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Library PokéNight

August 31, 2016
Audience
Adult
Young Adult
Budget
$1-50
Advance Planning

After seeing an influx of patrons and our own staff members playing "Pokémon Go," our core programming team decided we needed to host a program that revolved around the game. I created two passive activities for our Teen Zone: (1) Pokémon Cubeecrafts (paper toys designed to be constructed without tape or glue; downloads are free, and they print on regular computer paper); and (2) a whiteboard where patrons were invited to draw their favorite Pokémon.

A team of three also collaborated to plan an evening event: our Library PokéNight. Together, we decided to do a walking tour of nearby PokéStops, DIY Pokémon badges and Pokéball cookie decorating. We coerced a VolunTEEN to help plan our walk route and do a dry run. VolunTEENs also assisted in cutting out the artwork for our badges.

Marketing

We advertised the event on our social media pages and used LibraryAware to make in-house fliers. In addition to the social media posts and in-house fliers, a VolunTEEN promoted it on our whiteboard in the Teen Zone (with all the Pokémon drawings). I also wore my example Pokémon badge around town, which led to a lot of word-of-mouth marketing.

Budget Details

Our passive programs were free of cost because we already had all of the necessary supplies on hand (scissors, glue, dry-erase markers, etc.). Additionally, the Cubeecraft templates were available for free from their website. We used the Pokéball and Pikachu templates.

For the evening event, we spent approximately $50 on cookie decorating supplies and beverages. We own a button-maker and still had plenty of pins. I used some free button templates that I found on Pinterest for the artwork, so that activity was also free of cost.

Day-of-event Activity

On the day of the event, we prepared the room where all of the post-walk activities were held. We also divided up all of the icing needed for the Pokéball cookies into individual cups.

For the cookies, you'll need round sugar cookies (un-frosted); mini-marshmallows; and red, black and white icing. (View a decorated Pokéball cookie under Videos and Images at right.)

Program Execution

We met patrons at the fountain outside of our library. A group of about 18 assembled. Since the people who came for the walk were all seasoned "Pokémon Go" players, we didn't need to offer any instructions about how to play the game. After introductions and a brief safety talk, we set off on our walk. During the walk, we paused for two to three minutes at each Pokéstop to allow participants to catch the available Pokémon. The walk took us approximately 30 to 40 minutes, and we traveled 13 blocks. 

Once we circled back to the library, we headed up to a meeting room where we made badges and decorated cookies. I played one of the Pokémon movies for some background entertainment (several are covered by Movie Licensing USA).

Advice

If your library is a PokéStop, drop a lure. We did this, and it helped us pick up additional people who didn’t know about the program. Make sure to have at least three staff members accompany your group on the walk. This helps keep everyone together. Be prepared to make a lot of stops for people to catch Pokémon and remind your group to be courteous to other pedestrians. I would also suggest bringing a travel first aid kit with you. One of our participants had the misfortune of getting stung by a bee during the walk. It helps to be prepared for the unexpected.

I highly recommend dividing the icing for the Pokéball cookies in advance. It keeps the cookie line from getting congested; people can just take supplies back to their seats and get started. As for the badges, you will need a staff member on hand to demonstrate and troubleshoot the machine.

More pictures from this event can be seen on my blog.

Short Title
Library PokéNight

Library PokéNight was an event held to engage "Pokémon Go" players and draw them into the library. Attendees went on a PokéWalk around the downtown area and hit three PokéStops, then returned to the library for button-making, cookie decorating and other passive programs.

We had 18 people show up (not including staff) — a good mix of teens and young adults. The goal was to capitalize on the fact that we are a "Pokémon Go" PokéStop, and it worked!

Program Date
Tue, 2016-08-02
  • Paper Pikachu
    Paper Pikachu
  • Pokéball cookie
    Pokéball cookie
  • Pokémon white board
    Pokémon white board
  • PokéNight event listing
    PokéNight event listing
Summary

Use "Pokémon Go" to engage teen patrons with passive programming and other Pokémon-themed activities.