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100 year celebration

  • Golden Brick Award framed, in front of plants.

    OCLS Presented With Golden Brick Award and Voted Best Florida Library

    On Tuesday, April 23, the Downtown Orlando Partnership presented OCLS with a Golden Brick Award of Excellence for our 100 Year Celebration! The award recognizes OCLS for our yearlong celebration that “highlighted the past, present and future of the library, positioning it as a welcoming destination that has had something to offer for everyone for…

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  • Design rendering of the future Horizon West branch.

    Looking Ahead to Our Bright Future

    You’ve heard us say it all year long: At OCLS, we’re proud of what we accomplished in the past, and we’re looking forward to a bright future for our library system. Over the past year, we’ve focused on sharing our story and showing you how the past 100 years have shaped us. As we wind…

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  • Mary Anne Hodel looking at panels on wall depicting the library's history.

    The History of Orange County Library System: Mary Anne Hodel & the New Millennium

    In December of 2001, Orange County Library System was poised at the edge of the 21st century. The retiring director, Dorothy Field, had accomplished a remarkable amount to prepare the library system for the new millennium, including opening three new branches and ensuring public computers with internet access were available to all library users. But…

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  • OCLS Blog Post, From the Director, October 2023.

    From the Director, October 2023

    In 2021, we were looking for a unique way to mark an interesting occasion: the 100th anniversary of a huge book donation by Captain Charles Albertson to the city of Orlando, which helped accelerate the progress the city was making toward the establishment of our first public library system. We thought it would be fun…

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  • The History of Orange County Library System: The Storytelling Troupe

    The History of Orange County Library System: The Storytelling Troupe

    Storytelling is an ancient art form that has been around since the beginning of time. Storytellers have always been important in their communities. They are the people who teach life lessons and hold all the stories about their people’s history and culture. Since the inception of public libraries, storytelling has been a crucial offering to…

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  • From the Director, August 2023

    From the Director, August 2023

    On January 7, when we officially kicked off our 100 Year Celebration, we shared the news that Sorosis of Orlando Woman’s Club had donated $100,000 to help us bring mobile services back to Orange County. We’re using that money to support the purchase of book bikes and a bookmobile that can help us get books,…

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  • The History of Orange County Library System: Glenn Miller and the Orlando Public Library Expansion

    The History of Orange County Library System: Glenn Miller and the Orlando Public Library Expansion

    Glenn Miller got his start in libraries at an early age. At 16, he was a clerk at Saginaw Public Library in Michigan, and during college, he worked as a reference assistant. After graduating, Miller became the city librarian in Southfield, MI before he and his family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where he accepted…

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  • The History of Orange County Library System: Home Delivery

    The History of Orange County Library System: Home Delivery

    The Orange County Library System books-by-mail program was initiated in December 1973. At the time, the library’s presence in Orange County consisted of the Orlando Public Library, nine branches and an aging bookmobile. The county population was about 350,000 and development was stretching in all directions. Library Director Glenn Miller wanted to phase out the…

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  • The History of Orange County Library System: Clara Wendel & the Construction of Orlando Public Library

    The History of Orange County Library System: Clara Wendel & the Construction of Orlando Public Library

    On February 1, 1943, Clara Wendel became Orange County Library System’s second library director. Clara was 39 years old when she was selected for the position, and OCLS – still the Albertson Public Library at the time – was celebrating its 20th anniversary. Originally from Illinois, Clara’s family relocated to Gotha, FL in her childhood.…

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  • From the Director May 2023

    From the Director, May 2023

    When I look back at what things were like at the library in the 1950s, I see some similarities to the library of today – Orange County was growing, and the community needed more libraries to adequately serve its needs. In fact, the Annual Report for 1952–1953 was titled: To a Growing Community, From its…

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North Orange Branch Closure

North Orange Branch is closed for repair. A date for reopening has yet to be established. Learn more about the North Orange Branch closing >