‘Pokemon Go’ craze comes to Ponte Vedra:


By now, you’ve probably seen, heard or read something about the newest craze that has children – and adults – alike scavenging the area in search of fictitious Pokemon characters for the new smart phone app that launched earlier this month called “Pokemon Go.” But did you know that all six St. Johns County Public Library System branches are either Pokemon Go Gyms or Pokestops?

“This is the ultimate icebreaker,” said Anne Crawford, assistant manager and youth services librarian for the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

Crawford said she has already seen a number of teens visiting the library to participate in the game and after being a youth services librarian for 13 years, she’s realized seizing opportunities like this is a great way to connect with youth.

“It leads to conversations, sharing books, and communicating that the library is for all ages and is something to take seriously,” she said.

“Pokemon Go” is free to play and available for both iPhone and Android devices. Users seek out real-world locations where they can find more than 100 species of Pokemon and then “catch” Pokemon by throwing a Pokeball. The characters are found at locations called Pokestops, which usually exist at easily identifiable landmarks such as public art installations or other points of interest, according to the game’s website. Smart phones will vibrate when near a character

St. Johns County libraries identified as Pokestops include Bartram Trail, Main Library, Southeast and Hastings. Ponte Vedra and Anastasia Island libraries are Gyms, and like Pokestops, Gyms too can be found at real locations. Each player can place a Pokemon at a particular Gym; players are encouraged to develop teams and work with others on the team to build up a strong defense. The carousel in the Davenport Park adjacent to the Main Library in St. Augustine has also been identified as a Gym.