From the Director, October 2022

October 1, 2022 | Steve Powell
From the Director, October 2022

Ever since January 2022, it has been my honor to serve in the role of Interim Director/CEO and COO for Orange County Library System. I’m now happy to share with you that I have been selected by the Board of Trustees to officially become the next Director/CEO to lead the library into the future. 

The past 10 months have been challenging, but we have accomplished a lot. In addition to getting leases signed so we can make progress on building new libraries in Horizon West and Lake Nona, I’ve challenged our leadership team to look at ways to reduce barriers to library service. I’m proud to say that during my tenure as Interim Director/CEO, we extended automatic renewals for materials, which helps reduce the likelihood that our users will be burdened with overdue fines. We have created a new type of library card for group homes, which allows kids who aren’t living with a parent or guardian to use the library. We have begun to accept IDs from the Farmworker Association of Florida, so that migrant workers without permanent local residency can use library services. We reorganized the Rules of Conduct, making them simpler and easier to understand. We have created a Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility Committee, to help OCLS cultivate an environment in which everyone in our community and on our staff feels they belong. 

I’m proud of the work we have done and the things we’ve accomplished in a short period of time, but there are still plenty of challenges ahead. Libraries have a responsibility to the community to provide access – not only to books and materials, but also to things that many people take for granted. Internet access. Computers to do homework or apply for jobs. Tools to succeed in school. Financial literacy information. The basic building blocks that help set children up for success in their formative years. Over the years, we have created some of the infrastructure we need to address those concerns, while still providing a stellar collection of digital and physical materials, but there’s so much more we can do. I believe we are up to the task.    

I’m looking forward to growing our library system while maintaining its strong foundation, so we can continue to be a cornerstone for a strong, vibrant Orange County.


Steve Powell, Director/CEO, Orange County Library System

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