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Looking For Pokémon? Check The Stacks At Stamford's Ferguson Library

Ferguson Library’s Digital Librarian Frank Skornia holds up his phone, showing the viral Pokémon Go app.
Ferguson Library’s Digital Librarian Frank Skornia holds up his phone, showing the viral Pokémon Go app. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — You gotta catch ‘em all — even in the library.

Are you playing Pokemon Go?
Final Results Voting Closed

Are you playing Pokemon Go?

  • Yes, I can't stop
  • Yes, it's a fun distraction
  • No, I'm not interested
  • I don't even understand what it is
  • My kids are playing

The Pokémon Go app has taken Fairfield County and the nation by storm, sending loyal fans searching public places — including libraries — in search of virtual Pokémon characters.

“It’s getting people out — off the couches and walking around,” Ferguson Library’s Digital Librarian Frank Skornia told Daily Voice on Tuesday.

Gamers can find Pokémon roaming around the outside world, including the stacks of Ferguson Library. In fact, the library is a pokéstop — an area known to be flush with Pokémons.

Skornia said the library did not apply to be a pokéstop. The game’s developer, Niantic, Inc., chose to use libraries, churches and other public places to serve as pokéstops.

Churches, in particular, are popular because they were a focal point of a previous Niantic game called Ingress, he said.

“The reason why there is a lot of churches that are these Pokémon gyms [is] because in Ingress the churches were part of the lore that they were portal areas,” Skornia said. “That significance traveled over into the Pokémon Go game.”

Asked whether he had seen library patrons searching for Pokémon characters, Skornia said he had spotted a possible game player on a recent night who was walking around the library while looking at his phone.

“It’s hard to tell whether he's looking for somebody that he had a text or email from or if he’s looking for a book or he was just looking for Pokémons around the library,” Skornia said.

Ever since the release of the app a few days ago, it has taken the country by storm. Nintendo has added $7 billion to the value of the company, creating an app that allows users to get as close as they could ever imagined to being an official Pokémon catcher.

The release of the app has also opened doors for local organizations and businesses that might receive visitors looking for Pokémon characters.

Linda Avellar, the library’s director of development and communication, said she’s happy with the prospect that the app could attract new visitors to the library. It could draw in “younger people who might not have been in the library or had a chance to really come in,” she said.

Other libraries have caught onto the Pokémon caze, too. The East Norwalk Library planned on installing “a lure” Tuesday afternoon, according to Twitter.

Know of a pokéstop? Share in the comments.

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