Skip to content Skip to footer

Escape Room (Library Orientation)

One surefire way to destroy new college students’ relationship with the library, before it even begins to form, is to lecture to them for 50 minutes in a required library orientation class session. I was on a team of four teaching librarians (Renfro Library, Mars Hill University) who knew we could do better than that.

We designed an “escape room” activity wherein the students ran throughout the building following a series of clues that would ultimately give them a lock combination to a treasure chest. The treasure was candy and some Renfro schwag, plus the bragging rights of having “escaped” the required class.

With only 50 minutes per class session, time management was critical. I designed this instructional series of hints as a visual guide that remained projected in the classroom as students went about the activity. It served both to shorten the librarian’s introductory spiel from 10 minutes to less than 5, and to address the most common trip-ups of the activity.

Leave a comment