Awards & Recognition

Orange County Library System has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions. Further, as a recognized national leader in providing cutting-edge library services, representatives of the Orange County Library System are regularly invited to present at major national conferences. A partial listing of recent awards and grants received appears below:

  • OCLS Receives OCLC Community Engagement Award

    OCLS Receives OCLC Community Engagement Award

    Orange County Library System ws one of three public library systems to receive the Community Engagement Award from global library cooperative, OCLC. The award – which is given anually to community projects of significant innovation and impact – was issued to OCLS in recognition of the Orlando Children's Business Fair. In addition to the award, OCLS will receive $5,000 to further the engagement and impact of the Orlando Children's Business Fair and the Library’s BizKids initiative that introduces young people to classes and events with a focus on promoting entrepreneurship and skills such as planning, marketing and financing.

  • OCLS Wins Five FPRA Image Awards

    OCLS Wins Five FPRA Image Awards

    Orange County Library System was recognized by the Florida Public Relations Association Orlando Area for two outstanding projects. The FPRA honored the library for Chrispin’s Story, a video created for Friends of the Orange County Library System’s annual appeal in late 2019. The video tells the story of an immigrant who took classes at the South Trail Branch, which led to a job promotion at Walt Disney Co. FPRA also honored Local Wanderer, the platform through which our customers can get access to arts and cultural offerings in the Orlando area, as easily as they can check out a book.

  • 2019 Betty Miller Davis Youth Services Award, Teens_ OCPLS, Hero Spark After-School Adventures

    OCLS Receives Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award

    The Florida Library Association recognized Orange County Library System's after school program, Hero Spark After School Adventures with the 2019 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award. The award – which is given out at the Florida Library Association's Annual Conference – recognizes outstanding programs of direct service to youth. Hero Spark provides tutoring and gaming programs to 11-18 year olds. Their primary program, After-School Adventures, blends homework help and gaming in a unique way that makes for a fun and engaging after-school experience. The program has resulted in a measurable increase in library use, seeing 12-24 students participating daily. In 2018, students participated in 2900 hours of homework help and face-to- face tabletop gaming, and Hero Spark served 108 unique participants at the Orlando Public Library alone.

  • OCLS Awarded $1,500 for Participation in Beanstack’s Second Annual Winter Reading Challenge

    OCLS Awarded $1,500 for Participation in Beanstack’s Second Annual Winter Reading Challenge

    In March, Orange County Library System was recognized as one of the national winners of Beanstack’s second annual Winter Reading Challenge. The program, sponsored by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, challenged Beanstack users to meet a collective goal of reading at least 5 million minutes and 75,000 books in January. In total, Beanstack users actually read 13,000,000 minutes and 153,000 books. Library customers read 2,154% over our goals by completing 45,091 minutes and logging 2,315 books. Winners were determined based upon a few key factors including Outreach, Active Participation, Absolute Numbers and Community Sharing.   The $1500 awarded to OCLS for it's participation in the program will be used to provide incentives for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Beanstack program so the Library can continue encouraging early literacy development in our youngest customers.

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    Melrose Center Receives Endowment to Stay on the Cutting Edge

    The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity has been chosen to receive a $500,000 endowment from the Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation to upgrade and enhance its software and technology. The endowment will be used to keep the Melrose Center up to date with the latest hardware and software in its virtual reality, photography, video and audio studios, as well as the Fab Lab where the public is invited to get hands on with 3D printers, robotics and more. 

  • Orange County Library System Recognized as a 2018 Recipient of Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced Orange County Library System of Orlando, Florida, as one of 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 24 years, the award has celebrated 182 institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. OCLS was recognized for the work it does to support its community, particularly when it comes to providing access to STEM education for children living in underserved communities, ESOL classes for adults and families, and a commitment to providing access to high-quality educational tools for children in the county’s public school system. 

    For a complete list of 2018 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit

  • Orange County Library System receives $100,000 grant from Walt Disney World

    Orange County Library System receives $100,000 grant from Walt Disney World

    On April 17, Walt Disney World visited the Orange County Library System’s Winter Garden Branch to award OCLS with a $100,000 Disney Grant. Disney brought its Toy Story themed tailgate party to the library to announce the good news. The funds will be used to work with two local nonprofit organizations, ArtReach Orlando and Hero Spark, to enhance programming offered during the library’s annual Summer Reading Program.

  • Orange County Library System chosen for the 2018 Upstart Library Innovation Award

    Orange County Library System chosen for the 2018 Upstart Library Innovation Award

    The Upstart Innovation Award, presented by the Public Library Association, recognizes a public library’s innovative, cutting-edge, creative service to their community.  OCLS received the Upstart Innovation Award in recognition for its BizKids program, a series of classes and events aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and teaching young people the skills needed to succeed in business. These classes teach topics ranging from the basics of Microsoft Office to developing a business plan.  Winners are presented with $2,000 and a plaque in their honor.

  • Director/CEO Mary Anne Hodel receives 2018 Charlie Robinson Award

    Director/CEO Mary Anne Hodel receives 2018 Charlie Robinson Award

    Mary Anne Hodel, Director and CEO of the Orange County Library System, has been selected as the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2018 Charlie Robinson Award.  This prestigious award, presented by book vendor Baker & Taylor and the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, honors a public library director who has proven to be a risk taker, an innovator and a change agent known for developing and implementing programs responsive to the needs of the community. The award consists of $1,000 and a gift to the director, who will be honored at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

  • Disney Awards $50,000 to Orange County Library System as Part of 2017 Disney Grants

    Disney Awards $50,000 to Orange County Library System as Part of 2017 Disney Grants

    The Orange County Library System recently received $50,000 from Walt Disney World Resort through Disney Grants. With the funds, the Orange County Library System was able to support its annual Summer Reading Program, which attracted more than 116,000 people to attend more than 3,000 fun, educational events and activities at 16 library branches all summer long.

    In all, Walt Disney World Resort awarded nearly $4 million in Disney Grants in support of efforts to positively impact the lives of over 300,000 local children and their families.

    The Disney Grants directly support Central Floridians and help to strengthen our neighborhoods, inspire our children, create stronger family bonds and promote a more compassionate environment.

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Presidential Preference Primary Election Early Voting at Select Library Locations

Ten OCLS Branch locations will host early voting for the 2024 Early Voting Primary Election from Monday, March 4 to Sunday, March 17 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.): Alafaya, Chickasaw, Fairview Shores, Hiawassee, South Creek, Southeast, Southwest, Washington Park, West Oaks, and Winter Garden. Learn more about early voting at select library locations >