By Gunnhildur Baldursdottir
The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County offers numerous new services for Youngstown State University Students.
Aimee Fifarek, director and CEO of the public library, welcomes YSU students to see what the main branch on Wick Avenue offers after almost two years of renovation.
“We’d love to see you, we have great spaces whether you want quiet or if you want a little bit more excitement,” Fifarek said.
The eight study spaces, mostly located on the second floor, are quiet and spacious, encased by glass, with new furniture designed for students’ comfort. Every space where students can study also features charging stations.
The main branch offers free cooking classes in a new culinary literacy space, Fifarek said.
The kitchen features an array of professional culinary equipment, and students of the cooking classes have access to a variety of cooking ingredients.
“Whatever stage you’re in your life, if you have never learned to cook for yourself, all these things are available at your public library,” Fifarek said.
For YSU students with children and those studying early education or children’s literature, Fifarek said the public library has a wide selection of children’s material. Near the front desk is a colorful play corner.
Sarah Robles, a sophomore forensic science major, said she appreciates having the main library’s resources close by.
“I know we have a library on campus, but it’s all academic texts,” Robles said.
The Public Library also works with YSU education students on projects.
With William F. Maag, Jr. Library only a few feet away from the public library, the two libraries occasionally work together on projects, such as the Youngstown State Alumni and Friends Virtual Book Club.
“It’s nice to have our collaborators who are so close,” Fifarek said.
Ana M. Torres, co-director and head of Library Services and Operations of Maag Library, said she agrees with the advantages of cooperating with the neighboring library.
“We work together, especially for books and multimedia materials, and we can borrow from each other,” Torres said. “As a YSU student, you also have access to the public library right across the street or any of its branches.”
All YSU students can get a library card for free, Fifarek said. The application process can be made with one visit to the library.
“All you need is an ID that shows that you live in Ohio, you find whatever it is that you might want to check out, go to the desk, and they will sign you up for a library card right then and there,” Fifarek said.