Library Plans for Future, Prepares for Curbside Pick-Up Service

YOUNGSTOWN (Update May 18, 2020) – The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) is preparing to offer a curbside pick-up service to get materials into the hands of patrons as the part of a phased-in return of staff and services. No starting date has been set, but library staff members are currently working on preparations for curbside pick-up to allow patrons to safely check out books, WIFI hotspots, and other library materials in the near future. The starting date will be announced once set.

The Library is also looking at its Special Delivery service for those who cannot get to a library. More news will be announced on this service when it is ready.

The Library continues to offer a full array of virtual services at LibraryVisit.org and on social media.

At this time, all library buildings remain closed to the public. Only essential Library staff has been in buildings and other library employees have been working from home.

Employees working inside PLYMC library buildings are performing much-needed tasks such as processing new books and materials and performing maintenance inside and on the grounds. Staff is observing safety protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks.

“We want the community to know that we are planning and preparing for the future, but while we are eager to welcome the public back into our building, our first concern is for the safety of our patrons and our employees,” said Aimee Fifarek, Library Executive Director. “We will be slow, deliberate and careful. We have been following the guidance given by Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health Director. We are also working with library professionals in Ohio and across the country to establish ways to safely provide future in-building service.”

A key component of Restart Ohio has been industries coming together to establish best practices for reopening. Some industries have come together in task forces through the Governor’s office to facilitate this. Ohio’s public libraries already have a body that functions in this capacity: the Ohio Library Council (OLC). Mahoning County libraries will be following the OLC roadmap for reopening.

Patrons are reminded to keep their library materials at home until further notice. Fines are not being charged for the period of closure.

In the meantime, virtual services will continue. Reference questions are being answered by librarians at 330-259-3399. Online offerings are available at LibraryVisit.org, where patrons can download or stream e-books, audiobooks, magazines, music and movies, or take a class, and much more. Ancestry.com has extended its offer through May, allowing PLYMC cardholders to use the product in their homes for genealogy searches.
Digital library cards are still available to Ohio residents or those who work, attend school or own property in Mahoning County. People can apply online at LibraryVisit.org, receive a barcode and begin using online services right away.

An active schedule of virtual programming for entertainment and education is available for all ages and taking place daily on the Library’s social media. The schedule of programs can be found at: https://www.libraryvisit.org/virtual-programming

The Library can be found on social media at:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/librarymahoningcounty
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/PLYMC
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PLYMC
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/librarymahoningcounty/

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Please note: The Governor has not issued specific orders about the closing or reopening of libraries.