Seminole County libraries look to future with 10-year master plan

Commissioners expected to hear recommendations in August

Since the library system opened its five branches in 1987, not much has changed to the buildings.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As the population in Seminole County keeps growing, the Seminole County Public Library System is looking to meet the booming demand.

Kathi Efland is the public services manager for the library system.

[TRENDING: Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf reflects on tragedy 6 years later | Several factors are converging to push gas prices higher | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“We welcome everybody, and we want to keep doing that,” Efland said.

She said since the library system opened its five branches in 1987, not much has changed to the buildings.

“There hasn’t been a lot of updating to the buildings or the facilities in that time,” she said.

Even though Seminole County’s population has grown in the last 35 years, the county said the library system serves more than 470,000 residents. Efland said nearly 70% of residents are library card holders.

“Which speaks really well to how much the community values their library,” Efland said.

By 2040, the Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research projects more than 565,000 people will live in Seminole County. Efland said the library system needs to grow along with the booming population.

“It feels like it’s a really good time to have a hard look at where we are and what we need to upgrade or improve or enlarge or move, whatever needs to be done,” she said.

That’s why the library system is launching a 10-year master plan. The library system is gathering feedback from residents and hiring consultants to look at what improvements could be made, including upgrades to facilities, services offered and locations.

“Are we still located in the places where our customers are, or do we have customers that are having difficulty getting to us?” Efland said.

County commissioners are expected to get an update on the recommendations in August. Efland said she is excited for the library’s future.

“We feel like we’re at a great time. The county hopefully will be in agreement,” she said.