Glenn F. Miller was born December 5, 1937 in Saginaw, Michigan, 4th of 11 children to Herbert and Evelyn Miller. Miller attended elementary school, junior high and senior high school in Saginaw, Michigan. An avid reader, Miller began clerking in the Saginaw Public Library at age 16. Miller was married to Janice Marie Gase, and they had 3 children, Anne (born in 1964), Thomas E ‘Tom’ (born in 1965), and John J (born in 1966).
In 1958, he began full time work as reference assistant in the Saginaw Public Library while attending college. Miller received his BA in Political Science from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1962, and his MA in Library Science University of Michigan in 1963. After college, he became the city librarian in Southfield, Michigan with the Wayne County Library System.
In June 1969, Glenn Miller and his family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where he became the Assistant Director of the Orlando Public Library and went on to become Director in November 1970, at the age of 32. Miller served for 25 years as library director, retiring in April 1995.
During his time as director, perhaps one of his biggest accomplishments was a 1980 referendum, when voters approved, by a comfortable margin, the creation of a special library tax district, which gives the library extraordinary security and autonomy, and the issue of $22 million in bond issues for the library expansion, allowing The Orlando Public Library to become officially, the Orange County Library System.
Miller also began nationally recognized innovations such as drive through pickup windows, books by mail, and the sale of used library books. Miller served as President for the Florida Library Association in 1978 and was also a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, board member of WMFE-TV Channel 24 Public Television, American Library Association, Public Library Association and Southeastern Library Association.
After his retirement, Miller wrote a book on library science, “Customer Service & Innovations in Libraries,” published by the Highsmith Press.
Glenn Miller passed away on June 24, 1996 in Knoxville, Tennessee of an apparent heart attack. He was on a vacation trip with his wife. Miller was 58 years old. He was survived by his wife, Janice; daughter, Anne Thompson, Cleveland; sons, John J., Winter Park, Thomas E., Dayton, Ohio; and seven grandchildren.
Read the Orlando Public Library 50th Anniversary booklet mentioning accomplishments during Mr. Miller’s time.