The odds are pretty good that this past summer you witnessed (or participated in!) the craze of Pokemon Go. The free app took off with incredible popularity, and had people of all ages wandering their communities in search of Pokemon. (Personally, I’ve never played, but while visiting a friend, I heard all about Pokestops, the frustration of running out of Pokeballs, and the excitement of catching a water Pokemon). Luckily, while people were out and about in search of Pokemon, their quest often brought them to their local library!
In this blog post from ALSC, librarian Sarah Bean Thompson does a great job of explaining the logical partnership of libraries with Pokemon Go. The author shares how libraries can use the popularity of the game to get more people to come to the library, especially since so many libraries are already Pokestops. Her library offered a “life size game day” and featured activities like decorating Pokeballs and having players share on wall displays what Pokemons they have caught at the library. Library staff also used that time to promote their summer reading program.
Thompson has written another article that mentions several other libraries that have incorporated programs like “Pokemon Go Safaris” and activities like Pokemon trail walks, all taking place under adult supervision. Within this same article, she describes an additional advantage of the collaboration between Pokemon Go and libraries, which is the opportunity it offers to families to learn about digital citizenship and online safety.