Library Office Hours with Team Anna

September 1, 2022 | Jenn Schock
Library Office Hours with Team Anna

Over the summer, members from the office of Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani visited several Orange County Library System branches to hold Library Office Hours, a time for constituents to ask questions, find resources and sign-up for assistance services. Rep. Eskamani herself even stopped by to meet Orange County residents and hear about what matters most to their lives. She also took time to renew her own library card! As an Orlando native and an elected official, we asked what role OCLS has had in her life and how she thinks library services benefit the community.


Why did you decide to use the library to hold public office hours?

Libraries are trusted institutions and familiar places for people to gather, share ideas, learn new things and tell stories. It’s also a place where folks often go in search of support or to acquire a new skill and craft. We know that meeting with a legislative office (or any government official) can be intimidating, and also geographically not possible for every person – especially if you don’t have a car. So in an effort to meet our community at a hyper local level and make government more accessible, we reached out to Orange County Library System to make these Summer Library Office Hours a reality!


What role have books and libraries played in your life?

Books and libraries played a huge role in my life. I became an avid reader in third grade, and would spend hours in my school library, public library, and UCF library when I was a student there. Public libraries were especially meaningful as my whole family would go together. My dad would check out the science section and VHS tapes, my mom would explore the home design books and my sister and I would look through chapter books and CDs. I was especially a fan of Nancy Drew and remember signing on to the waiting list to read the newest Harry Potter books too. I actually remember being very young and visiting the Downtown Library for the first time with my Mom. She passed away in 2004 when I was 13 years old, so those memories are really meaningful to me.


Rep. Eskamani smiling while being given her new library card


In your recent visits to different library branches, did you learn anything new about library resources?

It was amazing to see just how much new technology is available to our community via our public libraries, and all of the awesome classes that are provided for folks to learn new skills. I also learned a lot about the different cultural displays at each library, and the role of library staff in creating safe and welcoming environments for all.


September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Why would you encourage people to sign-up for a library card?

Signing up for a library card is an opportunity to learn and grow!


What have you read recently?

Unfortunately, these days most of what I read are bills and policy memos, but right now I am re-reading The Turnaway Study, a prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of unwanted pregnancy on women’s lives. They have an audiobook version, too!

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From book recommendations to pop culture discussions, the Orange County Library System wants you to join the conversation with library staff about the world around us.


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