Patrons Join Library Director in a Flashlight Read-In

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio— Fourteen patrons of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, seven on each side of Carlton Sears, turned out their electric-bulb candles Wednesday afternoon as the director of the library read the name of the branch each represented.

They were part of a press event held in the main library to draw attention to the precarious financial position the system finds itself in as advocates for Issue 6, a one-mill operating levy to run five years, seek to persuade county residents to vote for renewal.

Billed as a “Lights-Out Read-In,” the event, attended by some 60 patrons, saw them hold flashlights to read their books (their own and those borrowed from the library) a minute or so as television news cameras captured the moment.

The event began at 5:30 p.m. as the main library in the county system closed at that hour for the first time instead of the usual 9 p.m. because of the 31% reduction in funding from the state.