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Wednesday, June 9 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Escape Room in a Backpack and Beyond! [Pre-recorded with In-person Q & A]

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In the Fall of 2019, our Outreach and Engagement Team tried a new approach to library orientation. With just a backpack’s worth of materials, ordinary library study rooms were transformed into escape rooms. Advertised as a Welcome Week activity, the Escape Room required groups of 4-6 students to solve a series of puzzles based on five learning objectives. Students had only 20 minutes to work through a scenario: find the missing USB containing their assignment in order to Escape the Library and get to class on time. And they had fun!
Simple enough to put into a backpack and carry across campus, and for a budget of less than $150, this game has strengthened the Library’s connection to our colleagues in Student Services; our Language Centre students, faculty and staff; and our new and returning students. Designed to be a learning tool and not just an event, this library instruction game is easily adaptable based on user needs, opening up new possibilities for collaboration and Library engagement across a diverse university community.
Participants will learn how a student engagement activity has grown into an in-class library instruction tool, and how they can create their own portable Escape Room for their own libraries.


Shawna Murphy

Outreach & Engagement Librarian, Saint Mary's University
Shawna Murphy is the Outreach & Engagement Librarian at the Patrick Power Library. She is interested in all things outreach, evidence-based LIS practice, accessibility, and continually improving the user experience.

Carolyn Gillis

Library Clerk, Document Delivery, Saint Mary's University
Carolyn Gillis works in Document Delivery at the Patrick Power Library. She is interested in connecting people with the book that is right for them.
avatar for Heather Sanderson

Heather Sanderson

Information Literacy Librarian, Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary’s University
Heather Sanderson is the Information Literacy Librarian at the Patrick Power Library, SaintMary’s University. Her research interests include information literacy, pedagogy and learningtheory, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Meagan Pottie (she/her)

Coordinator, Library Information Services, Mount Saint Vincent University


Mike Beazley

Co-Chair Programme Committee, Acadia University

Wednesday June 9, 2021 2:30pm - 3:30pm ADT
Stream: Gravenstein