Pokemon Go … to the library!


By Jimmie Epling, Director, Darlington County Library System

You may have noticed in the last couple of weeks some individuals wandering about, like “Walking Dead” zombies, with their eyes glued to a smartphone. Those of you who are pop culture watchers and video gamers know what I’m talking about and that it is not the harbinger of a “Zombie Apocalypse.” It is the latest gaming craze to sweep the country, Pokémon Go! So what has this got to do with the Library? The answer is the Darlington Branch Library has become the site of a Pokémon Go Gym!

Pokemon Go Gym logo

In case you have missed the latest reports or don’t have a gamer in your life, Pokémon Go is a free game that requires players to get off the couch, go outside, and wander the streets and roads to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon. These creatures, such as the Snorlax, appear on your device’s screen as though it is right there before you in the real world. The game uses computer and GPS mapping technology to automatically place a Pokémon creature at a site to be captured. Once you have captured and trained your creatures you need a place for them to compete against another creature. That place is a Pokémon Gym. A Gym is a place trainers can compete and battle for prestige, earn badges, and make their Pokémon bigger, badder, and better. A free and safe public place that all players can get to compete, like a public library, is automatically designated a Gym in the game. This makes sense as the Library’s four locations, Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar, and Society Hill, are the perfect free place for individuals and groups within the community to meet for a variety of reasons!

The Library is the perfect place to drop in to chat with a friend, talk business, be tutored, or play a game. During these hot summer days, the Library is a cool and inviting place to spend some time chatting with a friend about life and the day’s events. We offer students, tutors, and budding entrepreneurs a place to meet with comfortable chairs, tables, free WiFi, and rooms ideal for their needs.

If you and a friend are of a mind to play chess or checkers in a place with a cool and relaxing atmosphere, Darlington Branch will loan you all you need to play.
We invite all Pokémon Go trainers to the “Darlington Branch Gym” to pit their creatures against others or the Hartsville Branch “Pokestop” to get your supplies to capture more creatures.

Libraries are a “Community Commons” where people can meet and interact with others on issues of public interest, personal enlightenment, or just simply in the pursuit of happiness. This even includes being a Pokémon Go gym! So who’s up to taking on a Snorlax?

Author: Duane Childers

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