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OCLS Branches – Then and Now

ABOVE: South Trail Library circa 1982.

Orange County Library System Branch Libraries in 1993

Beginning in February 1993, the Friends of the Library Newsletters featured one of the eleven branches each month. The January 1993 newsletter announced the year-long “visits:”

In the coming months, the Friends Newsletter will visit, in print and spirit, each of the eleven branches in the Orange County Library System. John Martin, Division Head of Branches since 1990, notes that all branches have a selected collection of reference books and circulating items in demand from patrons and that each branch takes on a personality of its own according to the needs and preferences of an area… The branches are spread throughout the county with East Orange and Southeast to the east of the downtown Main Library; North Orange and Edgewater to the north; West Orange, West Colonial and Washington Park to the west; and South Trail, Southwest, South Orange and Windermere to the south. No rigid rules fix branch locations. They follow population and need. Most branches are leased buildings to make moving easy and many are located in shopping areas for patron convenience… Southeast, East Orange and West Colonial are the busiest branches, checking out about 40,000 items each month. Most branches are open Monday through Saturday with Washington Park, West Orange and Windermere Libraries open Tuesday through Saturday… Some have meeting rooms available for non profit clubs and organizations.

February 1993 – East Orange Library

In 1965 the Azalea Park Branch began operation on Lake Barton Road. It became the Eastland Branch when it moved to a much larger location in the Eastland Shopping Center on East Colonial Drive in 1972. The library moved to the Tower Square Shopping Center on East Colonial Drive in 1986, and the name was changed to East Orange.

Read more about the East Orange branch and staff members Anne Bufkin, Howard Hornburg and Toni Ripley.


View the February 1993 newsletter

The East Orange location closed when the new Alafaya branch opened at the corner of East Colonial and Sophie Drive on February 1, 2000.

Read about Alafaya’s 20th Anniversary and the current branch location, description, and hours.

March 1993 – Edgewater Library

The College Park Branch opened in 1950 at 703 Smith Street but moved six years later to 2518 Edgewater Drive. The Branch there was enlarged in 1961, and in 1966 moved to the Edgewater Shopping Center. In 1972 the branch moved to the Northgate Plaza on Edgewater Drive near Lee Road. The branch moved again in 1987 to the Edgewater Commerce Center and the name was changed to Edgewater Branch. The branch returned to the Northgate Plaza in 1997 and served the neighboring communities for almost 22 years.

Read more about the Edgewater Library and manager Carolyn Rosenblum.  Read about the library staff members at Edgewater in 2002.


View the March 1993 newsletter

The Edgewater branch was replaced by the new Fairview Shores branch which opened on June 3, 2019 in the shopping center on Lee Road at Adanson.

Read about the current branch location, description, and hours.

April 1993 – North Orange

Prior to the opening of the North Orange library, Apopka was served by the library’s bookmobile in the 1950s. By 1959, there were three stops in the Apopka area – Apopka and Dream Lake Elementary schools and another in a bank parking lot. In November 1964, the North Orange branch opened at 312 Central Avenue, replacing the popular bookmobile stop. According to the 1965-1966 Annual Report, the branch moved into larger quarters at the Palm Plaza Shopping Center on February 1, 1966. The 1968-1969 Annual report confirms that the branch moved into the 3,500 square foot space in the Palm Plaza Shopping Center in 1969. In April 1973, the library moved to larger quarters in the same shopping plaza. After almost 20 years in Palm Plaza, North Orange branch opened in their present location at the corner of Semoran Blvd. and Thompson Road on January 31, 1989.

Read more about the North Orange branch and staff members Lou Paolilli and Alan Clark.

View the April 1993 newsletter

Read about the North Orange staff and Go Pink Day 2002 and the current branch location, description, and hours..

May 1993 – South Orange

The South Orange branch opened in January 1992, at 11346 South Orange Blossom Trail in the Waterbridge Downs Shopping Center. Ten years later, in October 2002, it was replaced by the current South Creek Branch located at 1702 Deerfield Blvd., at the intersection of Deerfield Boulevard and Balcombe Road and is the southernmost branch in Orange County.

Read more about the South Orange Branch and branch manager Ann Fenton.

View the May 1993 newsletter

Read about the Music Club at South Creek and the current branch location, description, and hours.

June 1993 – South Trail

The history of the South Trail branch spans almost six decades! It began in April 1965 as the Fort Gatlin branch located at the intersection of Gatlin and Orange avenues at 105 Gatlin Avenue. In 1981, the library moved into larger quarters in the South Trail Shopping Center on the southwest corner of South Orange Blossom Trail and Holden Avenue. Finally, in 1996, the South Trail branch moved to it’s current site in the Orange Blossom Center at 4600 South Orange Blossom Trail.

Read more about the South Trail branch, Fort Gatlin branch, managers Martha Staples and Lou Paolilli, and artist Betty Harvey.

View the June 1993 newsletter

Read about the current branch location, description, and hours.

July 1993 – Southeast

The 10,000 square foot Southeast branch opened at 2101 South Semoran Blvd. on January 14, 1986. It moved to its current location in the Hoffner Centre at 5575 South Semoran Blvd., at the corner of Semoran and Hoffner Road in 1994. It was originally called the “Southeast Library Outlet,” because it was a test site for innovations for possible use in all the libraries, like drive-up service windows and multiple meetings rooms.

Read more about the history of the Southeast branch and staff members Howard Hornburg and Sally Hardy.

View the July 1993 newsletter

Read about Southeast’s 25th Anniversary celebration and the current branch location, description, and hours.

August 1993 – Southwest

The 15,000 square foot Southwest branch in the Dr. Phillip’s area opened on March 21, 1989. Located at 7255 Della Drive, just off Dr. Phillips Blvd., the beautiful Mediterranean style building was designed by the Schweizer and Associates architecture firm, who also designed the Orlando Public Library.  At opening, there were approximately 80,000 items available for library patrons!

Read more about the Southwest branch and branch manager Sue Wright.

View the August 1993 newsletter

Read about the Southwest Book Club and the current branch location, description, and hours.

September 1993 – Washington Park

The 5,600 square foot Washington Park branch opened on April 11, 1984, at 5151 Raleigh Street in the Lila Mitchell Community Center. The Washington Park branch replaced the Booker T. Washington and Washington Shores branches, consolidating them into one location.

The Booker T. Washington branch – the first African American library in Orlando – opened on June 11, 1924, in the former rectory of the St. John’s Episcopal Church at 107 South Terry Street. It  was managed by Eddie T. Jackson, Orlando’s first African American librarian. The branch was relocated to a new mid-century modern building in August 1954, at the corner of Jackson and Terry Streets.

A library station was established in Washington Shores in 1963. It was relocated in 1965 to new quarters in the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist at 1000 Bethune Drive becoming the Washington Shores branch. The branch was moved in 1981 to the Southwest Boys Club.

View the September 1993 newsletter

Read more about branch manager Ann Wiley, the Washington Park and Orlando’s African American libraries.

October 1993 – West Colonial

The Pine Hills Branch was one of the first additions to the library system after Orange county residents approved the library millage in 1963. The Pine Hills Library Association raised money for a library station in the Pine Hills Shopping Center on West Colonial Drive. In 1969 the Branch expanded into adjacent shopping center space. In 1974, the branch was relocated to the Silver Pines Shopping Center at Silver Star and Pine Hills Road. The branch moved to a new location in the West Colonial Oaks Shopping Center at Hiawassee and Colonial in 1990. At that time the name was changed to West Colonial Library.

Read more about the West Colonial and  Pine Hills branches and branch manager Clara Magee.

View the October 1993 newsletter

In March 2000, the branch was renamed Hiawassee when it moved to the shopping center at the intersection of Hiawassee and Silver Star Road. In early 2010, the Hiawassee branch moved to a new home near the corner of Hiawassee Road and West Colonial Drive in the Highland Lakes shopping plaza.

Read about the current branch location, description, and hours.

November 1993 – West Orange

In November 1964, the West Orange Branch at 155 West Maple Street in Winter Garden replaced the former Winter Garden bookmobile station. Within a year, the City of Winter Garden purchased two lots on Cypress Street to hold as a site for a new branch library building. In August 1967, the Orange County Commission acquired the land from the City of Winter Garden. The building was dedicated on April 20, 1969 at One East Cypress Street, Winter Garden.

Read more about the West Orange branch and branch manager Glenda Houck.

View the November 1993 newsletter

The West Orange branch was replaced in 2005 by the new Winter Garden branch. The new branch sits at the westernmost part of Orange County. It is the only branch built on donated land. The family of former citrus grove owner, Sylvester C. Battaglia donated two acres for construction of the library and the official branch name – S. C. Battaglia Memorial Branch – honors his contributions to the community.

Read about the Winter Garden Orlando Memory event and the current branch location, description, and hours.

December 1993 – Windermere

The Town of Windermere constructed the and furnished the 6,400 square foot Windermere library building at 520 Main Street in Windermere’s Town Square. At the request of the Town of Windermere, the Library Board agreed to operate and staff the library and maintain the collection. What began as a town library became a branch of the Orange County Library System in August 1991. The official branch name is the Franklin W. Chase Memorial Library, but most just refer to it as the Windermere library.

In the 1920s, the Albertson Public Library provided books to local schools to form “School Stations,” with one being located at Windermere Elementary School. The 1928 Annual Report lists them as “branches,” but they were usually  referred to as “stations.” The Windermere station is mentioned in many of the early annual reports.

Read more about the Windermere branch, branch manager Ann Wiley, John Luff’s County Store library, and the Chase family.

View the December 1993 newsletter

Read about the Windermere Orlando Memory event and the current branch location, description, and hours.

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ATTACHMENTS

January 1993

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993.

February 1993 - East Orange

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. February 1993 - East Orange...

March 1993 - Edgewater

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. March 1993 - Edgewater

April 1993 - North Orange

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. April 1993 - North Orange

May 1993 - South Orange

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. May 1993 - South Orange

June 1993 - South Trail

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. June 1993 - South Trail

July 1993 - Southeast

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. July 1993 - Southeast

August 1993 Southwest

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. August 1993 Southwest

September 1993 - Washington Park

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. September 1993 - Washington Park

October 1993 - West Colonial

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. October 1993 - West Colonial

November 1993 - West Orange

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. November 1993 - West Orange...

December 1993 - Windermere

Each of the then eleven branches were featured in the Friends of the Library Newsletters in 1993. December 1993 - Windermere

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January 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

January 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


February 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

February 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


March 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

March 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


April 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

April 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


May 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

May 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


June 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

June 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


July 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

July 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


August 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

August 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


September 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

September 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


October 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

October 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


November 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

November 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


December 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter

December 1993 Friends of the Library Newsletter


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