Pinterest in the Library and Classroom

Recently, I joined the Pinterest bandwagon. For months, people would tweet or post on Facebook about “pinning” during work when they should have done something more productive. I never understood the fascination about this social network. It would be one more account to keep track of and update every so often.

Not even knowing why, I joined. Once that sign-up button was clicked, it was impossible to stop pinning. It’s a place to gather things that interest me, and these include anything from books to coffee to shoes to Web 2.0 technologies. The boards provide a nice, organized space to pin images. It’s fun to search for new things to pin on my boards, and I’m constantly getting new ideas for books to read, recipes to try or technologies to investigate for my future library classroom.

Then, I thought how could Pinterest be used in school libraries? Would this even be a good tool to use to engage students and inform them about library events?

The answer is yes. Students flock to anything digital, and most have access to a computer or mobile device. Pinterest could also enhance the learning experience for visual learners. Students can learn how to organize information in a digital format, and create titles for boards. Teacher-librarians could use Pinterest to promote library events, showcase author visits or new book titles.

Here is a breakdown how Pinterest could be used in collaboration with a teacher, and for the library:

In The Classroom

Pinterest would work well with science and social-studies classes. Students could use Pinterest as a virtual pin-poster for a final project, or search and find images from a time period in history to show peers and teachers.  In science classes, students could pin images of different rock formations, animals or plants, etc.

The site would also work well for college planning. Students could pin images from colleges they want to attend or are accepted to. They could pin virtual tours, photos of the campus and famous alumni.

Finally, Pinterest could be used to keep students updated with current events, specifically the 2012 Presidential election.

For The Library

  • Create a board for the new release of a new book or movie. Include images of the book and author. Pin items that represent the book or movie
  • Design a board that celebrates National Poetry Month or Banned Book Week
  • Pin books from a summer reading list or new books in the collection
  • Post pictures of what the library looks like or events that occur there
  • Design a board that showcases resources for students nearing graduation to use (infographics, images of local colleges, SAT prep, FAFSA, internship info)
  • Link to interesting or neat websites or technologies that students can access
  • Pin the latest and most popular apps for mobile devices for students (both educational and recreational)
  • Upload book trailers from book talks or videos created by students