Library Receives $10,000 From Diane Blasko Family

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County announced Wednesday that it has received a $10,000 contribution from the family of the late Diane M. Blasko for the Children’s Area at the Springfield Library.  

“This wonderful donation from the Blasko family helps to ensure that the youngest learners in the Springfield area can experience the library’s welcoming, hands-on learning environment and establish a lifelong relationship with the Library from a young age,” said Aimee Fifarek, the public library’s director and CEO.

Diane Blasko, a longtime library advocate in New Middletown, died on August 28, 2020, at the age of 96. She was instrumental in rallying community support to build the Springfield Library.  

“Frank and I are pleased to sponsor the Children’s Area of the Springfield Library in memory of my mother, Diane Blasko,” said daughter Michele DeRhodes. “She supported the library in many ways over the years — working at book sales, attending library-sponsored teas, and various events.”
Blasko’s connection with the library started in 1947, when she arrived from France and did not speak English—only French and Italian.

“The library on the square in downtown Youngstown, gone for many years now, is where she got help with dictionaries and easy readers,” DeRhodes said. “As I grew up on the south side of Youngstown, she would often accompany us to the Southside Library, on the corner of Market and Willis. Mom loved children, and it seemed natural that we would choose the children’s area as the place to honor her.”  
“On behalf of the Library’s Board of Trustees, we are honored to accept this gift from the Blasko family that will help to support and expand the Library’s work to reach young readers and their families,” said Carole Weimer, president of the library’s Board of Trustees. 

“We are grateful for the Blasko family’s support and investment in the future of Springfield Library and for recognizing the importance of reading at an early age,” said Deborah Liptak, the library’s development director. 

Pictured from left are: Carole Weimer, PLYMC Board of Trustees president; Michele DeRhodes; Aimee Fifarek, PLYMC director and CEO; and Deborah Liptak, PLYMC development director

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.