New library staff member will help people with mental health, social service issues

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He will work with people to connect them to resources they might not have known about

Jim Young, library community specialist, Youngstown

Courtesy: Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County

(WKBN) – The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County has hired a community support specialist — a staff member who will help the library better serve visitors with mental health issues and social service needs.

Jim Young will work with people to connect them to resources they might not have known about.

“We recognize that many people in our community are struggling with issues beyond library service expertise, such as homelessness, addictions, depression and more. Mr. Young comes to the library with an abundance of experience and will be available to link our patrons to the type of help they need,” said Aimee Fifarek, library executive director.

Young holds a master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University.

He has experience helping kids, veterans and people in hospice care or with medical needs.

“I have a very diverse background, and my social work experience gave me quite a few contacts in Mahoning County. I thought the library would be a perfect fit for me,” Young said.

He will also have two service dogs with him as he works. The labs, Katie and Kirby, have helped clients who are fearful or have trouble expressing themselves.

“I learned that therapy dogs open doors,” Young said.

If you’d like to talk with Young, call the library at 330-744-8636 or ask a librarian.

“I want to be busy,” he said. “I want to help people so come and see me.”

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