Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Tuesday, July 19, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams                               
Director of Public Relations                        
Birmingham Public Library                                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                          
Birmingham Public Library downtown hosting Pokémon Go workshop this Saturday
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama— The Central Library in downtown Birmingham is hosting a free “Intro to Pokémon Go” workshop this Saturday, July 23. The workshop, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Story Castle on the 2nd floor, 2100 Park Place, 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.
For those unfamiliar, Pokémon (short for “pocket monsters”) was originally a video game released in 1995. Players are “human trainers” who travel a virtual world capturing adorable “Pokémon” 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 and better.
“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.”
In Pokémon Go, gyms are attached to free, safe, public places that all players can get access to. Most BPL locations, including Eastwood Branch Library just off Montevallo Road, have become PokeStops (location where Pokémon Go players can pick up much needed supplies and collect Pokémon). 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:
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at 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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