Schmutz Foundation Donates $100K to Main Library Renovation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Schmutz Family Foundation donated $100,000 to the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County for restoration of Main Library’s Grand Reading Room

The reading room restoration is part of the ongoing $25 million expansion and renovation project at Main Library.

“This wonderful donation from Judy, Reid and the Schmutz Family Foundation falls in line with the historic gift that Andrew Carnegie provided more than a century ago to buy the land to build Main Library. Gifts like these help us to build, renovate, and restore our libraries, while support from our communities helps to maintain our library’s operations,” said Aimee Fifarek, PLYMC executive director and CEO. 

“We are grateful for the Schmutz Family Foundation’s support and investment in the future of Main Library, and we’re excited about the momentum this generosity brings to our Main Library Capital Campaign,” Deborah Liptak, the library’s development director, said. 

“The Schmutz Family Foundation is excited to support the renovation of Main Library, especially the restoration of the Grand Reading Room,” said Judy Schmutz, co-founder of The Schmutz Family Foundation and a member of the PLYMC Board of Trustees. “PLYMC has a long history of serving the Valley as a community hub for connection, learning, and discovery, and it is our hope that with the restoration of this beautiful space, generations of readers, learners, and innovators will enjoy the historic Grand Reading Room for years to come.”  

The Grand Reading Room is one of the most recognizable spaces in Main Library with its tall ceilings and Parthenon frieze. As part of this final phase of the renovation, the original skylight will be uncovered and restored.  

The restored Grand Reading Room will “enhance the patron experience while preserving a treasured piece” of library and Mahoning Valley history, Carole Weimer, president of the library’s board of trustees, said. 

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, we are thankful for the Schmutz Family Foundation’s gift and continued support of the library,” she said. 

Pictured: On hand for the check presentation were (back row) library Executive Director and CEO Aimee Fifarek, Judy and Reid Schmutz, and library Development Director Debbie Liptak, and (front row) Eddie, Charlie, Mallory and Ali Maughan.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.