by DANNY WADE | Senior Editor
The Humboldt Public Library is always offering educational opportunities for both adults and children. Children’s Librarian Ashley Nevin is doing even more to make learning fun. That is how the escape room came about.
For those unfamiliar with an escape room, the concept is to figure out how to unlock the door to ‘escape’ by solving clues along the way. Typically, escape rooms are played in teams. The team is given a mission to solve using hints and clues. Often the clues may lead to a key or a password to open the next clue to ultimately unlock the door within a given amount of time.
Nevin said last year during the summer was the first time the library hosted an escape room. With the help of another library’s escape room project, Humboldt’s event was a hit. The theme last year was the Bermuda Triangle and pirates.
This year, Nevin came up with her own theme, “TV Friends Throughout the Decades” where the team’s favorite television show had been canceled. If the team ciphers the clues and unlocks the door, the show will be brought back for another season. If time runs out, the show remains canceled.
Nevin led four different escape room games last Friday and had more scheduled for Saturday. Each team is given 45 minutes to unlock their door. Nevin used five scripts and eight puzzles, which all had to be completed, then put into order.
As the first team was ready to play, Nevin read a script explaining the game, “You have all been invited here because you are TV watching super fans. The network executives have agreed to pick up your favorite cancelled show, if you can make it through their test. Your goal is to find five scripts from classic tv shows. The five scripts all have a word written on them. You will need to collect all five, unscramble the phrase and shout it out to get your show picked up. If you can’t figure it out in 45 minutes—your show will be cancelled for good.”
If the team gets stumped, Nevin offered a way to get extra clues. The entire team must shout a designated key word and Nevin offers assistance, but the extra help is only available twice during the game.
Nevin said once a team finished the escape room, their time is recorded to see which team completed the course in the least amount of time.
Escape rooms are a fun way to learn. Skills such as teamwork, puzzle solving and thinking outside the box are used each step of the way in an escape room.
With one successful event last year and another one this year, escape room events might be on the summer program schedule year after year. Nevin likes to keep thing fresh, fun and upbeat during the summer for kids, adults and families at the Humboldt Public Library.