Monday, March 26, 2012

Live, on Pinterest

I started using Pinterest for the IRC about six weeks ago. While the login invitation never arrived from Pinterest, friends - and a couple of very nice people DM'd me on Twitter - took care of the necessities.  From that point, I 'invited' the IRC to join. After creating my account, it was a simple matter to start 'pinning' resources for the IRC. I announced our Pinterest page on the IRC Twitter account, the IRC Blog (and here), and requested a Pinterest icon added to the IRC web site.  Interest in individual pins and boards was immediate; other users liked pins, followed boards, and I started exploring boards for the IRC to follow; Scholastic and CBC Books were two of my first Pinterest follows.

One of the most prevalent uses of Pinterest with libraries is the ability to create virtual bulletin boards for books. Any books ... new books, children's books, topical book lists ... all visually interesting with book covers and catalog links. I had immediate issues pinning book covers from our library catalog; the images are not large enough for the 'Pin It' bookmarklet to recognize. Like many users, I linked to a retail site for images. Completing the pin, I customized my entry with a persistent catalog link for users in the Pin description adjacent to the book title, call number and location.

And, I started to wonder.

There has been considerable discussion on blogs and Twitter about Pinterest. Users questioned the terms of use, the potential for copyright violation, and a need for updated terms of service.  Several prominent users quickly deleted their Pinterest accounts.

I hesitated to upload images as their terms seemed to say anything uploaded became their property to sell and monetize.  While I did not particularly care if they used my uploaded QR codes, personal photographs of the IRC were another matter. Before moving forward, I discussed Pinterest with our campus copyright expert and we determined a few internal guidelines to follow.

A lot has happened in the Pinterest-sphere over the two weeks.  

Pinterest has updated it's layout for home pages, included a Facebook "like" buttons on individual boards, and more importantly, updated their terms of service and acceptable use policy.  The University now has a Pinterest account.  Their use of images is brilliant, instead of uploading they are pinning from the University's Flickr photostream. I've re-pinned several library pictures and will be working with them to add IRC photos to Flickr. The number of followers on Pinterest is twice that of Twitter and interest continues to grow.  Last week a student told me one of her peers introduced Pinterest in class and invited everyone to join.

I will not be abandoning the IRC blog or Twitter accounts for Pinterest; but envision Pinterest as another resource supporting collections and garnering interest in the IRC while providing information to users.

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