Library Service Roadmap
Thank you for masking!
Masks and hand sanitizer are available inside.
Social distancing is encouraged and plexiglass dividers are in place.
Your safety is important to us! Thank you for using your library.
In an abundance of caution, please note that care will be taken with children’s programming. Social distancing will be in place and masks are required for indoor programming.
Please remember that if you are unable to be vaccinated or to wear a mask, the Library will help by providing online help or telephone reference and non-contact pick up of materials, and/or allow a person to wear a full face shield that extends below the chin.
Curbside Pickup Available
All Mahoning County public libraries are now open to the public, with the exception of Greenford Library. For those who prefer contactless service, Curbside Pickup is available at open locations, except Brownlee Woods.
Call 330-744-8636 for services, including Curbside Pickup.
Specialty services will be located in two libraries in order to remain accessible to patrons throughout the Main Library Renovation construction. The Brownlee Woods branch will temporarily house materials and services for the Business Center, Career and Job Center, and the Grant Center. The Struthers branch will be home to the Genealogy and Local History collection and services throughout construction. Please Note: Curbside Pickup will not be available at Brownlee Woods Library at this time.
Guidelines for Computer Use
-A valid PLYMC library card is required for computer use
-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.
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.
The Library Has Continued to Provide Service Since March 16
Many library services continued without interruption and several have been added since library buildings closed March 16, including:Read More
• 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
“During the first two months of COVID stay-at-home, 58 staffers presented more than 250 online programs, on topics ranging from book talks to crafts programs to standard and bilingual storytimes,” said Ms. Fifarek. “The 571 posts staff created on four different social media platforms were viewed a combined 891,198 times. And since starting phone service on March 26, staff working from home have answered more than 1,500 calls. Remote reference started on April 15 and librarians answered more than 400 reference questions by the end of May.”
“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.
Newport, Sebring, Springfield, Brownlee Woods Libraries Were First to Open with Limited Services
An Open Letter from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County – June 17, 2020
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!
But, like they say on social media, it’s complicated. More than anything else, people see libraries as a safe place, where you can come when you’re not at work, at home, or at school. We try to live up to that trust every day, and the COVID-19 era is no exception.
Libraries are a lot of things to a lot of people: office, study hall, bookstore, meeting space, entertainment venue and sometimes even day care and refuge. But while each one of those industries does one thing and has one set of guidelines to follow, ALL of them apply to the Library in some respect. It’s our duty to make sure we are adhering to these regulations as we expand our services.
That’s why we are taking things slowly. We started curbside pickup of materials on June 3 and are putting our book drops back out for you to return materials June 17. We will be opening a few locations for computer and copier access in early July, and plan to open more locations when our staff on voluntary furlough is back at work in August. There is still a mass gathering restriction of 10 people and once that is adjusted, we will be able to start additional services.
Most importantly, we want to do this right the first time, so we don’t have to shut down services because the virus is spreading. We know how important we are to everyone in school, and we want to be there for you when classes are back in session in the fall.
But there is one thing libraries don’t want to keep doing, and that’s being a person’s ONLY source of reliable broadband access. It is true for too many people in the community, and if this crisis has showed us anything, it is that people need reliable, affordable broadband access in their homes if they are to succeed in school, at work, and in life.
People shouldn’t have to sit in our parking lots – or our buildings for that matter – to do homework or apply for jobs. They shouldn’t have to spend a long time walking to a library or taking public transportation just to have an hour or two on a computer. To successfully swim in the waters of our digital era, everyone needs to have Internet access at their fingertips, whenever they need it, day or night.
We applaud the initiatives going through Federal and State legislatures to help make this happen. U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson is a member of the U.S. Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus and in April, with Rep. Rob Wittman, introduced the Serving Rural America Act to provide $100 million a year over five years to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the country.
Last week, the Ohio House passed the Residential Broadband Expansion Legislation sponsored by Ohio Representatives Rick Carfagna and Michael O’Brien and and co-sponsored by Ohio Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan which would provide $20M to expand broadband services to Ohio households without access today. We hope that these and other measures succeed.
While we wait, your Library will still be there for you. We’ve boosted WIFI into our parking lots and added signs to show where the signal is strongest. We will be opening up for computer access next month. And we’ve purchased additional WIFI hotspots for checkout through curbside service so you can have access where it will do the most good – at home. All of this is free with your library card.
The library is open 24/7 at libraryvisit.org, and by phone Monday – Saturday at 330-259-3399.
Aimee Fifarek, Executive Director and CEO
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County