Stanley Library Creates Escape Room

Students try to solve the riddles, puzzles, and mysteries in the most recent Stanley Library escape room.
Students try to solve the riddles, puzzles, and mysteries in the most recent Stanley Library escape room.
Photo courtesy of the Marketing Department

The Stanley Library added an escape room last semester as a learning resource and will also have a Murder Mystery theme through the end of September.

The idea was formed by the library staff when trying to create new ways for students to engage with their studies as an outreach event.

“We wanted to play with Valentine’s Day and see about creating something that the English courses would be interested in using,” Rachel Walton, the interlibrary loan coordinator, said.

They have offered a variety of escape rooms to keep students engaged and learning through different challenges–even offering virtual methods to complete them.

“Our first escape room was the Victorian Love Letters, and that really set the stage for the ones that followed. Two were completely virtual games: Banned Books and Misinformation, and two were physical games that also had virtual counterparts: Leave No Trace and Murder Mystery,” Walton said.

Walton stated that teamwork is of extreme importance when it comes to solving these rooms, and that students are going to have to think creatively for these puzzles.

“No matter what escape room we are doing, none of them can be completed without teamwork and creative thinking,” Walton continued.

Each of these escape rooms is designed to test and develop certain skills of the participants through defined goals and outcomes, according to Walton.

“This one focuses particularly on promoting deeper learning of critical thinking skills, knowing and learning how our escape room works, collaborating with faculty to create an exciting experience for students in the library, and just to have fun. We encourage professors to participate alongside their students,” Walton remarked.

The room’s theme will change with the next concept already in the works, and the virtual version of Murder Mystery is also in development.

“Our escape rooms are almost always converted into virtual games once we take them down. The Murder Mystery virtual edition is already under construction. We love changing rooms and designing new games,” Walton said. “Sometimes our escape rooms are requested; recreation leadership and ecotourism requested a Leave No Trace room, but largely, we find inspiration in what’s going on around campus, or just from talking to one another.”

Danny Adams the library assistant along with John Carey, English professor, are meant to help design future escape rooms this year with the goal of exploring outside partnerships to help guide new ideas and styles into the puzzles.


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