GREENVILLE — To embrace the new craze, the Greenville Public Library recently hosted a Pokemon Go safari and bonfire that allowed attendees to check in at local Pokemon Go Stops throughout downtown while also learning about the historic significance of certain Greenville landmarks.
“We’re always trying to keep the youth engaged with the library and this seemed like a really cool way to latch onto something that has a lot of hype around it right now and utilize it to bring the youth into the library,” said Reuben Kennett, Greenville Public Library IT and young adult specialist. “A lot of what we do is just centered around awareness that we’re here and once people are in the door we can focus on what services we provide specifically.”
Kennett, who also plays Pokemon Go, said Pokemon Go allows players to use their mobile device’s GPS to locate, capture and battle Pokemon virtual characters who appear on the screen in the same location as the player.
Players can also collect gems, or other Pokemon items, if they’re within so many feet of certain buildings or landmarks, which are called Pokemon Go stops.
Kennett said he wanted the safari to focus on where to find Pokemon Go Stops around downtown for people who may not be familiar with the area, providing them a chance to learn about Greenville.
Learning about the area is what prompted Tammy Watts and her son, AJ, to participate in the safari.
“I find it cool just to walk around and see different things I might not have looked at before,” she said. “It points out little historical markers, even murals. Just little things that might have been overlooked before. It really draws your attention to it because they put the Poke Stops there so I’ve actually learned a lot by playing it. I was glad to see this event listed. I think it’s a great way to get people together. I’ve had a lot of positive interactions with other players that we run in to. I think it can actually be useful when it’s played with some common sense.”
From California, Watts said she started playing Pokemon Go because of her children, making it something to do as a family.
“I actually learned a lot playing around the Poke stops and looking for items and I also love getting the Beetles and the Rattata and the big yellow rhino,” AJ said. “I’ve never caught Pikachu but I want to catch one. I just love it, it’s fantastic.”
The safari stopped at several places along or on Broadway Street including the library, the Darke County Law Library, Annie Oakley Memorial Plaza, the Darke County Municipal Court building and KitchenAid.
Kennett said he hoped that the event would provide those participating, especially the young adults, with a larger interest in the library and learning what it had to offer.
“We’ve really broadened out from the books,” he said. “We’re carrying eBooks, music, movies, video games even as well as providing Internet access. We have these services that we feel the youth would be interested in if we can get them in the front door, if we can get them engaged and keep them returning to the library.”
For more information about the Greenville Public Library, call 937-548-3915.
This writer may be reached at 937-548-3151. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.