Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Central Library Hosting Pokémon Go Workshop Saturday, July 23

The Central Library is hosting a free Intro to Pokémon Go workshop Saturday, July 23. The workshop, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Story Castle on the 2nd floor, is an effort by the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) to educate people about the popular mobile game sweeping the country—and to promote safety at the same time.

The workshop is being organized by Jennifer Hancock, a library assistant in the Central Library Youth Department who is an avid player of the game. Since its introduction less than two weeks ago, Pokémon Go has become the most popular app of all time, surpassing the Candy Crush Saga that hit its height of popularity in 2013.

“Starting off with a basic overview of the app itself, we are then going to take a Poke-walk in Linn Park, pick up some Poke-stops, check out a Poke-gym, and hopefully catch some Pokémon in their natural environments,” Hancock said. “We will learn tips and tricks to catching, transferring, training, and evolving our Pokémon in a hands-on approach while also learning how to be a safe trainer.”

Hancock hopes the workshop helps Pokémon Go players in metro Birmingham avoid accidents that have occurred across the country.

“As our world gets caught up in the Poke-craze, we are noticing more and more people walking out into traffic, invading private property, and even driving while hunting Pokémon,” she said. “The worst of it is that none of those things are even effective means to playing the game. As a service to our community, we hope to teach the way the game was meant to be played and support the positive aspects of the game.”

Hancock said the media reports about Pokémon Go players getting hurt or stepping into dangerous situations are detracting from the fun of the game.

“We are out, getting exercise, socializing together, laughing and sharing,” Hancock said. “In the toxic environment our society is becoming, it is refreshing and encouraging to see the community developing around a simple game. We hope to see everybody there at our workshop this Saturday.”

See link below to an article on how libraries are capitalizing on the Pokémon Go craze to introduce themselves to a new generation of patrons, especially young adults and teens, and introducing visitors to Pokémon books, videos, and other items available for the public:

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