It’s always hard to believe when August rolls around that summer is just about over. Summer is the busiest time of year at our libraries, and this summer has been one for the books! In July, we celebrated serving 100,000 free meals to children through our annual partnership with Orange County Public Schools and its Mobile Lunch program. We partnered with WUCF to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. We introduced Library Pop-Up events in the Lake Nona and Horizon West areas of the county, bringing library events and programs to new neighborhoods that don’t yet have libraries of their own. We also hosted our biggest and best Potterversary event to date!
Just because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean our work is done. As Back-to-School season begins, we’re excited to greet all of the new young learners who’ll be coming to our libraries to sign up for their first library cards or check out their first books. We’re also looking forward to greeting some of our new downtown neighbors from the UCF and Valencia downtown campus, which opens this fall just a short distance from the Orlando Public Library.
Students, if you haven’t visited yet, get ready to be wowed by what this library has in store for you. In addition to the usual library offerings, we are home to the Melrose Center, where you can learn about everything from how to use a recording studio to how to make money selling your photos. The library also hosts all manner of classes, meetups and events that are all free for library cardholders.
This month alone at the Orlando Public Library, we’ll be hosting a One Minute Film Festival in the Albertson Room, a Woodstock 50th Anniversary event featuring a presentation from UCF Professor George Weremchuk and a Food 101 event on making pizza and flatbreads. In the Melrose Center this month, we are also hosting the No Tan Radio Music & Arts Festival, which highlights the work of Hispanic and Latin artists and musicians – we’ll have live music, community organizations, radio personalities and more here to celebrate the wealth of talent and diversity in our arts community.
We’re hoping that the students and faculty who relocate downtown this school season are ready to make this city their campus – there’s so much that downtown has to offer, and I think the library and its wealth of resources is a great place to start.