Future plans for York libraries

 Council to tender for new service provider

Acomb Explore Library

City of York Council’s Executive will be asked to consider proposals for the future development of York’s Libraries and Archives at a meeting later this month (21 June).

If the proposals are agreed, the council will look to appoint an operator for the service for the next 15 years with a contract of £32 million; maintaining the existing level of funding despite pressure on budgets

The existing five-year contract with Explore Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited expires on 31 March 2019.

The move is likely to cause concern that the substantial progress made by the current operator will be jeopardised. Working together the Council and contractor have managed to sustain the existing network of facilities across the whole City – unlike the situation in  most other parts of the country.

The tender documents may raise the prospect of reduced hours or “volunteer only”  manning at some small branches.

Some of the Councils “outsourcing” deals have failed spectacularly.

Yesterday the Warden Call CIC was revealed to have crashed financially and it will now be brought back “in house”.  “Make it York” has had a troubled couple of years while GLL has been criticised for chasing footfall, since it took over the Councils leisure centres, at the expense of a timetable with a broader appeal.

The procurement plans follow a citywide consultation from November 2017 – February 2018, which 2,484 people responded to, giving their views on the council’s vision for the future of the city’s library and archives service.

Key elements of the consultation feedback include:

  • The need to retain key services such as borrowing books, providing a reading and studying space, and providing access to computers
  • The desirability of providing a reading cafe on site
  • The importance of the library as a community hub with opening hours to reflect the needs of local residents
  • Libraries providing state of the art learning spaces
  • Maximising the best use of the buildings through partnership working
  • Respondents broadly supported for the vision of moving away from stand alone library buildings and recognised the need for partnerships to create services co-located with other community amenities.

Key proposals for the future service include:

Print from your own devices – new service at Acomb Explore Library

UntitledExplore libraries have updated their printing services to include printing from any device.  Thanks to these new kiosks, anybody can now print documents at the libraries without logging onto the library computers or even being a library member.   Residents and visitors alike can simply email their print jobs to the library printer from their mobile phones, laptops, or their home PC.  So if you’re on your way to a gig and forgotten to print your ticket, it’s no problem, just email the tickets to the library printer, and receive a unique job reference back to collect your print.

The new kiosks have been installed at Acomb, Clifton, Tang Hall and York Explore libraries, with the support of United Carlton and City of York Council IT.  Helen Whitehead, E-Services Librarian says “For a while now, customers have been asking for wi-fi printing, and we’ve found it tricky to find a secure but affordable way to achieve it.  We’re so pleased we’ve found this solution, which doesn’t just offer secure wifi printing, but also printing from home, and easy photocopying and scanning too.”

While libraries have offered printing from public computers for many years, this new technology brings the service right up to date with customers able to collect prints privately and efficiently themselves, without staff handling their sensitive documents, and the prints are higher quality too.

Explore York Libraries & Archives is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status, and make a small charge for printing and photocopying.  Full details of prices, and a full description of the encryption methodology used are on the library website www.exploreyork.org.uk

Black & White Colour
acombmono@printspots.com acombcolour@printspots.com
cliftonmono@printspots.com cliftoncolour@printspots.com
tanghallmono@printspots.com tanghallcolour@printspots.com
yorklibrarymono@printspots.com yorklibrarycolour@printspots.com
yorkarchivesmono@printspots.com yorkarchivescolour@printspots.com


For more information about this service please contact:

Helen Whitehead, E Services Librarian

01904 554291 helen.whitehead@exploreyork.org.uk  www.exploreyork.org.uk

What’s on in York: Sensory Play – Make a Noise in Libraries

Bookstart Bear Logo JuneAcomb Explore Library :

Tue 5 Jun :

10.0am – 11.30am :


Come and celebrate National Bookstart Week and make a Noise in libraries 2018 at York Libraries.

In this session we will listen to the National Bookstart Week book “A Busy Day for Birds” by Lucy Cousins and then enjoy some sensory and tactile play.

This is a free event, no need to book just turn up and join in the fun.

What’s on in York: Researching Your First World War ancestors

May _10Find

Acomb Explore Library :

Thu 10 May :

6.00pm – 7.30pm :


Have you always wanted to research your First World War ancestors but are not sure where to start? Why not join our Archivist Laura Yeoman as she talks you through some of the sources you can use, both onsite at York Explore and online. Following the talk there will also be an opportunity to get your questions answered.

For more information call the library on (01904) 552651 or acomb@exploreyork.org.uk.

What’s on in York: Holiday Spanish – your Essential Survival Guide

 Acomb Explore Library :

Mon 16 Apr for 7

weeks :

1.00pm – 3.00pm :


Make the most of your holiday in a Spanish speaking country by learning the essentials before your trip. Or if you are interested in learning a language this could be an opportunity to try some basic Spanish and see if you would like to take your study further. All hand outs will be provided and websites will be recommended.

Learn to greet Spanish speakers, introduce yourself, order something to eat and drink in a café and find your way around the town using public transport. The lessons will be very practical and you will learn by listening to and repeating new words and phrases, reading simple texts, doing a variety of exercises and practising the language in role play situations. Gain extra tips about the country and its customs and traditions from your tutor.

To book on the course please click here.

You may be interested to know we have two other holiday language courses running too.  Please click the links below if you would like to find out more.

Acomb Bowling Club blow

Front Street green space threatened.

Acomb Bowling Club

Acomb Bowling Club want to quit their Front Street home and sell the land for a housing development. A planning application submitted over 3 weeks ago has only just been published on the Councils web site.

Reference           18/00586/FULM

Address Acomb Bowling Club Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Proposal              Erection of 11 dwellings following demolition of existing buildings

This is not the first time that this area of open space has been threatened. Over 10 years ago the club was also on the brink of folding.

At that time York Council officials were instructed to offer to buy the land. The intention was to use the car park associated with the site to supplement the parking available at the Acomb Explore Library.

The bowling club would have continued to enjoy use of the greens for a nominal rent.

The Library would have been expanded onto land, already owned by the Council, at the rear.

The intention was to provide flats above a “one stop shop” facility incorporating a extension to the library.  It later transpired that officials had failed to close a deal for the club site.

The scheme was quietly dropped when the incoming Labour administration decided in 2011 to centralised customer contact facilities at West Offices in the City centre. The Councils existing “Acomb Office” was closed.

The new coalition administration was invited in 2015 to look again at how the areas of land to the rear of the library – including the bowling green – might be used in the future but progress has been slow.

The Bowling Club application may reinvigorate the need for a comprehensive development brief for this part of Front Street.

Residents have already criticised any attempt to reduce still further the amount of green space in the Westfield area. It already has the lowest proportion of open space and sports pitches of any sub-urban ward.

The Councils plans to build on the Lowfields playing fields will make the situation even worse.

Residents can object to the planning application by emailing planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting reference 18/00586/FULM.

Library precinct plan 2011

What’s on in York: Hoglets Theatre presents The Sleep Pirates

Sleep Pirates

Acomb Explore Library

: Mon 26 Mar :

10.00am – 10.30am :


 What happens when you can’t sleep? On his first night in a new house, a young boy called Bear faces his fears, heads through his creepy cupboard door and discovers an incredible adventure on the other side.

Brought to life through larger-than-life characters, action, song and immersive storytelling, The Sleep Pirates is an imagination-firing treat for babies, toddlers and infants.

The Sleep Pirates is touring Explore Libraries across York from 26th March to 3rd April.

Tickets can be purchased from any Explore York Library.for contact details please visit our website.

Also at

Haxby at Wiggington Recreation Hall : Wed 28 Mar  : 2.30pm – 3.00pm : £2

Clifton Explore Library : Thu 29 Mar : 10.30 – 11.00am : £2

York Explore Library : Thu 29 Mar 2.00pm – 2.30pm : £2

Tang Hall Explore Library : Tue 3 Apr 10.30am – 11.00am : £2