Catch ’em at the Library!

PokémonIf you’ve been around kids at all in the past ten years, you’ve undoubtably heard of the Japanese juggernaut known as Pokémon. Even ten years after it first hit state-side, kids are still clamoring to collect, trade and battle the virtual monsters. The latest incarnation of the series, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, have already sold over 8.76 million copies worldwide.

With just a small investment of time (and possibly money), you can leverage this portable video game franchise at your library. Just advertise an hour (or more) each week when kids can bring their portable game systems to the library to battle and trade each other. It really doesn’t take any more than that to attract a regular following of Pokémaniacs who will come to the library week after week.

Pokémon Challenge
However, if you want to "evolve" your program to a new level, consider these extras:

  • Teach Yourself Pokémon
    Study the basics of the games and your Pokémon players will be duly impressed. Start with online resources like Wikipedia or Bulbapedia and then branch out. If you really want to awe them, why not pick up the game and play through yourself?
  • Provide Game Boy Advance Link Cables
    Nintendo DS players can use their built-in wireless to play with others, but Game Boy Advance gamers need good ol’ fashioned cables to connect up. By providing inexpensive link cables, you’ll let everyone enjoy the multiplayer fun. (Here’s an example of a suitable link cable available online from GameStop.)
  • Provide a Nintendo Wii & Pokémon Battle Revolution
    Kids love getting to see their favorite Pokémon duke it out on a big-screen TV. You can give them this experience (and make it a spectator sport for everyone) by providing a Nintendo Wii and Pokémon Battle Revolution. Players with a Nintendo DS and either Pokémon Diamond or Pearl will be able to wireless connect to the Wii to battle it out in 3D for everyone’s entertainment.

So what’s stopping you from tapping the Pokécraze that’s been captivating kids everywhere? By doing so, you can push other library offerings (like Pokémon books, videos or music) at the same time. But, best of all, kids will continue to think of your library as an awesome place to play with their peers, further forging a lifelong love of libraries.