Local libraries host escape room event

Select Leon County libraries are giving out free copies of “Borne” to anyone who participates in the escape room. Photo by Chole Moody

Leon County libraries are currently hosting the Borne Escape Room, which is based on the science fiction novel “Borne,” by Jeff VanderMeer. It was first located at the Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library but will travel to other library locations throughout the next few weeks.

This is the library’s first escape room through the Big Read program, a program funded through the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest that focuses on a variety of themes and topics included in books.

 Michelle Ray, the event coordinator, felt an escape room would be the best way for people to incorporate and understand the sci-fi and problem-solving themes included in “Borne” along with having a good time.

“We decided that an escape room would be a really fun way to explore the sci-fi and problem-solving themes in the book,” Ray said. “There’s a lot about science, solving problems, exploring spaces and things that really lend themselves to making a fun escape room.”

There’s no age requirement to participate in the activity, but kids who are interested may need guidance from an adult with the puzzles and problem-solving aspects.

Ray says the inspiration of the escape room comes from its popularity here in town and within many libraries.

“In the library world, escape rooms have become a really hot programming thing to do,” Ray said. “We have escape rooms in Tallahassee. It’s just a really popular activity right now. We like that we’re kind of tapping into something that’s current and people are interested in.”

The escape room is based on one of the book’s protagonists, Wick, who wants to create medicine for his medical problem.

“Throughout the book, one of the large goals of Wick’s was to go into the abandoned factory and find the resources he needed to make medicine for his medical issue,” Ray said. “It was a really interesting part of the journey and an important part of the narrative, so with that, it would be a nice narrative thread to take in use for the escape room.”

Anyone who participates has to break different codes, including puzzles and number combinations, in order to unlock Wick’s medicine.

Participant Mila Turner described the escape room as an activity that is more than being in an actual game and a fun way to bond with other people. She also said it helps people work together as a team.

Another participant, Clinton Tucker, said it was challenging but he had a great time doing it with his kids.

“I thought it was fun, well thought out and challenging,” Tucker said. “It was a great way to spend time with my kids.”

Participant Tycia Dennis also viewed the escape room as an activity that requires a lot of thinking but a great way to spend time with her two sons.

Anyone who wants to participate can go to www.tallahasseearts.org and search for “Borne Escape Room” to see dates, locations and times.