Four Libraries to Open with Limited Service

Four libraries in the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County (PLYMC) system will be opening on Monday, July 13, for limited services, as the system begins to welcome patrons back into buildings for in-person service. The four libraries are Newport, SebringSpringfieldand Brownlee Woods.

Library Executive Director Aimee Fifarek says, “We are so pleased to be able to welcome patrons into our buildings. We have moved slowly and cautiously with planning due to the difficulties of the COVID-19 environment. Our primary goal, along with providing service, is to ensure the safety of our patrons and our staff. We know the community has been eager to get back into our libraries, especially for access to computers and copy services.”

Newport, Sebring, Springfield and Brownlee Woods Libraries

Newport, Sebring, and Springfield will offer computer and Internet access, printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. The Brownlee Woods branch library will offer by-appointment Career and Job Center and Business Support services and will have a librarian available by appointment to help people search for jobs, use job resources, and much more. The Brownlee Woods Library will also have 4 public access computers for general use.

Regarding Masks / Cloth Face Coverings:  The Library expects that everyone in a library building will wear a mask or other covering over their mouth and nose to prevent the spread of infectious disease.  The Library will provide a mask at no cost to anyone who comes to one of our facilities without one.  Any person in a library building not covering their mouth and nose for the duration of the visit may be asked to leave.  If you are unable to meet this face covering expectation, please contact us and we will make every effort to provide you with the library service you require.   #MasksOnOhio     #InThisTogetherOhioPLYMC logo with mask

Please note that the libraries will not offer browsing or checkout of materials.

Hours and capacity are limited and will be:

Newport – Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (capacity 25)

Sebring – Tues. and Thurs., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (capacity 14)

Springfield – Mon. and Wed., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (capacity 13)

Brownlee Woods – (some services by appointment only) Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (capacity 14)

“We intend to open additional locations with expanded services in early August unless there is significant change in COVID-19 community spread in Mahoning County.  We are putting the finishing touches on those plans now and will announce details as soon as they are available,” she notes.

First Hour for Seniors and Vulnerable Patrons

Please note that the Library is reserving the first open hour at each location each day for our senior patrons age 65 and over, as well as vulnerable patrons of any age with underlying health conditions.

For in-library service, children 7 years and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 years of age or older.

Guidelines for Computer Use

-Computers will be available for 50-minute sessions

-There will be 10 minutes between sessions to allow for cleaning and sanitizing

-A valid PLYMC library card is required for computer use

-Free printing will be offered with a limit of 10 pages per day per patron

-Express computers will be offered to patrons for 15-minute use; printing is available on express computers

-Computers can be accessed by setting up an appointment, calling ahead to reserve a computer or by walking up. Walk-up service is first-come, first-served and based on availability. If no computers are available, a greeter will sign them up on a waiting list.

As the libraries begin to offer in-person service, safety will be a number one priority. Library staff will be wearing masks and patrons will be expected to wear a mask or other face covering.  Free masks will be available for those who do not have one. Sanitizing gel will be available. Patrons unable to wear a mask or other face covering should call the library at [change August 2020 = 330-259-3399 is disconnected; call 330-744-8636]* in advance to discuss their library needs with staff.

For safety sake, we will also need to limit the number of patrons that can be in the building at any one time. Social distancing will be in place.

Mass gathering restrictions remain in place, so the Library is unable to offer  meeting room space, face-to-face  programming or traditional library “reading room” activities.

WIFI Available in Library Parking Lots

As always, free WIFI is available in the parking lots and areas adjacent to each of our libraries. Curbside service is available for pickup of library materials and WIFI hotspots at Main Library, Austintown, Boardman and Canfield branches. Book and Media Drop Boxes are available at all PLYMC libraries for return of materials (materials are not yet being taken inside libraries). A robust schedule of virtual programming for all ages continues.

Reach a Live Librarian at [330-259-3399 is disconnected; call 330-744-8636]*

Patrons can reach a live librarian by calling [change August 2020 = 330-259-3399 is disconnected; call 330-744-8636]* for reference questions or other questions about the Library.

“Thank you for your patience as we are all moving through this new reality where cautious steps are needed to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons,” Ms. Fifarek says. “We must take precautions when considering in-building service, as libraries are gathering places and used by the most vulnerable populations, such as seniors, young children, people in poverty who are also prone to underlying disease. We are choosing to move ahead more slowly and with an abundance of caution out of care for everyone in the community.”

For more information, go to

See Open Letter from the Library Executive Director
(07-08-20, 07-09-20, 07-16-20)

*Phone numbers changed 08-2020