Explore York Libraries and Archives and The Reading Agency have teamed up with theWorld Wildlife Fund to keep children reading over the summer, while challenging them to help save the planet. By taking part in the Challenge for free in Explore Libraries or online, children can join six fictional characters – ‘wild heroes’ – to help solve some of the threats to our natural world, and learn about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature in ‘Wilderville’.
How to sign up
The Challenge starts on Saturday 17 July and runs until Saturday 11 September 2021.
You can sign up in any Explore York Library, but we are not running the challenge in our cafes or at the Community Stadium this year.
You can find a lot more Reading Challenge activities and sign up to do the challenge online if you prefer this option on the Summer Reading Challenge website
Books you can use for the challenge
You can borrow books from your local library to read, or you can use our e-book or e-audiobook service.
Summer Reading Challenge Activities
From July 5 onwards you will be able to book for our in person socially distanced events. As well as in person events we have activities for you to watch and download. They launch at the date and time next to the event and are available all summer.
You can book our in person events for children online or at a library.
Numbers for events in libraries will be very limited. If you book a ticket and then cannot come please make sure you cancel your ticket so someone else can come instead.
You can find online activities through our children’s activity link.
|Saturday 24 July||10am||Liz Foster’s Wild World Heroes activity sheets.|
|Saturday 24 July||10am||Robin Simpson’s Online Nature Stories and Activities. Come dressed as an animal if you wish.|
|Monday 26 July||10am||Ted Schofield’s Online Picture Adventure Story Workshop. Have a piece of A3 paper, papers for practicing, pencils, crayons and a ruler ready to do the session.|
|Monday 2 August||10am||John Kirk’s Story Treasure Hunt 1|
|Monday 2 August||10am||John Kirk’s Story Treasure Hunt 2|
|Wednesday 4 August||10.30 am and 2pm||Theatre of Science’s Summer Extravaganza Science Meditation Session (live)|
|Wednesday 11 August||10am||Theatre of Science’s Summer Extravaganza: Science Meditation Session (recording)|
Arts Award Discover is a nationally recognised introductory award aimed at 5 to 9 year olds (although any child can take part.) Explore York Libraries and Archives, York Art Gallery, York Army Museum and All Saints, North Street are offering children the opportunity to gain Arts Award Discover through taking part in any three of our in person or online activities, finding out about an artist or crafts person and telling us about these at a Big Share Event.
Download a record sheet to note down what you have done or just collect all you have made and come to a Big Share Event anytime between 1 pm and 4 pm on Wednesday 1st September in the Marriott Room at York Explore Library or between 1 pm and 3 pm on Sunday 5th September in the Sensory Garden at the rear of York Art Gallery. After talking to you we will apply for an Arts Award certificate for you which will be posted to your home.
Thanks to funding from York Army Museum we can offer these certificates free of charge.
Thursday 24th June 2021
On line event organised by York Explore Library
Come and listen to some of the best poets from Yorkshire and beyond at Finding the Words, our relaxed and welcoming poetry evening
Finding the Words with Kathryn Bevis, Ellora Sutton and Shash Trevett
Kathryn Bevis is Hampshire Poet 2020-21 and founder of The Writing School Online . Her poems have won several awards, including first prize in the Poets & Players and Against the Grain competitions. Kathryn’s work has been published and anthologised in print and online by: Nine Arches Press, iamb, Live Canon, Words for The Wild, Parthian Books, and The Fenland Poetry Journal. She now designs and delivers online Poetry for Wellbeing courses for adults in substance misuse and mental health settings, and in prisons. Kathryn is working towards her first collection.
Ellora Sutton (she/her) is a queer poet from Hampshire. She has won the Mslexia Poetry Competition, the Poetry Society and Artlyst’s Art to Poetry Award, and the Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition. Her work has been published by Poetry News, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, amongst others. Her debut chapbook, All the Shades of Grief, was published in 2020 by Nightingale & Sparrow, and for the first three months of 2021 she enjoyed being poet in residence at Jane Austen’s House. She tweets @ellora_sutton, or you can find her at ellorasutton.com.
Shash Trevett is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who came to the UK to escape the civil war. She is a poet and a translator of Tamil poetry into English. She has collaborated with artists and composers and is a winner of a Northern Writers’ Award. Her pamphlet From a Borrowed Land will be published in May 2021 by Smith|Doorstop. She is currently co-editing (with Vidyan Ravinthiran and Seni Seneviratne) an anthology of Tamil, English and Sinhala poetry from Sri Lanka and its diaspora communities. Shash was the 2019 Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival and is a 2021 Visible Communities Translator in Residence at the National Centre for Writing. She is a 2021 Ledbury Critic and a Board Member of Modern Poetry in Translation.
Thursday 17th June 2021
Acomb Explore Library, Front Street
Stories and songs at Acomb Explore
Join us for stories, songs and rhymes at this socially distanced event. This is suitable for under 5’s with and accompanying adult. Each ticket is for 1 adult with children age under 5 years old.
York Library is beginning to gets its events programmes sorted out for the post pandemic world.
Their poetry access sessions have been a popular choice in the past
We reported a few weeks ago that Council owned land to the rear of Acomb Library – and which had been hijacked for use as a building compound – was now available once again for its original purpose.
The and had been purchased by the Council over 10 years ago to establish a “one stop shop” for public services as part of a plan to expand the library site. The need for a local Council base became more urgent when the Acomb Housing Office was subsequently closed in 2013.
Nothing much happened on the site until the new Liberal Democrat led Council announced a plan to invest £4 million in the library sites at Acomb and Clifton. That was two years ago. Things once again have fallen silent in the interim.
It appears though, from a progress report being considered by the Council next week, that plans for the site have already been drawn up.
No public consultation has taken place and the Front Street survey – which ended a few days ago – failed to offer any options for the library site.
The original aspiration was for housing estate managers, the police, the NHS and neighbourhood workers to have a base at the new building. It remains to be seen whether this concept will be pursued.
In the interim the Council has constructed a new small housing office as part of the Lincoln Court redevelopment.
The land to the rear of Chancery Court (not Council owned) would have been landscaped as part of the project.
It was hoped that many more residents would make use of the Front Street facility as a result of the new investment. It would become a natural “hub” for the local community.
Apparently, the early plans for the site have been costed at £3 million. They are currently being scaled back to something “more affordable”.
The recently opened new library at Burnholme cost £4.6 million.
The Council needs to engage with potential users of facilities like these before plans are firmed up.
Businesses, residents and visitors are being asked what they love and what they’d like to change about Acomb’s Front Street.
The consultation is the much delayed opportunity to help with the regeneration of the Front Street area.
The council committed to a £50,000 investment in Front Street, one of the city’s most important shopping areas, before the pandemic brought about even larger challenges to high streets across the UK.
Acomb’s Front Street plays a vital role in the community and the wider city, and is home to many established and well-loved local independent retailers and community spaces. It has a lower than national average proportion of empty units, with occupancy rates bucking the UK trend by increasing significantly in the last three years.
The council is now asking for views which will help to keep Front Street at the heart Acomb’s economy and community.
The Council says that last year “we postponed the survey because of Covid-19. Your views in the survey will be used to create a ‘brief’ of community ideas which we can check with local people before the council executive decides what improvements to make”.
500 residents have already had a new COVID-secure knock on their door from IdB, a market research company working with the council. The council is working alongside IdB to ask for feedback and ideas from a diverse and representative cross section of Acomb residents. The surveys will be dropped with residents in a sterile bag, along with gloves, an antiviral wipe and a return bag. The market researcher will then return later that day to collect the questionnaire.
Residents can also get involved by:
The development to the rear of the Acomb Library (Bowling Lane) is almost complete with most of the homes now occupied.
The Council owned site, currently being used as a builders yard, will shortly close opening the way for a start to be made on the long awaited upgrade to the Acomb Library.
The Council has a budget of £2 million allocated in each of the next two years (starting on 1/4/21) to provide “Centres of Learning and Opportunity for all” at Acomb & Clifton libraries.
Plans to provide a “one stop shop” for public services at Acomb Explore date back over a decade and the land to the rear of South View Terrace was purchased by the Council (from a local builder) with the intention of improving the whole area.
Sadly, that intention stalled, and the land became overgrown. It was a major missed regeneration opportunity.
The “Lockdown” period has provided Council officials with adequate time to refined their proposals for the site and we expect to see public consultation starting shortly.
We do not want building activity in the area to continue for longer than is essential, so some drive and enthusiasm is now required.
The publication of a draft development timetable would be a good start.
With half-term coming up York Library have some special treats for children of all ages.
Storyteller John Kirk is going to be appearing on YouTube live with an exclusive telling of Roald Dahl’s The Twits on 24 October and again with Spooky Stories for Halloweenies on 31 October.
The sessions are free, but people need to register to receive the YouTube link see below.
Our partners at Hoglets have created 6 exclusive online storytimes for the under-fives featuring stories from around the world for children, every Tuesday morning from 27 October on our YouTube channel.
We have a page on our website dedicated to bringing you information about reading, fun and learning for children and families, including our Bloodaxe Challenge in partnership with the Jorvik Viking Centre, Mumbler’s Halloween Train and online stories and activities.