York Explore Library and Archive

York (6a)

As you would expect York library is very pleasant. Outside there is a floorplan sign calling it York Explore. It is fortunate that it is open on Sundays, 11-3, as so few libraries are open Sundays at the moment. We waited at the door before opening time with a handful of regulars.

The building was a Carnegie library designed by Walter Brierley and opened in 1927. It became York Explore in 2011. This year (2017) it celebrated 90 years with a campaign to ask local businesses to donate £90 each.

The entrance is wonderfully light, largely due to the lightwell in the roof. There was a sign up saying that the building had “1,442 visitors yesterday” which would have been a Saturday in November.

On entering the lending library on the ground floor there is a small shop selling reading related items and gifts. Plenty of bookstock, lots of computers dotted around and in use. Lots of the bookcases were on wheels which I’ve seen in a number of libraries now and I always think is eminently sensible.

I like the interesting seating, even if some people need a lesson on how to use it.

The children’s library is partitioned off from the café but with a low, curved and transparent wall so you can supervise older children from the café.

Upstairs houses the local studies section with a sealed off rare books room.

All in all the library was a lovely environment and I would happily spend more time there.



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