Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas: Pokemon Go
Currently, Pokèmon Go is the trending fad and many libraries are finding their locations to be places where gamers can “find” Pokèmon using the game on their cellphones. Librarians can expand on the popularity of the game at libraries as “Pokè Stops” with some fun, hands on activities. A Pokèmon program can also involve the promotion of your manga graphic novels or Pokèmon books. Libraries can also encourage safe use of the game – in some areas, players have been robbed and even killed while playing the game. It is also important to emphasize appropriate behavior; for example the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery needed to stop people from playing the game on their grounds. For more on encouraging safe play see this helpful article from School Library Journal by Carli Spina entitled “Pokèmon Go: What Do Librarians Need to Know?”
Below are some fun hands-on activities related to Pokèmon that children, tweens, and teens can do in the library. Either offer these as passive programming crafts, with a new one each week, or hold a larger Pokèmon festival with several activities, using teen volunteers. Special thanks to Heather Chaddock of the Westchester (IN) Public Library, Bonnie Ing of the Fairview Public Library in Canada, and Sara VanCleve of the Aurora (CO) Public Library for several of these ideas.
To find other great ideas on Pokèmon Go programming, check out these two posts on the ALSC blog:
And this teen librarian blog: http://galaxybookjockey.tumblr.com/post/147240001718/everything-librarians-need-to-know-about-pokemon .
Scavenger Hunt: Design a Scavenger hunt of the library, with a paper printout of a Pokèmon character at each stop that you want to highlight. For example, see if the students can find the teen magazine area by looking for a specific character that is posted there. There are more ideas here: https://karissamlis.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/pokemon-scavenger-hunt-in-the-library/
Pokeball Mini Basketball: Color ping pong balls with red and black markers to look like Pokeballs. Set up some small baskets on the ground. Have players stand approx. 4-6 feet from baskets, and let them toss 3 Pokeballs at the baskets. Prizes awarded based on how many balls they can get into the baskets.
Pin the Tail on Pikachu: Print out a large yellow Pikachu, the most popular Pokèmon character, and tape to the wall. Or, you could have teen volunteers draw and color a large Pikachu on poster paper. Print out yellow Pikachu tails and cut them out; each player should write their name on their paper tail. Each blindfolded player will try to tape the tail to the Pikachu. The player closest to the tail area wins a prize.
Pokèmon Badges to Print and Color: http://merryprintables.blogspot.ca/2015/09/pokemon-badge-case-printables.html
Pokeball Bookmarks: www.redtedart.com/2016/07/19/pokeball-bookmark-corner-fun-with-pokemon-go/
Pokèmon Cube Crafts: http://charrchan.deviantart.com/gallery/43544217/Pokemon-Papercraft
These hands-on activities can allow everyone to get in on the fun, even children and tweens who do not have their own cellphones. It also allows the library a great opportunity to promote graphic novels, and to communicate the importance of safe play if students do go outside to play Pokèmon Go, so this type of program can really be beneficial to the community.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool