Cedar Rapids library director returning to Colorado

Pasicznyuk will leave post on May 2; board members initiate national search for successor

Rick Smith
Published: February 14 2014 | 5:30 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:40 am in

Maybe the next director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library will have a name that’s easier to say not to mention spell.

Even so, the next director will have big shoes to fill after Bob Pasicznyuk — who oversaw the post-flood construction of the city’s new $46-millon library and the expansion of its west-side branch — announced his resignation on Friday.

"Bob’s leadership and vision have allowed us to go beyond what anyone in this community expected of their library," Susan McDermott, library board president, said on Friday.

Pasicznyuk, 50, is leaving to return to where he previously had worked, Douglas County, Colo.

He has been hired as executive director of the Douglas County Libraries, and will begin the new job on May 5.

Pasicznyuk said Friday that his last day at the Cedar Rapids library will be May 2.

"Frankly, my resume wasn’t out," he said. "If it were not for my former boss retiring or the challenge of leading that system, I would have remained longer."

The Cedar Rapids library board hired Pasicznyuk in the summer of 2009, a year after Cedar Rapids’ historic flood had ruined the downtown library on First Street SE.

The library took up temporary quarters at Westdale Mall while the library director and board and other city officials convinced the Federal Emergency Management Agency that the library sustained sufficient flood damage to warrant the building of a new library on a new site.

The new downtown library opened in August 2013 with a new collection and without debt thanks to a mix of federal, state, city and private funding. The expanded west-side branch is nearing its first anniversary.

Pasicznyuk has never tired of telling people that the library of today and tomorrow is not a warehouse of books, but a community center that brings people together.

"What does my heart the most good is to see Cedar Rapidians celebrating their lives here," the library director said recently. "…And I see that happening every day."

Amber Mussman, library spokeswoman,  said Friday that the library board will begin a national search for Pasicznyuk’s successor.

In Douglas County, Colo., Pasicznyuk will manage a staff of more than 300 people in libraries in seven cities. Cedar Rapids’ library has the full-time equivalent of 61 employees.

Douglas County is located south of Denver in the Denver-Colorado Springs Development Corridor. It was ranked the seventh wealthiest county in the U.S. by Forbes Magazine in 2012.

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