The Epcot Center Outreach Library

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Disney Parks, Epcot, Features, Imaginerding, Walt Disney World

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Published on April 28, 2014 at 2:00 am with 3 Comments

Being a librarian, I’ve always had an interest in the Disney Archives (yes, Dave Smith is a personal hero) and any other library related to the Disney Company. I’m always on the lookout for information about the Imagineering libraries, the art libraries and the other corporate institutions.

Sadly, I never got to experience the EPCOT Outreach Library, which existed from 1983-1994 in Communicore West. It included the EPCOT Teacher’s Center (Educational Tools for Today’s Teachers), which is also fairly elusive. In a recent acquisition of Disney ephemera, I ran across two pages of material discussing the Epcot Outreach Library.

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The image above is from the 1994 Walt Disney World Souvenir Guidebook.This is the first photo of it that I’ve seen in an official publication. It is mentioned in some of the earlier guidebooks, but just a sentence or two.

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Special thanks to Todd at DisneyParksEarchives for this map and for some additional information about the placement of the EPCOT Outreach Library and Teacher’s Center over the years.

From a 1984 Guide Map to EPCOT Center. Epcot Outreach is number 16 and the Teacher’s Center is number 17.

The following two images are photocopies that were handed out at the library. I’ve transcribed the text.

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Stop and take a few moments to ask about EPCOT Outreach, the research library for information regarding ail of The Walt Disney Company, its theme parks, nighttime attractions, and more. We are a reference and research library dedicated to answering your questions.

Satisfy your curiosity by asking questions such as; “What’s the difference between dolphins and porpoises?” “How many people does WALT DISNEY WORLD employ?” “Who designs the attractions seen in DISNEY theme parks?” “Where can I receive more information on Hydroponics?” EPCOT Outreach provides brochures, printed materials, and information from online computer services to answer your questions on the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort.

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EPCOT Outreach. an innovative research library located In CommuniCore West at EPCOT Center. helps people explore all the adventures of Future World. World Showcase, and topics dealing with The Walt Disney Company, The facility provides guests with information, referrals, and reference materials through brochures and computer printouts designed to appeal to inquisitive and information-minded guest. A professional librarian and research assistants are on hand to provide individual service for finding facts on many topics.

According to Martin Sklar, President of Walt Disney Imagineering, the DISNEY design and engineering company. “EPCOT Outreach was established to meet the overwhelming response from guests who want to know more details about the subjects and technologies which are showcased at EPCOT Center. This takes us beyond the material you can cover in a 20-minute adventure about energy, agriculture, or communications. It is another step in the development of Center as a place to give. millions of people insight into the world around us.”

Through referral services available at EPCOT Outreach, guests can learn what local and national organizations, agencies, and institutions are working on the challenges and themes represented at EPCOT Center. The EPCOT Outreach program also helps bring EPCOT Center into the classroom through a modern Teacher’s Center where teachers can gather to swap ideas and view the latest in educational media. The Teacher’s Center has viewing equipment for videotapes and filmstrips, and computers for previewing software.

Martin Sklar says, “We like to think of EPCOT Center as a forum for new ideas and technologies. Through EPCOT Outreach, people can learn how those ideas and technologies are being applied in our Vacation Kingdom, as well as what else is happening to energy, agriculture, or communications elsewhere in the world. If our visitors are ‘turned on’ by something they see at EPCOT Center, they can visit EPCOT Outreach to find out how to learn more. It is not providing answers so much as access to resources that are available now. I think people will be excited to learn what is being done now as a “step into the future’ and to begin meeting the challenges of the 2lst century.”

The following two images are from a 1984 educational catalog released by Disney.

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So, there you have it. Pretty much everything that I know about the EPCOT Outreach Library.

Do you have any images or fond memories of the library?


ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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3 Comments

Comments for The Epcot Center Outreach Library are now closed.

  1. I wasn’t around (or at this location) when this was open. I do wish they had a 2.0 version of the Teacher’s Center and Library in Innoventions (or a digital database/archive, like archive.org.) Same with the World Key System, except now as a digital application.

    George, have you thought of doing an article on the Epcot Educational Media series? It lends itself to an article as videos and other forms digital visual media in recent memory have become an essential part of a library’s catalog and the educational series has ties to early Epcot Center history. Some of the videos exist either in fragments such as a snippet (or as a whole presentation) on Youtube (and in some rare cases, at some libraries across the US.)

    Timekeeper

  2. This is what put EPCOT Center into a league of its own. Not the Teacher’s Center or Outreach Library, particularly, but the concept that EPCOT was about information, sharing ideas, and growing the mind. Since the late 1990s, about 15 years after EPCOT opened, Disney has completely misunderstood its own creation, partly because theme park managers/executives don’t care that they had something unique in the world, something they could have shepherded and grew in extraordinary ways. They still don’t know WHAT to do with Epcot, but I’m hoping one day, some special person will come along and persuade Disney’s highly paid top brass that they need to re-focus on EPCOT … and that like the stereotypical “awkward child,” this place will once again blossom, shine and rock the world by recapturing its former glory. No, sponsored pavilions by leading companies won’t ever work again, for lots of reasons — but since Disney is now one of the largest companies IN THE WORLD, it certainly has the resources and the motive to step up and put its best thinking minds onto this park and show everyone that Disney is much more than just an entertainment and media company … that Disney has ideas that can move the world. It will be hard to do, Disney will be mocked and derided, but if they can stick to their guns, it’s possible … if they can dream it, they can do it. Theoretically, at least.

  3. I have fond memories of this place! My mother was a teacher, so she was allowed to go in there to browse their educational materials, and she’d always bring me along. It was a nice, air conditioned place to relax.