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From the Director, March 2024

From the Director, March 2024

Every year, Orange County Library System holds a Staff Development Day in November, where we bring everyone together to learn, network and get to know their colleagues. A big part of the day is celebrating milestones. We’re lucky to have a lot of staff who’ve made working for the library not just a job, but a meaningful career that spans years.

It’s not uncommon to meet people who’ve worked here for 10, 20, even 30 years. But during our last Staff Day, in November 2023, I realized we have one employee who has surpassed 55 years working for OCLS. Her name is Liz, and she started at Orange County Library System in 1968. Today, she works at the South Trail Branch as a Circulation Clerk. During Women’s History Month, the library makes an effort to recognize the contributions of women to our society over the years. Sometimes the biggest contributions come from people who spend their lives working in service to their communities without asking for any fanfare at all. So, it feels appropriate to recognize Liz’s contributions to OCLS during this Women’s History Month.

We interviewed Liz about her time working for the library, and you can watch that video on our YouTube channel.

This month we also recognize women authors who’ve focused on retelling the stories of women in folklore and mythology. Sometimes the women in these stories are traditionally portrayed as witches, demons or monsters seeking revenge, but a new trend in fiction gives them a fresh take – think deeper motivations, more nuanced backstories and reimagined voices. Read all about it in our article, Women’s History Month: Retelling HER Story.

And, as always, we also celebrate women in our programming during Women’s History Month. Throughout March, you’ll find programs on women in history, science and the arts at multiple locations. For example, we’ll be hosting HerStory: The Art of Barbara at our Eatonville Branch featuring Hannibal Square Heritage Center’s Barbara Chandler sharing her story, from being a single mother living in the Virgin Islands to being the first Black woman to run for office in Winter Park. And we’ll wrap up the month with the Women in the Arts Inc.’s Celebrating the Genius of Women Expo in the Melrose Center.

And if you find yourself at the South Trail Branch this month, make sure you thank Liz for her service.

Steve Powell Library Director/CEO Orange County Library System

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