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Pokéthon

September 16, 2016
Audience
Adult
Children / Family
Young Adult
Budget
$101-250
Advance Planning

As the word "Pokémon" becomes more and more commonplace, libraries are scrambling to make sense of the terminology and the new record-breaking game Pokémon Go. In the game, players use a mobile device's GPS capability to locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. This app is free to download and use on both iPhone and Android devices. 
 

Marketing

The program is mainly marketed through distributed press releases, word of mouth, small fliers, online announcements and use of social media. (View a sample sign under Attachments at right.) Library staff also wore "Ask me about Pokéthon!" buttons with Pokémon characters (view a sample librarian badge under Attachments at right). We also reached out to various Pokémon clubs, online groups and local community groups. Targeting existing groups with specific interest in Pokémon will help encourage event participation.

Budget Details

The budget for this program can be varied due to its flexible nature, ranging from $50 to $500. To purchase Pokémon Go lures, the library will need a device with the Pokémon Go app installed. A debit or credit card can be used to purchase the in-game Pokémon coins, which are then used to purchase the lures. We purchased $50 in lures, which lasted throughout the week with lure drops every 30 minutes.

Day-of-event Activity

This program is designed to have a low impact on the library's daily activities. A minimum of one dedicated event coordinator is recommended to handle the daily crafts, tasks and challenges. Library staff wore Each day users who complete the assigned activities will receive Pokémon Gym badges, which represent the completion of the challenge. Badges are awarded in Pokémon training, with a total of eight different badges needed to complete the series. We created these badges with Pokémon game graphics, printed and made in to buttons. If a participant collects all eight badges, they received a certificate designating them an “Official Pokéthon Master." (View sample badge graphics and a Pokémon master certificate under Attachments at right.)

Our events were held daily from 3 to 7 p.m., with one Pokémon-themed activity each day along with lures dropped every 30 minutes. Our daily events schedule was as follows. (View scavenger hunt guides, Who's that Pokémon graphics, origami instructions, Pokémon  team graphics, coloring pages and more resources under Attachments at right.)

Monday

Pokéthon Scavenger Hunt (Earn 2 Badges)
A scavenger hunt to find Pokémon throughout the library. Participants can earn Boulder Badge #1 and Cascade Badge #2.

Tuesday

Who’s that Pokémon?
Participants play a quiz game entitled Name that Pokémon, or Color that Creature to earn Thunder Badge #3.

Wednesday

Origami Pokémon Challenge
Create an origami Pokémon to earn Rainbow Badge #4.

Thursday

Pokémon Team Showcase
Bring, Draw, or Color Your Pokémon Team fan art to earn Soul Badge #5. Art will be displayed in the library!

Friday

Pokéthon Scavenger Hunt (Earn 2 Badges)
Scavenger hunt to earn Marsh Badge #6 and Volcano Badge #7.

Saturday

Hatch Party
Walk 2 km on the Library Park Path and earn the #8 Earth Badge. 

 

Program Execution

Attendance varied from 28 to 103 per day. Roughly 43 percent of the weekly attendees were adults, and the other 57 percent were children/youth (View images of program participants under Photo Slideshow at right). Feedback, which was collected through surveys and interviews, was positive.

We are working with youth to identify major outcomes and ongoing methods of evaluation. However, we are already seeing mental shifts among participants. Youth and adults alike, who feared they wouldn’t be welcome in the library, or who had previously visited but had never spoken to staff, are now regularly accessing library resources. Our other departments, such as children’s, genealogy, and the Teaching Resource Center, have seen more youth and adults accessing their resources, too. We have seen an increase in adults accessing our Career Resources Center as well.

Advice

Having a staff member who is an active Pokémon Go player can be a great help because they are already familiar with the terminology and concepts of the game.

Participants are more willing to come back for daily events because they feel more comfortable interacting with a fellow player rather than someone who may be unfamiliar with concepts within the game.

Short Title
Pokéthon

Our library has created a Pokémon marathon event, called a Pokéthon, based on the popular Pokémon Go game. 

The Pokéthon implements a combination of aspects from the Pokémon universe, including the original Pokémon game, Pokémon Go for mobile devices, and various tasks, crafts and learning experiences that entertain and also educate the event participant. This program is designed as a six-day, after-school event for ages 4 and up, but can be shortened or lengthened depending on your library’s preferences or availability. Events include challenges, activities and tasks that can be completed to earn Pokémon badges.

The library purchases Pokémon coins and drops Pokémon lures to help people in the area catch new Pokémon creatures. We have also hosted activities such as the Pokéthon Scavenger Hunt, Who’s that Pokémon?, Origami Pokémon Challenge, Pokémon Team Showcase and Hatch Party!

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
  • Pokethon scavenger hunt participants
    Pokethon scavenger hunt
  • Pokethon participant shows off badges
    Pokethon participant shows off badges
  • Pokethon participant shows off badges
    Pokethon participant shows off badges
  • Pokethon participants make origami pikachus
    Pokethon participants make origami pikachus
  • Pokethon signage in the library
    Team Rocket sign
  • Pokemon Team Mystic mascot, hidden in library
    Pokemon Team Mystic mascot, hidden in library
Summary

A Tennessee library created a Pokémon marathon (aka, a "Pokéthon"), offering fun for all ages.