Library Service Roadmap


Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going – FAQ

We miss you and we’re working hard to continually expand services until we can all be together again. The Library and its staff have been working for you throughout the COVID-19 situation.

How can we return materials? Are BOOK and MEDIA Drops open? Where?
You can return materials through the BOOK and MEDIA Drop boxes, open at every library branch, except the Campbell branch inside the Campbell High School D’Amato Field House. Please place books and paper materials in the drops designated for BOOKS; place A/V materials such as CDs, movies, music in the drops designated for MEDIA.

I’ve had these materials throughout the stay-at-home order. Will there be fines? How do I return them safely?
Patrons are asked to place library materials directly into the BOOK or MEDIA drop box, but cautioned NOT to leave materials outside the box if it is full. Library cardholders are responsible for damages to materials checked out on their card. All returned items will be quarantined for four days, after which, materials will be checked in so that others may safely borrow them. There will be no late fees; the due date for anything borrowed prior to March 16  has been extended to  August 6.  Patrons should be aware that returned items may not be reflected in patron records immediately due to quarantine and processing time. 

Can I get an actual book from the library? And where are the holds I placed?
Yes! Contactless Curbside Pickup started June 3 and you can pick up materials at one of four libraries: Austintown, Boardman and Canfield branches, and the Main Library in Youngstown. Patrons can place holds and check out books, movies, WiFi hotspots, and other library materials, for pickup. Staff will make arrangements with the patron for time and location of the pickup. Curbside pickup hours will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4 – 6:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
More details here:

How is the Library ensuring that materials are safe to be re-circulated?
When the book and media drops are emptied, they are taken to a room inside the library where they remain untouched for (4) days. The best research available to libraries at this time indicates that the COVID-19 virus is is not detectible after three (3) days on five common library materials. We have added a little time and are holding them for (4) days before putting them back in service. “New research from Battelle concludes that the coronavirus is not detectable on five different library materials after three days…Scientists put the coronavirus on the cover of hardcover books, the cover of paperback books, plain paper pages inside a closed book, mylar protective book cover jackets, and plastic DVD cases.”
[Source, WOSU Publi Media:]

Are the libraries providing free WIFI?
The Library’s WIFI has been available outside libraries before and during the stay-at-home order and free WIFI is still available. The signal was boosted during this time to better enable people to use the WIFI outside libraries. Watch for signs in the library yards which indicate areas of best reception.

Will you be opening any libraries soon?
The Library continues to move cautiously for the safety of our patrons and our staff. We are moving ahead in a steady, well-planned manner. Very soon, four library buildings will be opened for limited services. And more services will be offered in the coming weeks. Watch this page and the Library’s Facebook page (LibraryMahoningCounty) for the announcement. (07-02-20)

Note: The Library has signed the pledge to EMERGE Safely Pledge with the Youngtown-Warren Regional Chamber, the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.

Library Book Drops Reopen and Planning Continues to Expand Services 

Library-Service-RoadmapYOUNGSTOWN (June 17, 2020/For Immediate Release) – Planning continues for expansion of services at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. Beginning today, book and media drop boxes will again be available at all libraries and materials can be returned.

“As we move forward to expand services, we are working hard to balance exceptional customer service with the safety of our patrons and staff by following the guidelines put out by the Governor’s office,” said Library Executive Director Aimee Fifarek.

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What the Library Has Done So Far

Many library services continued without interruption and several have been added since library buildings closed March 16, including:

• virtual programming, including Summer Discovery
• reference services
• audiobooks, e-books, movies and music
• online databases
• WIFI signals boosted to allow public use of the Internet from Library parking lots
• Curbside Pickup at Main Library, Austintown, Boardman and Canfield branches, getting physical materials into the hands of library patrons
• Pop-Up Library service at remote locations
• Special Delivery service, providing materials to qualifying disabled patrons

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What the Library Is Planning

She noted, “We are currently planning how we can allow limited access to our buildings for services such as computer/Internet use and printer copier use in early July, workforce development uses, and essential partner projects like blood drives and tax preparation. Mass gathering restrictions remain in place, so we are unable to offer meeting room space, face-to-face programming or traditional library ‘reading room’ activities. We plan to open more locations when our staff on voluntary furlough is back at work in August.”

“We want to express our sincere thanks to our community for their love of libraries and for their patience. We love our patrons, as well, and cannot wait until we can welcome you all back into our libraries again,” said Ms. Fifarek.

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An  Open Letter  from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County  – June 17, 2020

Aimee Fifarek

Everyone across Ohio is taking cautious steps out of our homes and PLYMC is no different.  Although our staff has been providing amazing programs online for the entirety of this crisis, and we are available nearly every day by phone and by email, you tell us  it’s just not the same as being in the library with a book in your hand.

We hear you and couldn’t agree more!

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