For the past couple years, when tech writers and speakers were referring to Augmented Reality as a future technology to watch for, this probably isn’t what they had in mind. But there’s no denying that Pokemon Go is a phenomenon right now. Even if you don’t play it, it can be worthwhile to be aware of what it is and how your library can work with it.
The game, played with a smartphone, gets players out into the world, catching Pokemon that appear on their phone’s screen as an overlay against images of what’s really in front of you. Players are also visiting PokéStops, places of interest noted in the app, such as landmarks, buildings, or artwork – this is where they can grab extra items to help in catching Pokemon.
As The Buffalo News reported, local businesses and organizations are taking advantage of the craze by publicizing the fact that they are a Pokéstop. This included the Kenilworth Library and the Museum of disABILITY.
You can take advantage of this too. Find out if your library/organization is a Pokéstop by downloading the app and using it to check out your building and property. Pokéstops are indicated by a blue circle with a Pokeball. Or you can check this crowdsourced map linked by The Buffalo News. Then, let your patrons know about it! See more examples from the Olean Public Library, BECPL, and the East Clinton Branch.
Or if you are not a Pokéstop, patrons can still catch Pokémon in your building. The Lee Whedon Memorial Library encouraged patrons to play the game and post pictures of their catches using the #pokewhedon tag, for entry into a contest.
For more tips, check out the ALSC Blog article, Why Pokemon Go and The Library is a perfect partnership.