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Darien Library Jumps In To Pokémon Go Craze With Lessons, Crawl

Darien Library has embraced the viral Pokémon Go app (seen here).
Darien Library has embraced the viral Pokémon Go app (seen here). Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

DARIEN, Conn. — The Darien Library has embraced the Pokémon Go craze as a pokéstop — and a place to pick up a few tips on how to master the game.

Mallory Arents, director of adult programming at the library, said the viral Pokémon app has added a new dimension to what patrons can experience at the library. “Now there’s this other element of what you can do and how you can interact with your library,” Arents said.

Don't know how to play Pokémon Go? The Darien Library offers one-on-one lessons to explain the game. Arents recently helped one patron who had downloaded the app and wanted to be pointed in the right direction.

In the initial five to 10 minutes of the lesson, she went over privacy settings and the effects of having the Pokémon Go app linked to a Google account.

Then she taught the patron how to interact and walk through the game. She explained some of the signifiers — the pokéstop, the pokégym. “Just getting some of the terminology I think is really helpful with this app,” Arents said.

Arents said the learning curve for the app is pretty short — about 30 minutes. “Once you play with it for a half-hour I think its pretty easy,” she said. “It’s interacting with real-world scenarios.”

The library also offered a Pokémon crawl Tuesday night with the Darien Police department. A cruiser with Pokemon decals travelled to different pokéstops — including the library — and an officer offered safety tips to Pokemon players .

The library also has a little board, asking patrons to list the Pokémon characters they have found in the stacks. The goal of the game is to bring people together, Arents said.

“It’s community building,” she said. “It’s getting disparate people together that may not have met, that may not have communicated.”

Arents said the game seems to resonate with those in their 20s and 30s who grew up with Pokémon and are seeking a bit of nostalgia.

That draw has also been good for businesses. “They’re going through that period where nostalgia is dollars,” she said.

Some businesses have even advertised their locations as pokéstops. And other libraries, including Stamford’s Ferguson Library, have become pokéstops , too.

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