The Pokémon Franchise: Where it all began

Before the international craze, before the “Don’t Pokémon Go and Drive,” before the release of Niantic’s Pokémon Go, there had been over two decades’ worth of the success of the Pokémon franchise. Created in 1995 in Japan, it’s been a video game, an anime, a manga, a trading card game, a movie, and a large collection of toys.

The demographics of Pokémon Go-ers today are very diverse—you will just as likely see schoolkids on bikes searching for Pokémon as you will see elderly couples stopping at a PokéStop during their evening walk. Similarly, there are many veterans of the franchise who have been immersed in the world of Pokémon since childhood playing alongside those just introduced to the series.

For those of us still feeling our way through evolutions and types and are curious about the original franchise, Reston Regional Library has a large collection on the topic.

We have:

  • An expansive English manga collection
  • DVDs
  • Many reference books on the game
  • … and much more!

Some specific titles available now:





And if we’re missing some materials that you’d like to have, you can either make an inter-library hold or request an order. Learn more here:


Pokémon Go Update!

If you’re as obsessed with Pokémon Go as we are, you might have noticed something—perhaps even multiple somethings—interesting when you opened the app today.

Since its release in the beginning of July, Pokémon Go has been an unexpected phenomenon that took the world by storm. People—young and old, longtime fans of the franchise or no—have been crazy about this game. But it is only now, a month into the craze, that Niantic has released its first large update. Here’s a brief summary of the known changes!

pokemon go update footsteps gone.png

  1. The tracking system is gone. Poof. Niantic has done away with the buggy three-footstep tracking system that had previously garnered quite a bit of discussion and debate over just how it was supposed to be used. Now there’s some more debate about whether or not this change is really for the better, but we’ll be on the lookout for more information on this topic.
  2. Trainer customization has been improved! For all those who regret their outfit choices in the beginning of the game, or simply want a change—rejoice! You can now re-customize your trainer whenever you want. Furthermore, there seems to be a greater variety as far as color selection goes.
  3. “Safeties” are in place to prevent accidental transfers. The “transfer” button has been moved to a little floating icon on the bottom right. The game prevents you from being able to transfer “favorited” Pokémon to the professor. Good thing too—nobody wants to realize they’ve just lost their best Vaporeon for a single Eevee candy!pokemon go update warning message
  4. More warnings for fewer dumb accidents. We’ve all heard of “Don’t Pokémon and Drive” and the stories of people who have walked off cliffs or into cemeteries in search of Pokémon. It seems that Niantic has taken note of these as well—besides its old “Be aware of you surroundings” message on its loading screen, it now has three additional messages that warn people against trespassing, driving while playing, and entering dangerous areas.pokemon go update.png
  5. Minor aesthetic tweaks. A bolder font for CP levels and some redesigned medals, plus shiner Pokéballs.
  6. Overpowered no more. Some Pokémon have been “nerfed”—in other words, some of their abilities have been changed so that they’re no longer overtly strong compared to their opponents. A notable “nerfed” Pokémon is Vaporeon: its regular attack move has been taken down a notch to make battles fairer.

So what do you think about these updated features? Do you like them? Do you think they’re here to stay? Please tell us in the comments!


For more posts in our Pokémon Go series:


Of Pokémon Gyms and Teams

This is yet another addition to our blog series on Pokémon Go in Fairfax County Public Libraries. Search up the tag “pokemongo” to look for more!

In our last post, we talked about PokéStops and the exciting addition that they bring to the game. Now, we will discuss the other new twist on the old that Go developers have implemented into this recent phenomenon: Gyms and Teams!

When a player reaches Level 5, he or she is given the option to join one of the three teams: Instinct, Mystic, and Valor.



There aren’t any real differences between these three teams—besides their characterizations (Instinct being fun, carefree; Mystic being intelligent, cool-headed; Valor being fiery, powerful), there are no special benefits to joining any.

(Some would argue that certain teams are better than others due to there being more players in one—often it’s Mystic, or Team Blue, that people claim to be the greatest in numbers. However, it should be duly noted that the “power” constantly shifts between the three teams in different areas, so there’s no guarantee of this.)

(The author would also like to encourage any upcoming players to join Valor, or Team Red! It’s the best one and you won’t regret your decision!)

So what’s the point of joining a team?

Besides basic team pride (#TeamRed5Ever), there is a purpose for becoming a member of one of these teams.

There are things in the game called “Gyms.” You might have noticed them around on your map—they’re tall and looming and they often feature one scary Pokémon and some color.


Gyms are a concept taken from the original Pokémon games—a player can take their Pokémon and battle other trainers at these gyms, earning XP and other benefits. In Go, Gyms are held by a certain team—this is why most Gyms have a certain color beacon. (If they don’t, move over and claim it!) Gym leaders are the trainers of the highest-level Pokémon in that area—their Pokémon is the one featured at the top of the Gym tower. If your team holds a Gym, you can offer up help by stationing one of your Pokémon there and reinforce the strength of that Gym.


The strength of your hold on a Gym is determined by your reputation. Reputation can be increased or decreased, depending on the number of battles your Gym has won/lost. The higher the reputation, the higher level your Gym is. Higher-level Gyms can hold more “reinforcement” Pokémon and are thus harder for other teams to battle and defeat. We will discuss the mechanics of “battles” in a later post.


  • You can battle a friendly gym! When you win a battle, instead of pulling down its reputation, you actually help the Gym raise it!
  • You can attack an enemy Gym with other team-members—as another feature that complements Pokémon Go’s purpose to make video game more interactive and social, groups of a similar team often come together to attack at once. This is especially effective when the enemy Gym leader and company are higher-level.
  • Some Fairfax County Public Libraries are also Gyms:
    Herndon, Centreville, Chantilly, KingsPark, Kingstowne, Martha Washington and Lorton.


PokéStops 101

This is yet another addition to our blog series on Pokémon Go in Fairfax County Public Libraries. Search up the tag “pokemongo” to look for more!

Of PokéStops will explain, as its title implies, what “PokéStops” mean in the Pokémon Go gameplay.

First, it should be good to reiterate that the purpose of Go is to let players have a much more interactive, get-out-there experience with the classic Japanese game of Pokémon. In order to capture creatures, one must physically walk or bike (or drive, but make sure to never Pokémon Go and drive!) around the neighborhood to find them.

By capturing more creatures, you level up. When you, the Trainer, are at a higher level, you tend to stumble across similarly higher-level Pokémon (as indicated by their CP, or Combat Power). This feeds into the cycle of getting stronger for the sake of getting stronger.


But for what, you ask? This game that has the nation (and soon, world) obsessed can’t possibly be this simple, can it?

And to this, we answer, of course not! There’s so much more!

Although Pokémon Go is still considered to be in its very early stages (obvious by its frequent server crashes and limitations in many basic features/customization options), one can’t forget about PokéStops !


PokéStops are simply local landmarks (usually, though the Internet has shown us rather strange ones) that, when the player gets in close-enough proximity and spins the “coin,” will provide special items like Pokeballs, Revives, Potions, Eggs, Raspberries, and more.


These items often become more useful later on in the game, when the player has entered more battles or must catch higher-lever Pokémon. Using these PokéStops will also earn you additional XP.

Furthermore, lure modules can be attached to a PokéStop by a benevolent player and, for a limited time, the area will be spawning Pokémon after Pokémon! (This is indicated by the pink petals.)


There are plenty of PokéStops around our area. Many libraries, especially, are actually PokéStops as well! Reston Regional Library actually has two—as mentioned in our last post, both our main building and the David Holland sculpture out front are PokéStops. Come drop by and play with us!

Other libraries that are also PokéStops: Dolly Madison, Fairfax, George Mason, Kingstowne, Kings Park, Martha Washington, Oakton,  and Richard Bird

Pokémon Go at the Library?

I bet you have been hearing about the Pokémon phenomenon! So I just would like to let you know that the Fairfax County Library System is being part of it! This will be the first in a series of posts that feature FCPL’s partaking in this fun new game.
Did you know that the Reston Regional Library hosts two Poke-stops? One is the library itself and the other is the sculpture outside of the building made by David Holland.
The first one of the TAB registered volunteer that gets and sends me a picture of a Pokémon in Reston Library (outside or inside) will be able to claim a prize!
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To Go-players in the general Fairfax County area: please read this article below:
It’s very important to understand that there are still safety considerations that go along with playing this game. Remember to be aware of your surroundings and don’t trespass library property after 9 PM!