Marysville News

Library director leaving for post in Grandview

Search committee expects to name McDonnell's replacement by August

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The Marysville Public Library's board of trustees is on the hunt for a new director.

Ryan McDonnell , who has been the director for the last 10 years, has accepted a position as director of the Grandview Heights Public Library. He will start there in September.

"We are appointing a search-and-selection committee that will be posting the position through the Ohio Library Council and other library organizations," board President Robert A. Buckley said.

The committee will screen applicants, interview a select number of them and make a selection by Aug. 1, which is when McDonnell will leave Marysville.

The timeline is a collaborative effort between McDonnell and the board.

"I will be available to the board to help with the transition in any way I can," McDonnell said. "I think it will be really important to help orient the new director, make introductions within the community and get familiar with what the community's needs are. I want to be able to make sure there's enough time for a smooth transition."

Buckley said the community needs a library director who will stay on a successful path.

"We are looking for a director that would continue to focus on the needs of our patrons, enhance access to our programs and services, maintain strong community partnerships and create lifelong learning opportunities for all customers in Marysville and Union County," he said.

McDonnell said when he walked into the Marysville library 10 years ago, he knew good things were to come.

"It was a wonderful opportunity. I've really enjoyed it here. The staff, the board and the patrons have been really welcoming. It's been phenomenal, to be honest," he said.

McDonnell has worked at the Marysville Public Library since August 2003 and was appointed director in May 2005.

In addition to his public-library experience, he also spent time in academic, special and corporate libraries.

"I think I was drawn to public libraries because I've always been committed to public service and care about helping people to learn and think," he said.

He earned his master's degree in library science from Kent State University in 2000 and a bachelor's degree in 1997 from Ohio State.

During his tenure in Marysville, library usage has increased, with more than 27,000 active users checking out more than 600,000 items a year.

"We have seen an explosion of growth both in the doubling of the number of people who come into the library and the materials they check out has doubled in the last 10 years," McDonnell said. "It's exciting to be a part of that."

The Marysville Public Library has undergone a major renovation, developed several community partnerships and added new services, such as an e-book collection.

"Technology will continue to have an influence on how library services are delivered," McDonnell said. "Just since I've been here, we have additional online sources that are available to the public: e-books, downloadable magazines and online learning opportunities."

The library continues to look for ways to grow; officials recently announced an open-air pavilion will be built next to the library in 2014.

"I think the library will continue to be more and more of an integral part of the community. There will always be that social component and the learning opportunity," McDonnell said. "There will be more and more cultural events and activities for people to discover and share information."

At its core, he said, the library is about helping people discover information, sharing and learning -- and that's why he chose his career.

"I enjoy helping people and helping them find information," he said." I enjoy getting kids excited about reading and learning."

McDonnell said the last 10 years have gone by quickly but are filled with good memories.

"My proudest moment is watching the staff tackle the challenges that the library faces with enthusiasm and excitement," he said. "I'm really excited about this organization's future. "

McDonnell was one of three finalists for the Grandview position. The others were Tony Howard, service area manager for the Karl Road and Northern Lights branches of the Columbus Metropolitan Library; and Wendy Rawson, director of the Fitchburg Public Library in the Madison, Wis., area.

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