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

Posting a Pinterest Board on Facebook

Posting a Pinterest Board on Facebook (3)

It’s easy to post a Pinterest board on Facebook, and it doesn’t matter if it’s your own board or someone else’s (as long as it’s public.)

Just copy and paste the URL for the board into Facebook’s post box.

It will look like this:

Posting a Pinterest Board on Facebook (1)

Not bad! We can declutter things a bit by removing the link and adding our own message. The title and description of the Pinterest board should import perfectly, but we may want to select from a choice of thumbnail images. (In this case, I liked the default.)

Now our post looks like this:

Posting a Pinterest Board on Facebook (2)

Just click Post, and you’re all set! The finished post should look like this:

Posting a Pinterest Board on Facebook (3)

Posting a NextReads Newsletter on Your Facebook Page

NOBLE subscribes to the NextReads newsletter service, and users can subscribe to receive booklists on a variety of topics by e-mail or read them through our NextReads archive. You can also post these on your library Facebook page, which will put them in the newsfeed for people who like your page, where people can take a look at ones they are interested in without the commitment of a subscription.

To link to these, go to the current issue of the newsletter from the archive, copy the URL, and paste it into the post box on your library page.

Your new post will look like this:

Posting a NextReads Newsletter to Facebook (1)

That doesn’t look very good, but we can improve it by removing the URL, replacing the URL that displays as the title with the actual title of the newsletter, and adding a description. We could also add a message, but I think the title and description are enough for this one, so I’m not going to.

(For more information on editing Facebook links, see Adding a Link to Your Facebook Page)

Now our post looks like this:

Posting a NextReads Newsletter to Facebook (2)

Click Post to make this public.

Here’s our finished post:

Posting a NextReads Newsletter to Facebook (3)


  • 2013 NextReads Newsletter Calendar [PDF] — This is the official publication schedule for the NextReads newsletters
  • Be sure to copy the URL from our NextReads archive. Don’t subscribe and then use the HTML link in the newsletter footer — it has your e-mail address embedded in it.

Posting a Catalog Search Link on Your Facebook Page

Sometimes it’s handy to be able to post a catalog search link to your library page. Clicking on the link will take people directly to current search results in the catalog. In NOBLE’s Evergreen catalog, you can perform any sort of search, including advanced searches with limiters, and just copy and paste the URL from the search results page as a persistent link. It’s worth taking time to work out a perfect search, including limiters and the best scope for your purposes. (In this case, I am using a subject search on Heart Diseases Diet Therapy, limited to Books and English, sorted by Date with the newest first, and with the “More Details” view of the Search Results screen.)

Once you have the right link, you have the same options as when you post any other type of link. (See Adding a Link to Your Facebook Page for details.)

Here’s what the post looks like when you copy and paste in the link:

Adding a Catalog Search to Facebook (1)
As you can see, it’s displaying the whole long complicated URL, the title is OK, and there’s no description. I replaced the URL with a message, modified the title, added a description and chose a different cover image.

Now my post looks like this:

Adding a Catalog Search to Facebook (2)

Looks much better! Click Post.

Here’s what it looks like in the Timeline on our page:

Adding a Catalog Search to Facebook (3)

Note: This example uses NOBLE’s Evergreen Catalog as an example, but the same thing should work with any catalog as long as it produces persistent search links.

Posting an OverDrive Book on Your Library’s Facebook Page

It’s very easy to post a link to an OverDrive book to your library’s Facebook page. This is an especially good thing to do with the Always Available titles that never have holds!

Just go to the title in our OverDrive collection, and click on the Facebook share link:

Posting an OverDrive Title on Facebook (1)

This will set up a post for you. Next to the word Share and the little flag, there’s a dropdown that lets you decide whether to post to your personal timeline or your library page or any other pages that you maintain using your personal account. Set this to post to you library page. Then add a message if you like. You could also edit the title or description if you needed to, but with OverDrive titles you generally don’t.

(This is confusing because at one time these Share buttons on other sites could only be used to post to a personal profile, and not a Facebook page.)

Click Post.

Posting an OverDrive Title on Facebook (2)

Here’s what the finished post will look like on your Facebook page:

Posting an OverDrive Title on Facebook (3)

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