New director hopes to take libraries into future

Pasicznyuk takes over job held by mentor LaRue

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Pasicznyuk

Robert “Bob” Pasicznyuk has begun his work as the new director of Douglas County Libraries, following in the footsteps of mentor and predecessor Jamie LaRue.

Before taking the Douglas County job, Pasicznyuk served as the director for Iowa's Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Pasicznyuk assumed his new post May 5, taking over for LaRue, who retired in January after nearly 23 years of service.

“He was a mentor of mine and it's an honor to be following him and building on his work,” Pasicznyuk said.

Pasicznyuk is coming to Douglas County after five years of leadership at Cedar Rapids. During his time there, he helped the library system bounce back from catastrophic flood damage.

Pasicznyuk acted as the project manager for two simultaneous building projects, a $46.6 million flagship library and a $2.5 million branch library.

While in Cedar Rapids, he was also able to help reverse a decade of eroding library support and in favor of a restoration plan that included a library communication campaign and brand initiatives.

Prior to his role as a library director, Pasicznyuk spent nearly 10 years in library districts, including six in Douglas County Libraries, acting in senior information technology roles.

“It's the No.1 library in the nation in its category. That's just a really tempting position to compete for, so I threw my hat in the ring,” Pasicznyuk said.

He was chosen to be the new director in part because of his understanding of technology and a vision for its role within libraries.

Pasicznyuk has presented on various library initiatives and served on many boards, including the Linn County Early Childhood Iowa Board and Cedar Rapids Science Station Board.

“What does a library look like in 2020?” he asked. “From the time you park your car to the time you get home to how you interact with us in an online environment, what kind of experience are we providing?”

One of his first challenges as director will be to oversee the building and replacement of library branches in Parker, Lone Tree and Castle Pines.

He said the library has engaged architects about the project and that residents can hope to see the new branches completed in three to five years.

“(The new buildings) will allow us to start with a clean slate,” Pasicznyuk said. “We're looking for ways to take the library to the next level.”