection of public agencies on Pinterest, public libraries are becoming more present on the popular, virtual bulletin board website.

Government agencies such as police departments have already begun to utilize Pinterest as a method to reach out to the public. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Pinterest page displays photos of the some of the facility's animals. Libraries use the site to engage the community on library programs and to display images that would interest patrons.

For Jennifer Hall, the teen/adult librarian at the Sacramento, Calif., Public Library, creating a Pinterest page made sense. She’d already started using the website for personal use and decided it’d be a useful medium for reaching library patrons.

“We use it not only as a way to make boards of ideas for programs and crafts, but also to engage people with book recommendation lists, and things that are completely unlibrary – fashion ideas, recipes, travel locations,” Hall said.

The library’s Pinterest page was developed more than a year ago, and according to Hall, can be accessed for both library purposes and for interests that may not typically be affiliated with the library. Out of the library’s 40 Pinterest boards, some display photos and information on the library’s various programs, while other boards display street art, fashion and other interests.

By using Pinterest to cross-promote initiatives such as Alt+Library – a program geared toward engaging adults in their 20s and 30s – and posting other announcements on Pinterest, the library’s Facebook page and other forms of social media, Hall said the library can reach members of the public that might not otherwise interact with the library.