The tagline for “06880” is “where Westport meets the world.”
Right now, Westport — and the world — are going gaga over Pokémon Go.
I don’t know a Squirtle from a Jynx. But I do know that Pokémon Go has been downloaded more times in a week than Tinder has in 4 years. (No value judgments, mind you.) So I figured I’d capture the local angle.
Tom Bruno is my Pokémon Go go-to guy. As the Westport Library‘s new director of knowledge curation and innovation — Bill Derry’s old gig, more or less — the game is in his wheelhouse.
The library itself is not a Pokestop or Pokegym, he says. But several are nearby.
Three Pokestops are actually sculptures. There’s Carol Eisner’s “Walter the Sculpture,” outside the library’s main entrance; the big sculpture on Jesup Green, and the Post Road bridge sculpture at the Taylor parking lot entrance.
The library encourages patrons to find those sculptures by setting Lures (which of course attract rare and unusual wild Pokémon that patrons can catch).
Bruno says, “Depending on where you are in the building, you can also catch some of these Pokémon in the library as well.”
Bruno and his colleagues realized that the Levitt Pavilion stage Pokestop is on the route for the library’s
annual first-ever StoryWalk along the Saugatuck River (which, happily for this publicity, kicks off Monday). Bruno took a shot of a wild Pokémon perched atop one of the signs.
The library is also placing Lures at all of those Pokestops, to help generate buzz for the giant book sale this weekend.
Though Niantic — the company responsible for Pokémon Go — is not taking requests for new Pokestops or Pokegyms, Bruno says it would be exciting to have the library community battle for control of the gym in that building.
The library is also working to add Pokémon Go to its popular “Anyone Can…” technology 101 classes. “We’d like to help people who are curious about the game get started, and join in what will almost certainly be the big summer activity,” Bruno says.
Finally — in a stroke of luck akin to finding a Charizard — the library long ago planned a partnership with Barnes & Noble on a Pokémon card game tournament. Amazingly, it’s this Saturday (July 16, 4-6 p.m.) at the Westport store.
Because — like Pokémon Go — “06880” is all about community, we’d like to hear your stories and tips. If you’ve got any game-related news, click “Comments” below. Please use your real name, not a Pokémon alias.
Finally, if you thought the only thing local officials care about are mill rates and 8-30g applications, think again. Yesterday, they posted this on the town’s official Facebook page (courtesy of the New York Police Department):
As PokémonGo fever hits Westport, we want to remind you of some simple safety tips. As you battle, train, and capture your Pokémon just remember you’re still in the real world too! Around the country the PokémonGo craze has seen reports of accidents, injuries and even crimes where suspects have set-up fake Pokéstops.
So as you set out to capture them all:
1) Be alert at all times
2) Stay aware of your surroundings
3) Play in pairs or as a group to ensure your safety
4) Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the app…you can’t do both safely
5) Do not trespass onto private property or go to areas you usually would not if you weren’t playing Pokémon Go.
Have fun AND stay safe. Good luck in your quest, and happy hatching, trapping, and training at the Pokémon Gym!