Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pinterest Addiction

Blog Post #3 Pinterest Addiction

Long ago, in the stone ages of time known as the mid-nineties, I had my first apartment, and in that apartment I had stacks of magazines… stacks and stacks and stacks and stacks of magazines. Martha Stewart, Glamour, Vogue, Elle, Time, Newsweek, Southern Living, Details, Rolling Stone, Cooking Light, and who even knows what else. This was before library school so I had yet to start collecting stacks of copies of old American Libraries and School Library Journal magazines. The sad thing is that a lot of these magazines had moved around with me, packed lovingly in boxes and schlepped from place to place.

Why did I have all those magazines? I would like to think I had a million reasons to keep all of that stuff, but it usually boiled down to one thing – there was something in that particular issue, I had to keep. Whether it was a recipe, a workout routine, an outfit, or an article about a favorite artist, writer, musician, whatever, I had to keep that whole magazine so I could access that one item.

Sometimes I would actually cut something out and save it for later. I did have files devoted to themes like cooking, books, and music. I actually remember assessing whether I should cut something out, or tear the page because I wanted the article on the other side.

I eventually dumped a lot of that stuff when I realized that I just never looked at it. I never used it. It was pointless to have all the magazines because there was no way to access what I needed in a timely manner. It would take me an hour to find the one recipe that I needed, and that was only if I remembered which magazine the recipe actually appeared in.

The same problem happened when I started collecting articles for my comps exam at Catholic University. Two years of grad school made for a lot of reading in professional journals. Now I not only had the actual journals to contend with, but I also had photocopied articles that I needed to be able to weed through to find information that I could use for my final exam. I literally had two milk crates almost full of articles and periodicals that I just might need for the final.

Thankfully, I have rid myself of most of those magazines and photocopied articles and my house is relatively free of clutter. Ahem… well, magazine clutter anyway.

The best part for me, with the evolution of all the tablets and curation tools is that I no longer have to have all of that paper collecting dust and taking up space in my home. I do not have to worry about flipping through twenty magazines for an hour to find that one cookie recipe. Now, there are tons of options for saving items of interest. Tumblr, Instapaper, ScoopIt are all great tools, but my personal favorite tool for curation is Pinterest ( I love Pinterest. Love, love, love it. It’s easy to use, its interface is friendly and inviting, and I can organize my all of my stuff into easy, searchable categories.
If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, here’s the description from their website, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you” (Pinterest, 2013). It is an online pin board, where you can create boards (with labels like “Food, Glorious Food”, “OOTD”, “Library Ideas”, “Printables”, etc.) for things you want to look at or access later. You can either pin things from the main Pinterest site, from your personal main feed page, from the drop down list of suggested popular pins, or you can pin things that you see while trolling around the Internet, by using the “Pin It” button that attaches to the tool bar on your browser. 

I originally started using Pinterest as a way to follow some of my favorite bloggers and keep track of some of their crafty/foodie ideas, but I have come to use it for other things. Sure, I keep track of recipes and fun crafts to do with my son, but I’ve also used it for school. Reading lists, teaching ideas, library displays, persuasive writing prompts, read-alikes, Common Core information, suggested core teacher apps, and countless other education ideas. There are also how-to’s for infographics, Instagram, Evernote, InDesign, and PhotoShop, plus the tons and tons of ideas for lesson planning for all school levels. Of course, there are also all the librarian/literary/bookish jokes and quotes which are fun, too.

Pinterest has become the first place I check when I am looking for ideas for home design, lesson planning, recipes, outfits, crafts, for everything and anything. I find it incredible that one place is such a great tool for collecting ideas, it doesn’t cost anything, and there is always more to see.

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