Board chooses new Mahoning County library director

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County has announced its choice for a new executive director.

The board voted Tuesday morning to offer the position to Aimee Fifarek, deputy director of Information Technology and Digital Initiatives at the Phoenix Public Library in Arizona.

Fifarek said they’ll continue construction with a new library on Youngstown’s west side and plan on hiring new people.

She also said she wants to help change people’s attitudes toward libraries.

“One of the library’s biggest problems is the stigma that it’s a bunch of crusty old people with buns in their hair, shushing you, which is so outdated and definitely not what libraries do today.”

More than just lending books, Fifarek said libraries can help people with everything from job training to 3D printing.

The job offer is contingent on Fifarek replying within 24 hours and successfully passing a background check and drug screening.

The board offered Fifarek a salary of $110,000 with fringe benefits as well as a relocation allowance of up to $7,500.

The library cited Fifarek’s experience, involvement in library organizations and associations and her commitment as being among the reasons for the choice. She was picked after a review of over 20 applicants — four of which were finalists for the position.

Fifarek is originally from Marinette, Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a master’s degree in English and in Library and Information Science.

She has a 20-year library career and has authored numerous professional articles. She is the immediate Past President of the Library Information Technology Association, a graduate of the Research Institute for Public Libraries and has received awards for Technological Innovation and Outstanding Library Service, according to the library.

The new director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will be responsible for the Libary’s strategic plan, including the Main Library renovation and the Brownlee Woods-Struthers proposed consolidation.

The position was vacated by Heidi Daniel in July after she took a position as president and CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland.