Orange County Library System’s Board of Trustees has selected Steve Powell as its new library director/CEO. He has been serving as the library’s interim director/CEO and COO since January.
He was selected from among three finalists for the position, all of whom had impressive backgrounds in library service. After an eight-month search, interviews by the library’s Director Search Committee in July and final interviews Aug. 20, the board selected Powell to lead the county’s library system into the future.
“What made Steve stand apart from the other candidates was the institutional knowledge he brings to the role and the initiative he has taken over the past seven months as interim director,” said Crockett Bohannon, president of the Board of Trustees. “He worked hard to not just keep things running smoothly at the library, but to keep things moving forward while waiting for a new director to be selected. Steve’s commitment to Orange County Library System and his fresh approach to how we serve our community is inspiring. I am excited about the future of the library under his leadership.”
Accomplishments during his tenure as interim director include finalizing leases for new branches in both the Lake Nona and Horizon West communities; making changes that allow farmworkers and children living in foster homes to have access to library services; and extending automatic renewals for library materials, which reduces the likelihood that library users will be burdened with late fees. He also introduced a Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility Committee “to help the library cultivate an environment in which everyone in the community and on staff feels like they belong,” the board said.
Powell has been with Orange County Library System since 2007, when he was hired for the role of service manager. He was promoted to Facilities and Operations Department head in 2011, and in 2018, he was named the library’s chief operating officer. He was appointed to the role of interim director/CEO in January, which has given the library’s staff, board and community partners a chance to better get to know him.