Ocls-blog logo

Looking Ahead to Our Bright Future

Design rendering of the future Horizon West branch.

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 down our year-long celebration, we want to give you a glimpse into what the future holds for Orange County Library System.

New Year, New Strategy: In 2023, we embarked on a process to revisit our Strategic Plan, a document that helps outline our high-level goals for the next three years. Over the coming months, we’ll be working with a consultant to hold focus groups, stakeholder meetings and planning sessions to help us prioritize our goals and objectives that ensure we’re meeting your needs for years to come.

Think of it as a road map to help us stay on track as we navigate the path forward. 

Next Stop – Bookmobile: Mobile services are one of the ways we have promised to reduce barriers to service, and in January, we received $100,000 from Sorosis of Orlando Woman’s Club to bring mobile services, including a bookmobile, to Orange County. We recently published a request for written proposals from qualified vendors to design and build one for us. We can’t wait for it to hit the road so we can bring books, events and opportunities into the communities we serve.

Branching Out: We’ve got two new branches in the works, as you already know, but our Horizon West Branch is now starting to take shape. This is the first time we’ve shared conceptual images of the branch, and we’re excited to show you our ideas. Above is a rendering of the branch’s west entrance, which features a branching archway meant to represent the limbs of a tree. On the branch’s east side, we plan to plant a specimen tree, visible from the corridor, that will be a focal point for the location. The branch’s interior and exterior design will be themed to complement the natural environment, with native plantings, organic textures and windows that allow views of the beautiful park grounds outside. We hope to see the branch take shape next year, with a projected opening date in 2025. (This image is a rendering only, and is subject to change before construction.)

As for our Lake Nona Branch, stay tuned for more details. We’re making progress there, too. As soon as we have renderings and details, we’ll share them here.

Meet the Authors: You may have noticed that we brought multiple big-name authors to Orlando in 2023 (R.L. StineJulia QuinnKwame OnwuachiNeil GaimanArt SpiegelmanJane Green). Well, thanks to a generous bequest from a community member, which we’ll reveal more details about at a later date, our Friends of the Orange County Library System plans to underwrite an author series that will allow us to elevate the literary scene with even more fantastic author events. Keep your eye on Books & Beyond to learn more as our plan comes together.

We can’t do this alone, of course. We’re grateful to our community partners who invite us to outreach events at their facilities. We’re lucky to have the support of our city and county governments, our schools and our Friends group, all of whom help us share information about library events and programs so we can reach as many people as possible. And last, but certainly not least, we’re thankful to have you – our cardholders, library lovers, donors and friends. You’re our greatest champions and the biggest reason our future is so bright. 

Information Icon

Presidential Preference Primary Election Early Voting at Select Library Locations

Ten OCLS Branch locations will host early voting for the 2024 Early Voting Primary Election from Monday, March 4 to Sunday, March 17 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.): Alafaya, Chickasaw, Fairview Shores, Hiawassee, South Creek, Southeast, Southwest, Washington Park, West Oaks, and Winter Garden. Learn more about early voting at select library locations >