Our History Speaks Volumes: Remembering Glenn F. Miller (1937–1996)

June 14, 2021 | Mike Donohue
Our History Speaks Volumes: Remembering Glenn F. Miller (1937–1996)

On November 1, 1970, Library Director Clara Wendel retired having served 27 years as head of Orange County Library System. She was succeeded by Glenn Miller, who became only the third library director in OCLS’ nearly 50-year history.

Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, Miller began his career in library service in 1958, working as a reference assistant at Saginaw Public Library. Shortly thereafter, Miller became City Librarian in Southfield, Michigan and served as director for Greene County Library System.

In June 1969, Glenn Miller and his family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where he became the assistant director of Orlando Public Library. Glenn was named director shortly thereafter at the age of 32. His numerous contributions to Orange County Library System include championing the bond issue that gave the library status as an independent taxing district and overseeing the expansion of the Orlando Public Library building.

Glenn Miller’s customer-centric approach to leadership often saw him referencing the fictional Orange County resident Harry Smith. To Miller, Smith was an amalgam of civically engaged residents who believed they should have an innovative level of library service commensurate to the amount they paid in taxes. To that end, Miller created new policies for everything from how customers were treated, to how books were organized in the stacks in order to increase accessibility and make it easier to browse. Miller’s philosophy is perhaps best exemplified by his adoption of our most widely used resource: home delivery.

Miller retired from Orange County Library System in 1995, after 25 years of devoted service. He passed away the following June. This month marks the 25th anniversary of his passing.

To learn more about Director Glenn F. Miller, visit Orlando Memory at orlandomemory.info.

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