Youngstown Foundation Awards $100K for Main Library Renovation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Foundation awarded $100,000 to the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County toward the $25 million renovation of Main Library.

The donation will specifically support work on the library’s main lobby, according to a library news release. The new entrance and information hub will serve as Main Library’s directional guide, ensuring that patrons are informed of the library’s materials and services. 

“The Youngstown Foundation has been a longtime advocate of Universal Design – promoting the accessibility of buildings by all people regardless of their age, size, ability, or disability. We are proud to contribute to Main Library’s renovation project and support its next chapter of providing accessible services to residents across the Mahoning Valley,” said Lynnette Forde, foundation president. 

“This incredible donation showcases the great partnership between the Library and The Youngstown Foundation as we both commit to restoring the Main Library and enhancing services for our patrons,” said Aimee Fifarek, library director and CEO.

“The Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County is grateful for The Youngstown Foundation’s gift, which will significantly enhance the entrance to the renovated Main Library and continue to ensure that all patrons are provided the top quality services that the library provides every day,” added Carole Weimer, president of the library’s board of trustees.

The space will be the first room that patrons will enter once Main Library’s renovation is completed next year. The library closed to the public Monday and will remain closed through the end of the year to allow staff the time to move materials from the Grand Reading Room and to prepare the second floor for public service. 

“We are proud to accept this generous donation on behalf of the Main Library and the patrons that we serve,” said Deborah Liptak, library development director. “This gift will help us to change the lives of the Valley residents who will walk through this grand lobby every day.”

When the library reopens Jan. 3, as the construction project continues, all public services will be offered on the second floor and in the recently opened Family Engagement Area. The Main Library renovation began in August 2020 and is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Pictured: On hand for the check presentation were Deborah Liptak, the library’s development director, Lynnette Forde, president of the Youngstown Foundation, and Library Director and CEO Aimee Fifarek.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.