Produced for the Orange County Library System by The Pulptown Creative Studio
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We are excited to launch a summer project that you will definitely want to check out.
Over the next few months, we’ll be declaring our love for the Orange County Library System with a series we’re calling: 101 Things We Love About The Library.
Why 101 reasons? To celebrate 101 E. Central Blvd — the headquarters for OCLS.
Kicking things off…
#1 Free library cards: Access to the system is free (!!!!) and takes two minutes to register. Here’s where to sign up or replace your lost card.
#2 Committed to creating an inclusive environment: Earlier this week the library released a statement to reaffirm their opposition to hatred, racism and intolerance. They help engage the public through their Read to Understand Catalog List includes books like Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice, The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, and a couple dozen additional titles.
#3 Virtual Summer Reading Program: This year the annual program is going virtual. The Summer Reading Program is broken down by age groups and includes reading lists, virtual events, online classes, and more. It started earlier this week, but you still have time to join.
#4 The library is open: As of June 1, all locations are open at 25% capacity for essential services, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
#5 Engaging digital events: The library hosted a Star Wars Readers Theater, a virtual event where kids acted out Star Wars books and learned how to make their own props. Check out their upcoming events.
#6 Free home delivery: Offered as a service since 1974, OCLS will deliver nearly any item available for physical checkout to your mailbox. Requesting home delivery is easier than ordering a pizza – just hit “Request Home Delivery” at checkout. When you’re ready to return, drop off your items at any library location. Thanks to Pulptown reader Adly S. for sharing this tip.
#7 Shelf Centered podcast: The library added the Shelf Centered podcast to their lineup in April. Think of it as your backstage pass on all things OCLS with features on authors, library staff, book recommendations, and more. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher.
#8 OCLS Writer’s Group: Have a goal of writing a book this year? OCLS Writer’s Group is your local place to share pieces for critique and discussion. Check the upcoming schedule for virtual meetings and RSVP in advance.
#9 Interactive Digital Events: The library hosts dozens of digital events every day. Add Shakespeare LIVE! to your calendar for Monday and you’ll get the chance to learn about and perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
#10 These Three Things: Every Monday, OCLS posts a weekly video that highlights three things you should know about happening this week or general fun tips. It’s one of the ways we stay in the know of what’s happening at the library – and this week’s episode is no different. Btw, you ARE following the library on Insta, right?
#11 Unique partnerships: PBS Books, along with the University of Michigan Penny Stamps Speaker Series, is bringing creative leaders and their stories to various libraries across the country.
#12 Virtual Spanish classes for kids: Like the Hola Amigos class on Monday (Lunes). The class will cover colors, numbers, days of the week, and then some.
#13 Your health is top of mind: If you tune into OCLS’s Instagram on Tuesday, you can watch Chef Yamira Lee Johnson walk you through how to make summer detox drinks. 😋
#14 Biz Kids Club: Budding kid entrepreneurs, ages 9-14, are encouraged to sign up for the instructor-led OCLS’s Biz Kids Club. Participants develop a business plan, design marketing materials, and pitch their biz ideas in the twice-a-week meetings.
#15 Fun GIFs: Add an OCLS gif to your next Insta story. When you’re creating a story on Instagram – or through the GIPHY app – search “OCLS” to find an array of digital stickers you can send to your book-loving peeps.
#16 Colorful art: Have you seen the west facade of Orlando Public Library? Light Waves, by artist Christopher Janney, is a glass sculpture made of four colored bands that cover the building with a splash of color.
#18 Storyline: Set up some milk and cookies and then give (407) 835-7333 a call. Follow the prompts to hear an interactive story told by professional storytellers – you can choose from fairytales, folktales, or fables in English or Spanish.
#19 Learning spanish: Join the library for Basic Spanish on July 1. The vocab workshop is geared for beginners.
#20 Making Hot Dog Roasters: Unleash your inner engineer and use the energy of the sun to roast a hot dog using a Pringles can (yes, a Pringles can) plus a couple other materials. RSVP here.
#21 Citizenship Inspired: OCLS empowers immigrants to be fully prepared to pass the U.S. Naturalization Test by providing help with citizenship questions, practicing the citizenship interview, and offering information about the citizenship process. If you or someone you know would like to sign up, the next four-week session starts tomorrow.
#22 The library’s architecture: “Love that the downtown library is a prime example of Brutalism in architecture. It looks so unwelcoming on the outside but has an instant charm when you go in” Thanks to @winterparkhoodlums for this suggestion. To learn more about the history of the library’s architecture head over to their blog post.
#23 Recipe ideas: Here’s a dinner idea for this week – Rainbow Seafood Stir Fry. Tune in today at 6:30 p.m. for a virtual event with Chef Ha Roda and see how to prepare this tasty meal featuring shrimp, calamari, and peppers.
#24 Book recommendations: Three of OCLS’s Collection Development Librarians put together a list of a dozen book ideas to add to your summer reading list.
#25 Local Wanderer Lapel Pins: The brilliant folks at @secretsocietygoods just launched an amazing lapel pin to celebrate the library’s award-winning culture pass program, Local Wanderer. Order yours online for $10 and rock the pin proudly knowing that proceeds support the Friends of the Orange County Library System.
#26 Free Lynda.com access: Lynda from Linkedin – the ultimate video-based educational resource to help with just about anything related to software, creative, or business – can be costly. Luckily, with your OCLS Library Card, you get free access.
#27 Video Production Camp: Alert your kids obsessed with TikTok and Youtube – this five-day virtual video production camp is geared toward kids 13-to-17 years old. Starting July 20, they’ll learn the principles and techniques of creating a video from the professionals at The Melrose Center.
#28 David Buckley Mural at Alafaya: The library shared this timelapse video of artist David Buckley creating a mural on the wall of the Alafaya Branch. He’s also the artist of the popular mural at the Fairview Shores Branch.
#29 Melrose in the Mix: The live recording series by WUCF highlights local artists recording an album in front of an intimate audience and really highlights OCLS’s Melrose Center space. Jump into AMiAM’s performance – he shares some slick dance moves and also goes into his musical inspirations.
#31 Mobile check out: Not in the mood to talk to anyone while visiting the library in person? Try cloudLibrary. It’s an app that allows your phone to scan books for you to check out. Just be sure to stop by the Fastlane check out station to deactivate your items.
#32 Interview Like a Pro: Hear super practical tips to help you practice and prepare for your next job interview. Register in advance for Tuesday’s session.
#33 Farm-to-Cup Coffee: Jarrett Johnson of Lineage Coffee will share how he and his coffee-loving crew picks the perfect bean. RSVP for this caffeinated class.
#34 The library’s social worker: Meet Andre Morris, OCLS’s social worker. He assists library patrons one-on-one and helps refer them to experts on affordable housing, SNAP benefits, immigration, healthcare, counseling, and a number of other topics. If you would like Andre’s help, just fill out the request form and expect a response within a couple of business days. In the course of a year, OCLS helps more than 2,000 people with social work.
#35 Caregiver Connect: Connect with other caregivers of toddlers and preschoolers at this weekly Wednesday event. Check out next week’s class.
#36 Orlando Memory: This community-based digital archive by OCLS captures and preserves the stories, images, and memories of our community. With all that is going on right now, we’re living interesting times – wouldn’t you say? Consider submitting an important memory today.
#37 Homeschool resources: OCLS has a number of resources for homeschoolers – live tutoring with brainfuse, science, and math videos on Kanopy, plus even help with homework – check out their full list of resources.
#38 Hurricane checklists: Hurricane season is here. OCLS’s preparedness guide is a comprehensive resource that puts us in good shape prior to being in any cone of uncertainty.
#39 End of summer wrap-up party: The end of summer is near (boo!) but that means we get to celebrate the Summer Reading Program (yay!). RSVP to Saturday’s event and see who’ll be winning this year’s grand prize.
#40 Career advancement resources: Pulptown reader Melissa A. shares: “When I was getting ready to study for the NCLEX, the registered nurse exam, a very resourceful staff member showed me all the free resources they had! I was very surprised at the quality items they had that were easily accessible online. They helped me earn my license. Thanks, OC library!” (🎓 Congrats, Melissa!)
#41 Winning a Community Engagement Award: The library was recently acknowledged for their awesome programming with an award for their Orlando Children’s Business Fair. The kid and teen-focused event allows the youngins to debut their inventions, products, and build marketing strategies during a one-day marketplace.
#42 Friends of the Library: This group works to support the library to enhance resources, innovations, and services for us. Think of them as the library’s biggest cheerleaders. They also sponsor programs and work to encourage gifts, endowments, and bequests for the benefit of the library. You can be a Friend yourself as a member and/or volunteer!
#43 Friends of the Library Bookstore: The bookstore is open for business! Call (407) 835-7494 to make an appointment to browse their selection of books, DVDs, and other items for sale at great prices. Don’t skip their 50¢ carts.
#44 The library supports early voting: You can vote early for the 2020 Primary election at nine of the local library branches through 7 p.m. Sunday, August 16. The participating locations are Alafaya, Chickasaw, Fairview Shores, Hiawassee, South Creek, Southeast, Southwest, Washington Park, and West Oaks.
#45 Genealogy resources: The Genealogy Collection at OCLS is remarkable. Housed at the West Oaks Branch Library & Genealogy Center, the collection offers an extensive collection of genealogy reference books, microfilm collections, genealogy periodicals, and print indexes, including U.S. Federal Census Records and passenger and immigration lists. The library also offers free help in navigating the maze of research through Book a PRO.
#46 Virtual Community Resource Fair: Reaching Out, OCLS’s community resource fair, will be a virtual event this year, happening Saturday. Several local organizations – Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), The Center, Homeless Service Network of Central Florida, Miracle of Love, and United Against Poverty, will come together to tell you how they are helping you and your neighbors. Sign up for the event.
#47 Printing options: If your printer is out of ink or you’re tired of hauling to Kinko’s every time you need a copy printed, the library is a good option. They offer black and white copies for 15 cents.
#48 Big Read: This program by the National Endowment for the Arts is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. This year, the library is celebrating Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. A virtual event with the author is scheduled for this Sunday with additional events happening through mid-September. Check out the Big Read’s full lineupthat will help inspire conversation and discovery.
#49 Reel to Real Podcast: The podcast, hosted by Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Bruce Hensal and members of the Melrose Center Audio team, dives into the world of music and recording sessions. Check out their latest episode featuring Joe Foglia, a sound mixer who worked on Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and the TV show Scrubs.
#50 Crochet class: Crochet a trivet (for non-crocheters, it’s what you put on your table to protect it from hot, fresh-outta-the-oven dishes) in a virtual class this Friday.
#51 EPOCH: Created by OCLS – Electronically Preserving Obituaries as Cultural Heritage – is a digital hub that allows anyone to create and publish a free obituary. Many of the obituaries feature multiple photos, videos, and audio files to help preserve our community histories.
#52 Ken Melrose: One of the recent tributes on EPOCH features Ken Melrose. Ken was known throughout Central Florida as a business leader, author, and for his philanthropy with the Melrose Family Foundation. It was through the foundation that he helped bring the Melrose Center to life. Learn more about Ken’s legacy here.
#53 OCLS x StoryCorps: In 2018, Orange County Library System customers and staff had their library memories recorded by StoryCorps. The library then commissioned local sketch artist Thomas Thorspecken to chronicle the event in his unique style. In this touring exhibit at the Chickasaw Branch you can view his art and listen to the corresponding story through September.
#54 Hiawassee Book Club: Jump into the Hiawassee Book Club’s September selection Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok. The club will gather virtually on September 24 to chat about this New York Times bestseller.
#55 Learn a new language: The library has several ways for you to learn dozens of languages. We’ll be brushing up on our French, because why not?
#56 Ancestry Library Edition: This fantastic resource is currently available to library users from home. Now is a great time to research your family tree – maybe you have a secret family member living in France you can practice your Français with, non?
#57 Their adorable pups: To celebrate #InternationalDogDay, the library’s staff shared photos of their pups on Instagram. They 🐶 are 🐶 so 🐶 cuuuuuuute.
#58 National Library Card Sign-up Month: No library card? Need your card replaced? No problem. Getting access to the library’s services and opportunities is easy – all you need is a Florida driver’s license or ID number. Jump online and fill out this form or head to any branch close to you.
#60 Libby: One of the most popular features of the library is access to Libby, your all-access digital pass to books and audiobooks. Download the free app to your phone, connect it to your library account, and voila. You can even send books to your Kindle through Libby. 😉
#61 The Wrong Grave discussion: Grab a pumpkin spice latte (yes, we know, it’s early) and settle in to discuss a short story from Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters and learn the real stories behind Orlando’s Greenwood Cemetery. Here’s where to register for tomorrow’s event, another installment of the NEA Big Read.
#62 Hidden Orlando: Join Pulptown’s Katie Johnston (👋 hey, that’s me!) plus Ricky Ly from Tasty Chomps and Brendan from Bungalower as they share their favorite secret spots in Orlando. The convo will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube – head over to the event page on Facebook and hit “get reminder” for Saturday’s 2 p.m. event.
#63 Supporting financial confidence: Girl, get confident about your finances with Money Talks for Women, a virtual event on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Learn about library services that give you goal-oriented tools for saving, investing, and more.
#64 Volunteer opportunities: Orange County Library System offers a number of ways for teens and adults to get involved and help their local library. Perks of volunteering include: Free book smells, meeting new people, and knowing that you’re giving back to a nearly 100-year-old institution. Check out the available volunteer opportunities.
#65 We’re the Same We’re Different: Happening today – We’re the Same We’re Different – a virtual event for preschoolers. Read stories, sing songs, and enjoy a craft that celebrates the diversity of the world. Register for the 11 a.m. event.
#66 A book club for podcasts: Join the Southwest Podcast Discussion Club where you’ll listen to a list of podcasts beforehand and then come together to chat about them. This month’s theme is Freedom of Speech – check out the podcast listening list and register for the Sept. 15 event.
#68 A Talk with Fredrik Backman: OCLS has teamed up with Writer’s Block Bookstore to have a chat with Fredrik Backman, author of Anxious People. Moderator Edward Booker will sit down with the bestselling author for the Sept. 15 event. Listen to their convo for free, or pick up a signed copy of his book and support your local bookstore.
#67 The secret is out: Sign up your lower and upper elementary students to hear more about the vital role trees play in our environment. Secret Life of Trees is a virtual event on Sept. 16. Bonus: This event also includes a craft, so have paper, a pencil, and paint nearby.
➡️ What do you love about the library? What are some of your favorite resources, programs, or groups? Have an amazing tip you wanna share? Submit your thoughts and we’ll add them to our list above.