Library Digital Escape Rooms

As libraries diversify their online offerings as a result of COVID-19, here’s an awesome example of one of the directions that can take – digital escape rooms!

Some digital escape rooms are very straightforward – literally websites where patrons can access an online journey. Here’s one excellent example:

The Frederiction Public Library librarian who built this game shared that they used the open-resource tool Twine to do so. It’s programming a story without code, at least on the most basic level. I like the atmosphere the styling provides to the experience.

Here’s another fun one – and it’s library themed!

Built by the Children’s Staff of the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, it utilizes Google forms for its storytelling (this is the most common format I’ve noticed for library-created digital escape rooms). I appreciate that they also feature and highlight the book it is based on in the beginning as way of getting readers interested! It is pretty text-heavy but prompts the players to use the library’s website as part of solving puzzles! And it doesn’t take itself too seriously…

For the record, I wear my hair in a bun and am bespectacled…

Other library online escape rooms are designed to operate with a host in a group setting – for example, the University of Washington Information School (my alma mater!) has been developing an escape room called “The Euphorigen Investigation.” It is themed around misinformation and can be used as a tool to help the participants differentiate between factual and fake information.

The developers are gathering data from the game and from the hosts to further refine and improve on their escape room experience. This will be a fun project to keep an eye on.