Former tech innovator to lead Douglas County Libraries
Robert Pasicznyuk, a familiar face in Douglas County, replacing LaRue
Robert “Bob” Pasicznyuk, who had a reputation for changing the face of a library with technology tools, was hired in 2004 when Jamie LaRue, now retired, was Douglas County Libraries' executive director.
Then in 2009, Pasicznyuk — pronounced Paz-nick — left his senior technology role when Cedar Rapids, Iowa's library system, devastated by floods, needed a leader that could bring it back.
He reportedly brought it back. Now, he's back.
The Douglas County Libraries Board of Trustees has selected him to replace the recently retired LaRue as the next director of the libraries and he'll assume his new role on May 5.
“With today's announcement, we feel we have found the right person for the job. We chose Bob because of his experience with strategic planning, his broad knowledge of information technology, and his overall business acumen,” said Bob Morris, Douglas County Libraries board president.
In Iowa, Pasicznyuk was project manager for two simultaneous building projects: a $46.6 million flagship library and a $2.5 million branch library. In addition, he reversed a decade of eroding library support and steady decline, according to a news release.
“Over the years, Bob has been acknowledged numerous times by both his peers and community and is recognized as a leader in libraries,” Morris said. “He impressed us as a strategist and outstanding project leader. We are excited to have him join the team at Douglas County Libraries and lead the organization.”
Pasicznyuk said some people perceive libraries as being only warehouses for books. But he said LaRue helped him realize how libraries could assist in fulfilling people's dreams… and become the heart of the community.
He said in Cedar Rapids, the main library is now the community's hub.
“We just booked our 19 wedding in the building,” he said. And the high school seniors in a town 30 minutes away want to hold their prom at the library because it's viewed as being that cool.
But Pasicznyuk said he's returning in part because Colorado is deeply in his blood — and because of this tremendous opportunity with another stellar staff.
“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity. I look forward to joining this innovative organization and working in a community I have always thought so highly of. I am excited to work with the talented staff and our community partners as we continue to advocate for literacy and lifelong learning.”
LaRue, who retired in January after 23 years, said recently that Pasicznyuk was the “key architect of the district's move to self check.”
“He's a very clear and strategic thinker…,” LaRue said.
LaRue also described Pasicznyuk as a really bright and insightful man, who has a wonderfully dry sense of humor and is an historian and technologist by inclination.
If he were to compare Pasicznyuk to any book or book's character, “I'd put him as Lincoln in `Team of Rivals,' ” he said.