In his nearly 20-year career, Ryan McDonnell has served in university, corporate and public libraries.
As the Grandview Heights Public Library's new director, he has found what he calls "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
"I used to live in Grandview and I always enjoyed the community and the library," he said. "The Grandview library is well known in the 'library industry' for having a tradition of providing outstanding service to the community and being supported by its community.
"I'm really excited to be here," McDonnell said.
He started as the library's director Sept. 1, succeeding Mary Ludlum, who retired Aug. 31 after more than 30 years in Grandview, the last five as director.
McDonnell served the past eight years as director at the Marysville Public Library.
Marysville is a member of the Central Library Consortium along with Grandview.
Grandview was a founding member and is the administering library for the consortium. McDonnell is the governing council chairman for the CLC.
"The consortium is a wonderful example of libraries collaborating to better serve our patrons," he said. "Working independently, we couldn't offer the same level of services we can by working together."
The 11-member consortium can do more to help the communities its libraries serve, McDonnell said.
"Public service is what led to a library career for me," he said. "I really enjoy helping people, and I found that working as a librarian afforded me a chance to do that."
He started his career working at the Ohio State and Capital university libraries before moving into the corporate-library field.
"Then I moved on to public libraries, which was great for me because of the variety of people you get to serve," McDonnell said.
All ages and types of people make use of a public library, he said.
Over the last month, McDonnell said, he has tried to talk to as many community groups and library patrons as he could.
"I want to know how we can better serve local organizations and the community in general," he said.
"I have an open-door policy," McDonnell said. "I'm really interested in hearing from people what they want from their library."
The Grandview heights Public Library "has a phenomenal staff and a very supportive and dedicated community," he said. "This is a place where people can connect with each other. It really serves as a kind of community center.
"You walk around here and the library is always filled with people," McDonnell said. "That makes you feel good."