YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s main library is over 110 years old. The building has gotten a new look and a new addition. It should improve every reason you go to the library. On Wednesday, we took a tour of the facility to share the highlights with you.
The main library has a new look — fancy steps to the historic 1910 building, two lamposts, the “light of knowledge” and brass doors weighing 800 pounds.
“I have a special place in my heart for the “For The People” motto over the front door because really that’s the reason why we’re all here. This is why the library exists,” said library executive director Aimee Fifarek.
The building’s restoration also spotlights vibrant amber and green colors on an art glass ceiling in the grand reading room.
Returning the building to some of its former glory was a big priority with this project. Another was finding more space for people.
“We have study spaces, we have multiple meeting rooms, we have wonderful space for children’s programming, hands-on learning. All of those things were lacking in the prior renovation because it was really constructed as a place for large stacks of books,” Fifarek said.
There’s new shelving for the books, lower stacks and reading stairs in the new entryway. There’s also a new patio that can host outside events, a new Culinary Literacy area to teach cooking skills and a 125-person meeting space.
The $27 million project combines a lot of the old with some new beginnings.
“So it really is a new chapter in the building’s history, in our service and in our ability to connect with the community because that’s what we’re here for — connect, inspire and enrich. That is our motto,” Fifarek said.
When you go to check it out, keep in mind that the building survived a fire in 1978 and an earthquake in 1986. It has stood strong.
A New Chapter Community Celebration will be this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the main library on Wick Avenue.