Youngstown main library renovations include new culinary and media centers

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – More than just books! The Youngstown Public Library’s main branch is getting a major overhaul that can also help the city.

Construction on the $26 million renovation is in full swing.

The facility on Wick Avenue in Youngstown is still open to anyone who wants to use it, but the entrance has changed. If you want to use the library, you’re going to have to use the back entrance off of the parking lot. Once you enter the building, you’ll need to follow signs inside to get to the main part of the library.

“We are completely renovating the main library, which, this part that we’re sitting in, was opened to the public in 1910,” said Aimee Fifarek, CEO of The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Those upgrades are more than just new paint and air conditioning.

“With the addition that is going on now, there will be a 125 seat meeting room and event space as well as a culinary literacy center,” Fifarek said.

The library is essentially adding a giant kitchen with multiple stations to learn about nutrition and cooking.

“The food desert is something that a lot of different non-profit organizations and government organizations in Youngstown have been trying to tackle. We hope to be just one piece of the solution,” said Erin Phemester, chief experience officer at The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Plus, for anyone out there who might want to learn more about video and audio editing, the library is adding a podcast recording studio.

“You can do some of these things from your cellphone, but that can only take you so far. When you want to take it to the next step up, maybe you want to try out some of the technology before you invest in anything,” Phemester said.

Renovations are expected to be complete in the spring of 2022.

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