Author Archives: Elizabeth Thomsen

Embed a Tweet on Your Blog or Website

It’s easy to share a tweet on your library blog or website. You might want to do this if you’re writing about Twitter itself, or if there’s a tweet on your library’s Twitter account that you want to share. Or you might see a tweet on someone else’s account that you want to share. You can just quote the words, of course. You can just quote the words, but it’s easy and effective to embed the tweet directly in a post or page. This presents it in the Twitter context, with all the metadata including date, time and location information, with all links active, including Favorite, Retweet and Reply.

Here are two examples, taken from my personal Twitter account, the first just a plain tweet without an image, and the second with an image:

You’ll find the Embed option under More on the Twitter website: just copy and paste the code and added it to post or page. If you’re using WordPress, it’s even easier. First, find the URL for the individual post by clicking on the date/time stamp for the post. (For new posts, it will give a number of minutes or hours since it was posed, for example, 30m or 2h, otherwise it will have a date, like 18 Aug. Copy the link location or follow the link to get the URL, which will look like this:

Paste it on a new line in a post or page, save the draft and click Preview to see how it looks.

This is a useful WordPress feature, something that formerly required the use of a plugin. But there are times when you want to show the URL for a tweet without having it embedded in the post, as I did above. Just make the URL bold or enclose it in the <code></code> tag to turn off the embedding.

Spring Library Photographs

Swampscott Public LibraryIt’s spring! Birds are singing, trees are blossoming and flowers are blooming. It’s a good time to take the camera outside and take some pictures of your library in all its spring loveliness to put on your library’s website or post on Flickr or Facebook.

Sometimes we’re so focused on taking pictures inside the library, showing our services, displays and programs that we don’t think about stepping outside to take pictures of the library building and grounds. But these outdoor shots show the library as members of our community experience the library every day as they walk by, drive by or come for a visit. And if your photographs showcase trees and plants, be sure to identify them in your title or description — consider it preventative reference!

Peabody Institute Library of DanversThese seasonal pictures are also nice additions to Flickr groups. Many libraries add their pictures to library groups, like Libraries and Librarians. That’s great, but pictures there will mostly be seen by other librarians. Consider also posting them in regional and local groups, like Boston and Surrounding ‘Burbs or North Shore, Massachusetts. There are also groups for many individual cities and towns — do a Group Search to see what’s out there. Adding your library photos to these groups helps them be seen by members of your own community — just another way to remind them we’re here! And of course you’ll want to feature these pictures on your library website, Facebook page, Pinterest boards, and anywhere else you can think of it.

Just get out there and take those pictures while the trees are still blooming!

[Sightly updated and reposted from 2009]

WordPress Plugin: Enable Media Replace

This simple WordPress plugin created by Måns Jonasson is useful for almost anyone who maintains a WordPress site of any size, but it’s especially useful if you maintain documentation of any kind and have a frequent need to update screenshots. It does exactly what the name implies — it makes it easy for you to replace one image file (or any other type of file) with another. No more uploading a new file and deleting the old one, or confusion over versions or file names.

Once you install and activate this plugin, you’ll find a new button labelled Replace Media at the bottom of the Edit Media page. Click this and browse and select a file from your computer. You then have two choices — you can either retain the original file name (renaming the file you’re uploading if necessary) or you can replace the file and use the new file name, changing all existing links to the old file to point to the new one. For the first option, you need to be uploading a file of the same type, but for the second option you can replace your original file with one of a different file type, like a gif with a jpg or a Word document with a PDF. Nothing fancy, but a great timesaver!

Enable Media Replace — Read more or download this popular plugin here

[Enable Media Replace Screenshot]

Enable Media Replace Screenshot

Pinterest Pins and the Library Catalog

It’s very easy to pin a record from the library catalog to one of your boards.

I’m going to assume that you have already added the Pin It button to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. If not, you’ll find more information on that on the Pinterest Goodie page.

Step One:
Go to the full record page in the library catalog, and click on the Pin It button.

Pin It Button

Step Two:
Pinterest will give you a choice of which image you want to choose, the logo or the cover image. Click on the cover image.


Step Three:
Choose one of your boards or use the option to Create New Board at the bottom of the dropdown list. Edit the description for your pin if you’d like. (In this case, I would probably just remove the word “Catalog.”

Adding a Catalog Pin

Step Four:
Click Pin It, and you should see the Success message, with option to see your pin, tweet it or post on Facebook.

Pin Success

Pinterest Catalog Tips

  • Pin Description:
    What do you want to include in the Pin description — just the title and author or a summary or recommendation? It’s totally up to you, and it may depend on the nature of the board. For example, a board that’s called “Picture Books about Butterflies” may not need summaries, but for a board called “Staff Favorites” you may want to add more information, like who selected it and why. When I first started pinning books from the catalog, I added the summaries from the catalog to the description because I thought that made it a better booklist, but I stopped doing that routinely because I just felt it made the board look to cluttered. Also, speed was an issue — the more time I spent editing each pin, the more time it takes.

    You may want to leave the description blank, and assume that the cover images themselves display the titles in an attractive, graphic way. One problem with this is that for some cover images, the title isn’t clear on a thumbnail image. Also, having the title and author on the page makes it easy to find a particular book on the page, using the browser option to find text on the page. I use this all the time when I want to add more images to an existing board, and can’t remember if I have already added a particular book. Doing the Find command and a quick search is easier for me than trying to spot the matching cover image in a sea of red and pink hearts on the Valentine’s Day board!

    If you highlight text on the page before you click the Pin It button, that’s the text that will appear in the description.

  • Multiple Editions:
    What if there are multiple editions of the book in the catalog, and you want to link to all of them, not just a single title record? I select the record with the best cover image, and Pin that as usual. Then I choose Edit for that pin (the edit option appear when you hover over the pin) and replace the URL with the URL to an author/title search (limited in any way that’s appropriate.)

    For an example, see this pin: Katy and the Big Snow.

    You can use this same technique to create other search links. For example, you could have a board called Explorers and pins for Columbus, Magellan, etc., with each being a catalog search link displaying a single cover image but linking to multiple titles.

  • Larger Cover Images
    You can get larger cover images for your pins with a little extra effort. Instead of pinning directly from the full record page of the catalog, click on the cover image to display a larger image (if available.) Use the Pin It button to pin that image. You’ll need to immediately edit the pin to fix the URL to link to the permalink for the record (which you’ll find on the bottom of the page) and to add the title and author (if desired.)

    Here’s the difference in image size for a typical book:


  • No Image, No Pin
    If there’s no image, there’s no way to add a pin using the Pin It button. You’ll need to find an image from another source, or create your own. (You could make your own READ style photos of someone holding up the open book!) Once you have the image on your computer, go to the Add+ menu, choose Upload a Pin. Browse and select your image. You then have the option to select a board, add a description and save your pin. You’ll need to edit your new pin to add the URL to a the catalog link to the individual catalog record or an appropriate search.

Note: These examples use NOBLE’s Evergreen catalog, but should work with most other library catalog systems.

Pinterest Widgets

You can add a visual link to either your library’s Pinterest account or to one of your boards using the Pinterest Widget Builder. You just enter the URL for your profile or a board, and get back a line of HTML to add to your page.

You also need to add a line of Javascript to the bottom the page (just once, even if you have multiple widgets on the page.) If you are using WordPress or another content management system, you can probably just add the code to the footer template of your site theme and you’ll be able to add Pinterest widgets on any page.

Examples of the profile and board widgets are below. This is sort of a dynamic screenshot, so if you add new pins, they will appear on the widget. Clicking on these takes you to your library’s board or boards — unfortunately, you can’t click on a specific pin. These examples are using the defaults, but if you choose Advanced Settings, you can specify the size for your widget.

(The Pinterest Widget Builder is found under the information on Pinterest’s Business Accounts, although it’s not clear whether it’s meant to be limited to business accounts.)

Board Widget Example