Aponte ready for challenges and change

Filed under: One on One |

* Name: Jose Aponte

* Organization: Pikes Peak Library District

* Position: Executive director

* Hometown: New York, N.Y.

* How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: A year and a half

* Education: Bachelor’s degree in general studies from Bard College; master’s degree in library science from the University of Arizona

* A few words about your company: The library district serves El Paso County in the areas of information, education and cultural services. The library circulates 6 million materials a year. The Pikes Peak Library District is considered one of the preeminent community libraries in the United States.

* Recent accomplishments: Appointed to the national commission on information and library services by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate

* Biggest career break: Being selected for a national graduate library scholarship/endowment at the University of Arizona in 1974

* Toughest part of your job: Delivering uncomfortable messages that are so often a reality check for co-workers, community and the library’s board of trustees, such as the fact that there is no funding for “xyz,” or that we have to choose between hours or books

* Someone you admire: Cesar Chavez, for his commitment to service in lieu of materialism and his commitment to community

* About your family: I’ve been happily married for 23 years to Cynthia (a nationally recognized muralist and artist); two sons, Tony, 21, and Pablo, 20, who are working their way through the California college system

* Something else you’d like to accomplish: In view of the increased need for library services and increased population, our library district would like to build a number of facilities in the next three-to-five years to meet changing demographic

* How your business will change in the next decade: Libraries need to adapt to changing technologies, demographics and increased need. We need to do this by working smarter, revisiting fiscal resources and challenging the sacred cows of how we do business in our institution.

* What book are you currently reading? “Under the Banner of Heaven” by John Krakauer and “Ben Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson

* What is one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? I would like to bring the ocean to the mountains so I could surf again.