Orange County Library System receives national medal for exceptional community outreach

Orange County Library System director and CEO Mary Anne Hodel - photo via OCLS
photo via OCLS
Orange County Library System director and CEO Mary Anne Hodel
"We change lives every day," said Orange County Library System director and CEO Mary Anne Hodel Tuesday as she announced that OCLS is one of 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Just five other libraries nationwide received this honor.

The medal is given to cultural organizations that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. OCLS showed a short video presentation to staff and media covering just a few of their many community engagement initiatives, including ESOL training, the Career Online High School program, access to the Melrose Center, children's STEM education, camps and classes like Cuisine Corner, and fun events like last summer's Potterversary.

"We’re proud of the work we do at the Orange County Library System, and this award is an acknowledgment of the fact that our libraries provide people with an opportunity to engage in truly meaningful learning experiences that they won’t find anywhere else," Hodel said.

Hodel will travel to Washington, D.C., to accept the National Medal on behalf of the library system accompanied by Orlando resident Terhys Persad, who learned video editing skills at the library's Melrose Center. Persad will provide a personal account of the power OCLS has to unlock potential.

Following the ceremony, StoryCorps will visit the Orange County Library System to record community members' stories of how the library has affected their lives. These stories are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service  are:
  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus (Denver, CO)
  • The Detroit Historical Society (Detroit, MI)
  • El Paso Museum of Art (El Paso, TX)
  • Georgetown Public Library (Georgetown, TX)
  • History Museum at the Castle (Appleton, WI)
  • Orange County Library System (Orlando, FL)
  • Pueblo City-County Library District (Pueblo, CO)
  • Reading Public Library (Reading, PA)
  • Rochester Public Library (Rochester, MN)
  • University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History (Eugene, OR)

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About The Author

Jessica Bryce Young

Jessica Bryce Young has been working with Orlando Weekly since 2003, serving as copy editor, dining editor and arts editor before becoming editor in chief in 2016.
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