Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Libraries in Birmingham, Nationwide, Opening Their Venues to Pokemon Go Players

While some venues across the country are shooing away participants of Pokémon Go, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) system is welcoming patron players of the popular virtual game that is sweeping the country.

Several of Birmingham’s 19 libraries have seen patrons come in trying to catch Pokémon while playing the game on their smart phones. Among them is the Eastwood Branch Library, which has found itself to be a PokeStop (location where Pokémon Go players can pick up much needed supplies and collect Pokémon), according to branch manager Brandon Crawford Smith.

Smith said the Eastwood Library, located in a shopping center just off Montevallo Road, has seen both new and regular patrons coming in to play Pokémon Go.

“We had a table full of Pokémon Go players at Eastwood (earlier this week) and an excited gym goer from Planet Fitness popped her head into the branch to ask us whether we knew we were a PokeStop,” Smith said. “I expect a lot of people who frequent our neighboring businesses to pop into the library in order to utilize our location in the virtual world of Pokémon Go and to utilize our power outlets and WiFi in order to keep their phones charged and minimize their data usage.”

Articles in library publications have said that public libraries across the country are taking advantage of the Pokémon Go craze to introduce themselves to a new generation of library patrons, especially young adults and teens. See the following link on how libraries are partnering with Pokémon Go:

For those unfamiliar, Pokémon (short for “pocket monsters”) was originally a video game released in 1995 from Shatoshi Tajiri. Players are “human trainers” who travel a virtual world capturing adorable “Pokémons” using capsules called Pokeballs.

In the Pokémon video games, players catch and train Pokémon and compete in Pokémon gyms, places where they compete for prestige, earn badges, and make their Pokémon bigger, badder, and better.

In Pokémon Go, gyms are attached to free, safe, public places where all players can get access to. But across the country, some venues—such as some national museums and the Arlington National Cemetery, are banning Pokémon Go players.

Libraries, in contrast, are welcoming Pokémon Go players and using the game’s popularity to introduce patrons to their Pokémon books, videos, and other items available to the public. Some libraries have set up Pokémon displays.

The following article shares details on everything you need to know about Pokémon Go:

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