Ocls-blog logo

National Library Week: The Melrose Center

National Library Week

My name is Kaylie Pasternak, and I will be taking you through this year’s National Library Week at Orange County Library System! National Library Week is a time to bring libraries to light and show support for all they do. The Melrose Center was founded in 2014 by a grant from the Melrose family foundation and is over 26,000 square feet. It offers an array of resources to inspire and support creativity and innovation. I chatted with Jim Myers, Melrose Center department head, to find out more about the services and resources they offer.

Why was the Melrose Center created?  

In 2012, the Kendrick B. Melrose Foundation gifted OCLS $1 million to create a space in the Orlando Public Library that would provide library users access to emerging creative technology.  Mr. Melrose wanted to honor the memory of his mother, Dorothy Melrose, who was an educator, investor and one-time Orlando Public Library board member with a keen interest in technology. The library matched the donation and hosted public meetings to help identify what the community might like to see in such a space. In February 2014, the Melrose Center opened.

A band playing in the Melrose Audio Studio for an episode of Melrose in the Mix

What resources are available?   

The Melrose Center has fully equipped audio, photo, video and fiber arts studios, sound booths and editing bays. Later this month we are adding a podcast booth. The makerspace features 3D printers, a laser engraver, Glowforge and other equipment. The game development lab hosts classes and has VR equipment and flight and driving simulators. There is so much to learn, see and do in the Melrose Center.

What is the process to be able to use these resources?

By simply taking the Melrose Center General Orientation (either in-person or online), library users gain access to the editing computers, sound and podcast booths, editing bays, LED wall and rehearsal space. Some training is required to gain access to the other spaces, provided through free classes led by professional Melrose instructors.

What are some upcoming events at the Melrose Center?   

We have a monthly Second Saturday Improv show on the Melrose Stage at 4 p.m. We are celebrating Star Wars on May 4th with a series of themed events in the makerspace and fiber arts studio and we will screen Star Wars episodes 4, 5 and 6 on the LED wall. We’re hosting a cabaret show by Orlando Gay Chorus on the Melrose Stage on June 9.  On June 27, the Melrose Gallery will host a celebration for the opening of our new photography exhibit, Nights From Earth by Andi Cates. The Melrose Pop Festival returns July 7 to the Melrose Stage.

Four members of the Second Saturday Improv troupe on the Melrose Stage

What is your favorite part about working at the Melrose Center?  

Seeing customers learn how to use resources they may otherwise not have access to, then create projects with those resources. Working with a passionate staff that cares about the center and is invested in sharing their expertise.

Are there any new resources coming to the center this year?  

There are regular updates to equipment in all spaces, but probably our most significant new resource is the Podcast Booth which we expect to open by the end of April. It’s for two to four customers to use, with tables and chairs, desktop mics and gear to facilitate great audio recordings.

Alert Icon

Memorial Day Closing

Orange County Library System will be closed Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. The library system will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 28. View a complete list of holiday closures >