Date set for library re-opening

Explore York have announced that Dringhouses Library will re-open on 16th March after heating upgrade work has been completed.

The library closed on 13th February in response to concerns about the low temperature in the building, caused by a combination of winter weather and ineffective heating. A new boiler is being installed along with new convector heaters and new radiators. It has been confirmed that Listed Building Consent is not needed for these internal improvement works.

Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the news, commenting “I was grateful that the Chief Executive of Explore agreed to meet with me when news of the closure broke, which came as something of a surprise. It is encouraging that the council’s Facilities team has been able to work with Explore to agree the specifications and get the equipment ordered and ready for installation.”

Dringhouses Library to close temporarily

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward councillors were informed by York Explore Libraries & Archives on 9th February that due to issues with the heating system at Dringhouses Library, it is planned to temporarily close the library from Monday 13th February until the end of the month.

Councillors have asked for an urgent meeting with Explore to discuss possible temporary solutions which would ensure that staff, volunteers and residents can safely access vital services.

Explore have said that an inspection identified that the current heating is insufficient to effectively heat the building. They have told ward councillors that a permanent solution has been identified and that action is being taken to obtain appropriate advice and permissions from Conservation Officers at the council before the work can progress, given the listed status of the building.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Cllr Stephen Fenton commented:

“It’s very disappointing to learn of the proposed temporary closure so abruptly, as no prior notice had been given to local councillors or residents.

“The library is an important much-loved local community asset and provides crucial services to many residents. I am particularly concerned about the impact of the proposed closure on elderly residents, who, for example, use the library to access the internet, to get help and advice and to have some social interaction. Any closure would also be a blow to young people for whom the library is a place for learning and enjoyment, particularly with half-term around the corner.

“Of course, the health and safety of the library’s staff, volunteers and customers always comes first, so it’s crucial to ensure permanent solutions are brought forward as soon as possible. However, in the meantime, temporary arrangements need to be put in place until the heating issues are fixed. I will discuss this urgently with York Explore Libraries & Archives.”

Dringhouses Library to re-open

From Monday 7 September, Dringhouses Library will be welcoming back customers for drop-in browsing, borrowing and computer use. There won’t be any activities such as story times or reading groups yet.

Opening times from the week beginning September 7 are:

  • Monday: 2pm – 5pm
  • Tuesday: 9.30am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 5pm
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 9.30am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 5pm
  • Friday: 2pm – 5pm
  • Saturday: 9.30am – 1pm

Summer holiday activity listings available online

Parents and carers wanting to keep their children busy and active this summer can click through to a rich listing of fun for the holidays.

The activities, events and ideas on the Shine website are for children and young people, including those with special education needs and disabilities. All have social distancing precautions in place or are based online, and many are free of charge. 

Shine, a council-run hub, gives businesses and organisations an opportunity to upload their own events on the website for free.

There is also a section on the site for other sources of information. These include:

The current list features all sorts from a Fairy and Troll trail at Bishopthorpe Pre-school Playgroup to Crazy Golf and Foot Golf at York Golf range, to wildlife watching from The Wildlife Trusts and mindfulness session. The events and activities will be updated throughout the summer.

Organisations or businesses that would like to list an event in Shine, but haven’t yet done so, can list their activity at Get Listed in Shine

No date set for Dringhouses library re-opening

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 June, York Explore have announced their plans for re-opening York’s libraries. Smaller libraries, including Dringhouses, will remain closed during this first stage of re-opening.

Dringhouses library will remain closed for the time being

From Monday 6 July the following libraries will be open for pre-booked appointments only:

– Central library

– Acomb

– Clifton

– Tang Hall

– Mobile library

At these libraries you will be able to collect and return books and use the public computers and printers.

The new reading café in Hungate will open for the first time on 7 July. The cafes at Rowntree Park and Homestead Park open on 6 July . All will be serving drinks and snacks to take away and enjoy outside.

Opening hours at libraries will be 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.

More information can be found at the Explore website HERE

Free online newspapers and magazines – now LIVE

Press Reader – the app giving free access to 7,000 online newspapers and magazines – is now live and free to access for anyone with an Explore library card.

Explore was able to buy a subscription to Press Reader with part of the grant awarded last week by City of York Council from the Covid-19 general support grant.

If you don’t have a York Card or a Library Card, you can find out how to sign up online HERE

Here is how to use Press Reader…

  1. Download the PressReader app from your app store, or just visit the website in your internet browser (the app is recommended for the touchscreen experience)
  2. Click “Sign in”
  3. Click “Libraries and Groups”
  4. Select “Explore York Libraries and Archives…” from the list by searching for “Explore” or “York”
  5. Enter your library card number and click sign in (note: this is your card number starting with a Y, not any kind of alternative ID you may have set up)
  6. It’ll ask for your email address, a password and your name to set up an account. Remember the password because you’ll need this again in 30 days.  Also on this screen you can browse the terms and privacy policy.  Then tap sign in at the bottom.
  7. That’s it, you’re signed in.  Click “select publication” to start browsing.

After 30 days you’ll need to log in again with your email address and password.

More information is available on the Explore website HERE

Library services move online

If you are confused or overwhelmed by the huge amount of information on offer, York’s Explore library service can help.

They are making it easy for people to find information and advice as well as inspiration as we all deal with the Coronavirus crisis. Explore website has all sorts of useful links to help people cope during the coming weeks; some sites have always been part of their online offer, and some are brand new.

Explore is also working with City of York Council and other partners in York so that communities can join together.

Organisations across the country are developing their online services in this challenging time. Explore is are using its expertise to gather together the best offers and add them to the lists of sites they recommend.

They will also be developing some online activities – including a Virtual Book Group. Their website will be updated regularly as these new things come on stream and sharing on social media using #LibrariesFromHome

Everything is free to access – all you need is a library card. You can get a card online and start using it immediately.