Originally published Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 03:34p.m.

The first word Ryan Bigelow used to describe his transition from parks and recreation to the library was “unique.”

“I really want to hear from our staff and our regular patrons of the library to figure out what the needs are, and what gaps the library is able to fill,”

Ryan Bigelow

Ryan Bigelow is the new Cottonwood Library Manager following Vanessa Ward’s retirement this month.

“Ryan has demonstrated proven success in his current role at the recreation center and the selection board felt his management skills would serve the library well,” said City Manager Doug Bartosh.

Bigelow’s commute hasn’t changed – his new office at the library is literally across the street from his previous department at the Cottonwood Recreation Center. During the span of a decade-long career at the City of Cottonwood, Bigelow advanced up the chain to his previous position as the recreation services manager.

He notes leaving recreation was harder than he expected after being so heavily invested in the department.

Bigelow has a degree in history and served on the historical commission up until late last year.

Now, as library manager, Bigelow hopes to hear from the community as far as future plans for the library.

“I really want to hear from our staff and our regular patrons of the library to figure out what the needs are, and what gaps the library is able to fill,” Bigelow said. “...I think there are resources the library has access to that we haven’t yet explored. I’ll be interested to see what the community feedback is before I make too many major changes.”

Bigelow acknowledges while he may not have a library background, he does have administrative experience, knowledge of City operations and cemented relationships with members of the community.

“I hope that I’ve proven myself in those different roles,” Bigelow said.

Bigelow and his wife are raising four kids ranging from daycare to Mingus Union High School. He earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership last spring and ran his first marathon in the fall.

Bigelow explained what success will look like to him as library manager.

“You can always quantify [success] by our circulation, but I think we’ll know based off the community feedback,” Bigelow said. “Really it’s about people, ultimately. I like to think that anyway.”

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