Explore Your Community with Pokemon Go!

It has been roughly one month since Niantic released Pokemon GO in the United States.  Within days of being released, Pokemon GO became the most popular mobile game in US history, quickly amassing millions of active users. In no time at all, the augmented reality game had more users than Tinder, Twitter, and plenty of other apps. 

It isn’t surprising that the game took off the way it did. The Pokemon franchise has kept a solid fan base since its release a full twenty years ago, and many of those fans were chomping at the bit for a new game after a full year of no releases in 2015 . When a new game was released that was not only free but allowed players to catch Pokemon in real life, of course it became overwhelmingly popular.

While the popularity of the game wasn’t surprising, it was certainly unexpected. Pokemon GO players are all familiar with the app crashes and server disconnects that makes the game an even mix of fun and frustration. Recent updates to the app may have even tipped the scales for some.  Niantic’s removal of the tracking feature, the ban on third party trackers such as PokeVision and PokeNotify, and a few other issues have several trainers ready to call it quits 

All that being said, there’s still plenty of fun to be had by those who aim to be the very best like no one ever was. In July the Library shared a blog post with ideas for day trips, and that’s exactly the sort of activity Pokemon GO inspires. Pokemon GO is great a motivator to get up and explore your community.  

On one Pokemon hunting expedition I crossed the Purple People Bridge (which I had somehow never done in my nearly twenty years living here) and found myself on the American Discovery Trail. Not only did I catch five Dratini, a Magmar, and an Electabuzz, but I also spent the day on an unexpected, self-guided tour through the history of an area I’ve lived in nearly all my life.

Me and my fiance about to cross the Purple People Bridge. Photo by Grace Johantges.

Me and my fiance about to cross the Purple People Bridge.
Photo by Grace Johantges.

While urban areas have proven to be the best place for hunting rare Pokemon, there are plenty of opportunities for a successful Pokemon hunt in Boone County. There’s a point in Historic Burlington where three PokeStops can be reached from one corner, and there has been an Onyx taunting me from Boone Woods for weeks.  I hope to finally catch him–and plenty of other Pokemon–during the Pokemon GO Safaris the library is hosting at different Boone County Parks on Thursdays in August


Chelsea Swinford is a Youth Services Associate at the Main Library. She’s a Pokemon Professor, and hosts a Pokemon League for grades K-12 the fourth Monday of the month at the Main Library in Burlington.


4 Generations of Library Users

Discover how BCPL customers use the library in this new blog post series.

Can you imagine Boone County without a library? Sounds horrifying, however it is true. There wasn’t a library in Boone County until 1974.  Local resident Betty McDavid said, “Before Boone County had a library we had to go to Erlanger for books.  I’m so thankful we have our own now. I read over 200 books a year. I couldn’t afford to buy all the ones I want to read. Although the books are the main attraction, I also appreciate and enjoy the concerts and classes held at the library. I especially like hearing authors speak of their life and works.  I’m from a family of readers and passed it on.”

Wow, she really did pass it on! There are four generations of McDavids using the library at the present time. Betty’s two daughters Sheree McDavid Breitholle and Christy Biggs are regular patrons as is Sheree’s daughter Kate Moore who brings her daughter to visit.

Sheree has great memories from her youth when her father would drive them to the library, “When I was young we went to the library in Erlanger. My Mother didn’t drive, so my Daddy would take us. He would wait in the car but always said, ‘Don’t hurry, take your time.’ We were so excited when Boone County got its own library. Later Lents became my library home. It was a place to take my daughter for activities and exploring the shelves. The Lents staff became my library family. I have many treasured friendships and memories of all my time there. I love all of the concerts, classes and book clubs sponsored by the library. It’s such a special place. Now I’m blessed to be able to share this wonderful place with my granddaughter. As I see her participating in Storytime, exploring the activities, and getting books from the shelves I can hear my Daddy saying ‘Don’t hurry, take your time’.”

Sheree’s sister Christy has similar warm feelings about the library, “I grew up in a very rural area with not a lot of close neighbors. Books were an opportunity to experience far off places and have adventures with characters like Alice and Dorothy. I visited places like Narnia and Neverland while remaining safe in my own backyard. We didn’t have the money to buy all of the books we wanted to read so the library was essential. I can remember when the first Boone County library branch opened in Florence when I was a little girl. I remember standing in the children’s section and being excited to learn the number of books that I could check out at one time. I don’t ever think that I left with anything less than the maximum allowed amount! Throughout the years the library has not only been a form of escape but a place for me to learn more about topics that caught my interest. I now check out at least as many ‘how to’ books as I do novels.  I may not master the skill but I certainly get further than I would just trying to figure out stuff on my own steam.”

Like Betty shared her love of the library with her daughters, Sheree passed her love to her daughter Kate Moore, “Some of my earliest and fondest memories are going to the library with my mom. It was a special place. We would go to storytime at Florence and all the other fun events and classes, then later at Lents.  As an adult, Mom and I still participate in book clubs together and different library concerts, speakers, book sales and classes at Main. I remember getting my very own library card and how exciting that was. Summer Reading has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I fill out my book log as soon as I finish a book. It’s a race with myself to see how many books I can read, no matter how busy I am. The library has offered up to me new authors and new books to discover. It is still a special place to me and my family and has brought a lot of joy. Now I’m a mom. I bring my daughter to storytime when I can, we play and read in the children’s area and we participate together in the summer reading activities. She was old enough this year to pick out her own summer reading prizes and she was so happy. She loves books and the library. Before she was 2 years old she recognized the library building when we would drive by and I was so proud that she already knew the library as a special place. I look forward to her excitement the day she gets her very own library card. I hope that when she is my age that some of her earliest and fondest memories will be of going to the library with her mom. “

I hope the story of the McDavid family’s love of the library inspires you to come in and find your own library experience.  You might hear the voice of Sheree’s father saying “Don’t hurry, take your time.”


Karen Helmle has been with BCPL since 1999, first as a Circulation Assistant, currently as a Public Service Associate. Nothing pleases her more than finding a great book and sharing it with customers and co-workers!