ERIC Number: EJ704197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-1
Reference Count: N/A
No Mickey Mouse Operation: Despite Cutting-Edge Technology, Free Book Delivery, and Bilingual Programming, Luring Users Is the Orange County Library's Greatest Challenge
Library Journal, v129 n10 p50 Jun 2004
Living in the vast shadow cast by the spires of the Magic Kingdom presents special challenges for Orlando's Orange County Library System (OCLS), the most formidable of which is increasing its relatively small user base. The library additionally faces tension between the administration and staff, political strife on the board, and looming contract negotiations with the union that neither side will discuss publicly. To anchor the library in the role of community hub, OCLS board president Thomas Kohler says the focus is in creating an institution "that gives you a feel that this is your home." Toward that goal OCLS is working hard at developing innovations. Surprisingly, Kohler does not fault tourism, instead asserting that so many job-seekers temporarily move to Orlando from around the country that "they feel they still have a hometown somewhere else." Indeed, the area's attractions are among the county's heaviest employers. Disney alone commands a staff of 55,000. To show how much the library has to offer, OCLS staffers have targeted schools and challenged teachers to educate students on what a library card can do. This article is divided into the following sections reflecting topics relating to the library: Budget base; Stiff competition; Run like a business; Staff concerns; Board games; Modernizing the fortress; Online reference; The public's university; Making history; Amazon, schmamazon; and OCLS at a Glance.
Descriptors: Library Services, Financial Support, Budgets, Library Role, Outreach Programs, Library Administration, Librarians, Library Personnel, Library Automation, Internet, Public Libraries
Library Journal, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 800-588-1030 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.libraryjournal.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida