Can you escape the Glen Rock Library?


by Isis Kirkland, Staff Writer

The Glen Rock Public Library jumped on the bandwagon and followed a fad that has swept the nation.

The library hosted an “escape room” on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

Escape rooms gained popularity last summer. Since then, new establishments and programs have been created all over the country. The name explains it all, as the purpose of an escape room is to escape a room within the allotted time frame by figuring out puzzles.

“Escape Rooms are becoming very popular,” teen librarian Morgan Taylor said. “I’m seeing more and more places open that people can visit which have actual rooms set up to do this process. I also read about a couple of other libraries doing it, so I thought it would be fun to try and do it here.”

Even though Escape Rooms are popular, there are still no true guidelines telling how to create them. There are many concepts, themes, and puzzles that can be utilized. This led Taylor to get creative.

Taylor scheduled this event in September and had still been reviewing the escape room puzzles until a few days before it took place.

The setup Taylor pursued was taking the kids and splitting them into two groups.

“One group will be in the children’s room library, and the other group will be back in the reading area,” Taylor said. “The whole room has a lot of different things in it. So once one clue is solved, it will lead to another spot. The kids will be walking around trying to work through the different puzzles in the room, and each room is going to have a different set of elements.”

After the arrangements were set up, the main obstacle was ahead. This included creating puzzles and challenges. For Taylor, making an original puzzle required thinking about two important problems: practicality and money.

“I’m trying to think of all of the different elements that I can use that could be interesting or cool for kids to find.  I have to consider things that are good ideas and things that are good ideas that are going to work,” Taylor said. “It’s also a matter of thinking about materials that I have, that are in a low enough budget that I can make them work and then figuring out how to implement all of that into the activity.”

This was the library’s first time hosting something like this, and the turnout was very successful. When asked, all the children that attended said they would return for another escape room. Two of these are freshmen Parker Li and Nathaniel Jeffries.

“It was very fun, we had a good time, we did riddles that were very challenging, and we got popcorn and lollipops,” Li said.

“I had fun. My favorite part was winning. The escape room was a solid eight or nine out of ten,” Jeffries said.

Taylor thought the Library Escape turned out very well and went on to say that her favorite part of it was seeing kids getting caught up over fake clues she threw in to the challenge the participants. Taylor says that this is why she enjoys coordinating events.

“It’s really fun. I always pick things that I am interested in because I think the more fun I have planning and creating them, the more fun people are going to have participating in them,” Taylor said.