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Darn It Professor...!

Using the Escape Room Format for Information Literacy -- A Hands On Workshop Presented at The Collective, Spring 2019

Determining Supplies

After deciding on audience, game tactic, and location you will need to decide on the supplies needed to complete your game. It's important to note that the format you decide on will largely impact the supplies you need, and one can run an escape room program in their library for as little or as much as they're willing to spend. This page will explore different supply options you may want to consider within your game including links for purchase and/or creation, as well as information regarding Escape Room Kits. While buying may be the simplest option, making some  supplies will save money and allow for customization. 

To Make or Buy

  • Lockbox: Some kind of box that can be locked. Can be wooden, plastic, paper/cardboard. 

  • Variety of Locks: Choose locks with letter combos, number combos, shape combos, etc. If you purchase locks with interchangeable wheels, you get more flexibility. Also, look for locks you can reset yourself so you can reuse locks for multiple games with multiple winning combinations. 

  • Lock Hasp: This will allow you to attach multiple locks to one box.
  • Black Light & UV Pen: Create secret messages using the pen and then find these hidden clues with your black light. 
  • Laptop or Computer
    • This will only be necessary if you're game requires users to access the internet or analyze a discovered flash drive
  • Decoder Glasses & Message: Create or purchase a secret message where users will use eyeglasses or "spyglasses" to unveil a hidden message.
  • Cipher: Sometimes you will need to provide a cipher to your participants to help them escape. This is also useful if you need to convert clue answers to a lock code.

See the Supplies

Letter Locks

Toolbox with Lock Hasp

Map of "Hawkins, Indiana"

Stranger Things Cipher Wall

Black Light

Decoder Glasses

Secret Message (to be used with decoder glasses)


Kits provide one stop shopping for a variety of escape game materials. Many of them include more than ones lock, boxes, decoders, black lights, and even some clues. They can be an easy way to knock the hardware out with one purchase. 

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All materials prepared for and directly part of this guide are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license.