Orange County Library System has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions. Further, as a recognized national leader in providing cutting-edge library services, representatives of the Orange County Library System are regularly invited to present at major national conferences. A partial listing of recent awards and grants received appears below:

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Hero Spark Award Ceremony

OCLS Receives Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award

May 2019

The Florida Library Association recognized Orange County Library System's after school program, Hero Spark After School Adventures with the 2019 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award. The award - which is given out at the Florida Library Association's Annual Conference - recognizes outstanding programs of direct service to youth. Hero Spark provides tutoring and gaming programs to 11-18 year olds. Their primary program, After-School Adventures, blends homework help and gaming in a unique way that makes for a fun and engaging after-school experience. The program has resulted in a measurable increase in library use, seeing 12-24 students participating daily. In 2018, students participated in 2900 hours of homework help and face-to- face tabletop gaming, and Hero Spark served 108 unique participants at the Orlando Public Library alone.

OCLS Awarded $1,500 for Participation in Beanstack’s Second Annual Winter Reading Challenge

March 2019

In March, Orange County Library System was recognized as one of the national winners of Beanstack’s second annual Winter Reading Challenge. The program, sponsored by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, challenged Beanstack users to meet a collective goal of reading at least 5 million minutes and 75,000 books in January. In total, Beanstack users actually read 13,000,000 minutes and 153,000 books. Library customers read 2,154% over our goals by completing 45,091 minutes and logging 2,315 books. Winners were determined based upon a few key factors including Outreach, Active Participation, Absolute Numbers and Community Sharing.   The $1500 awarded to OCLS for it's participation in the program will be used to provide incentives for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Beanstack program so the Library can continue encouraging early literacy development in our youngest customers.


Melrose Center Audio Studio

Melrose Center Receives Endowment to Stay on the Cutting Edge

December 2018

The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity has been chosen to receive a $500,000 endowment from the Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation to upgrade and enhance its software and technology. The endowment will be used to keep the Melrose Center up to date with the latest hardware and software in its virtual reality, photography, video and audio studios, as well as the Fab Lab where the public is invited to get hands on with 3D printers, robotics and more. 

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Orange County Library System Recognized as a 2018 Recipient of Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

April 2018

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced Orange County Library System of Orlando, Florida, as one of 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 24 years, the award has celebrated 182 institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. OCLS was recognized for the work it does to support its community, particularly when it comes to providing access to STEM education for children living in underserved communities, ESOL classes for adults and families, and a commitment to providing access to high-quality educational tools for children in the county’s public school system. 

For a complete list of 2018 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit

Orange County Library System receives $100,000 grant from Walt Disney World

Orange County Library System receives $100,000 grant from Walt Disney World

April 2018

On April 17, Walt Disney World visited the Orange County Library System’s Winter Garden Branch to award OCLS with a $100,000 Disney Grant. Disney brought its Toy Story themed tailgate party to the library to announce the good news. The funds will be used to work with two local nonprofit organizations, ArtReach Orlando and Hero Spark, to enhance programming offered during the library’s annual Summer Reading Program.

Orange County Library System chosen for the 2018 Upstart Library Innovation Award

April 2018

The Upstart Innovation Award, presented by the Public Library Association, recognizes a public library’s innovative, cutting-edge, creative service to their community.  OCLS received the Upstart Innovation Award in recognition for its BizKids program, a series of classes and events aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and teaching young people the skills needed to succeed in business. These classes teach topics ranging from the basics of Microsoft Office to developing a business plan.  Winners are presented with $2,000 and a plaque in their honor.

Director/CEO Mary Anne Hodel receives 2018 Charlie Robinson Award

April 2018

Mary Anne Hodel, Director and CEO of the Orange County Library System, has been selected as the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2018 Charlie Robinson Award.  This prestigious award, presented by book vendor Baker & Taylor and the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, honors a public library director who has proven to be a risk taker, an innovator and a change agent known for developing and implementing programs responsive to the needs of the community. The award consists of $1,000 and a gift to the director, who will be honored at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

Disney Awards $50,000 to Orange County Library System as Part of 2017 Disney Grants

October 2017

The Orange County Library System recently received $50,000 from Walt Disney World Resort through Disney Grants. With the funds, the Orange County Library System was able to support its annual Summer Reading Program, which attracted more than 116,000 people to attend more than 3,000 fun, educational events and activities at 16 library branches all summer long.

In all, Walt Disney World Resort awarded nearly $4 million in Disney Grants in support of efforts to positively impact the lives of over 300,000 local children and their families.

The Disney Grants directly support Central Floridians and help to strengthen our neighborhoods, inspire our children, create stronger family bonds and promote a more compassionate environment.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards OCLS $10,000

July 2017

After a Dollar General Manager credited the Southeast Branch's ESOL classes for teaching him English, Dollar General donated $10,000 to support language learning programs throughout the Library.

Library Journal Gives Special Mention to OCLS

June 2017

Library Journal gave a special mention to the Orange County Library System (OCLS) in its 2017 Library of the Year awards program.

This national annual award recognizes innovative libraries that stay on the cutting edge in delivering innovative resources, technology and programming to the communities served. Library Journal sponsors multiple awards to recognize greatness and contributions to the library industry—the highest honor of which is Library of the Year.