‘Gold box’ for York’s Archives

gold box minster web 2A giant ‘gold box’ to house the City of York’s most precious historic documents will be craned into place at York Explore this week.

The new state-of-the-art vault will be home to 800 years of the city’s history and is part of the £1.6m Heritage Lottery Fund-supported Gateway to History project to preserve and open up York’s internationally-important archives to people across the city – and across the world. Thousands of books, manuscripts and maps will be safely stored on nearly a mile of shelves in the climate-controlled box.


York libraries help older people get connected online

City of York Libraries are holding a series of free taster events to introduce older people to the benefits of being online. These will be held as part of the national Spring Online campaign, which was formerly Silver Surfers Day and which has now grown to an annual week-long event.

Acomb Explore Library

Acomb Explore Library

There are currently around seven million people who have never used the internet and of those around six million are aged over 55 years. These people are missing out on the many benefits that being online offers, such as accessing a wider range of products and services, saving money and being better connected with friends and family.

The local events are as follows:

Libraries introduce new service to help residents with planning applications

Acomb Explore Library

Acomb Explore Library

A new service is being introduced at York Libraries to help residents who are submitting planning applications for extensions or loft conversions to their properties.

Residents are now able to walk in to three York libraries (York, Acomb and Tang Hall).with their address and postcode details and can purchase specially printed site plans and location plans of their properties. These two documents are often needed when submitting planning applications to the council.


Dringhouses library revelation

Dringhouses Library

Dringhouses Library

A freedom of information request has revealed that the Dringhouses Library building was gifted to the Council in 1942 for use only as a “Library or for other public uses”.

The revelation comes at a time when there are increasing concerns about the future of small libraries.

The Labour Councils decided to cut the libraries budget by £250,000 in 2013/14 and a further £150,000 in the forthcoming financial year.

The library service is now in the hands of an independent social enterprise trust which is currently looking to appoint new Directors

There will be an Open Evening at Acomb Explore, Front Street, Acomb, on Wednesday 12 March from 4pm – 6 pm, for anybody who would like to learn more. The management team and other Explore directors will be in attendance and able to answer questions. The person specification and role information for the new posts and can be found here.

To express interest in becoming a Community Director or the Finance Director of Explore, email fiona.williams@york.gov.uk by 24 March 2014.

Today is “world book day”


Children and young people across York are being urged to join the celebrations for World Book Day (Thursday 6 March).


World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of books and reading, marked in over 100 countries all over the world. This year marks the 17th World Book Day and nurseries, toddler groups, children’s centres and schools across the city are getting involved, with a variety of activities such as guest story tellers and book-themed dressing-up.

Youngsters travelling on First York’s number six route (Tang Hall to Clifton) will be able to get involved by reading books which will be available on the buses on World Book Day. The books have been kindly loaned by City of York Council’s Explore Library Learning Centres.

And, visitors to City of York Council’s West Offices will be able to drop in to the main foyer where a ‘comfy’ reading area will be available for families and children and members of the council’s Early Years team will be on hand to read stories.

Visit the World Book Day website (http://www.worldbookday.com/) to find out more about encouraging children to read.


York libraries seek community representative.

The new company that will run York’s libraries after 1st April is asking “Could you be a Community Director for Explore York Libraries and Archives?

25th May 11 New Library Square

“Explore York Libraries and Archives – the new organisation which will be running York’s libraries and archives from 1 April under a five year contract from City of York Council – is looking for two Community Directors to join its Board and help to develop and deliver excellent library and archive services in the city”.

We have considerable doubts about this new venture – more so now that the Council has agreed to cut £200,000 off its budget over the next 2 years.

This could mean library closures.

However the stronger the voice that York residents have in deciding the priorities of the new organization the better.

If damage can be limited over the next 12 months, then the new Council which will be elected in May 2015, will have a reasonable chance of putting things back together.

In the meantime more about what the Council says can be found by clicking here.