Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
http://www.bplonline.org
Press
Press Release - Detail
PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release Friday, July 15, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams                               
Director of Public Relations                        
Birmingham Public Library                                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                          
E-mail: rlwilliams@bham.lib.al.us                             
 
Libraries in Birmingham, nationwide, opening their venues to Pokémon Go players
 
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—While some venues across the country are shooing away participants of Pokémon Go, the Birmingham Public Library System (BPL) is welcoming patrons 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: 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 Eastwood Branch 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 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 link below on how libraries are partnering with Pokémon Go:
 
http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2016/07/pokemon-go-library-perfect-partnership/
 
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: 
http://galaxybookjockey.tumblr.com/post/147240001718/everything-librarians-need-to-know-about-pokemon
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BPL 
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at www.bplonline.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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