Central Library hit by anti social behavior

A York Council committee will consider an update report, from the City recently independent Libraries service, when it meets on 22nd June.

Library quote on anti scoail behavior June 2015

It will here a generally upbeat report from the managers of a service which became a “Community Benefit Society” on 1st May 2014

However there are some emerging issues.

Post its major renovation, the central Explore Library has struggled to achieve historic levels of book lending.

The report says,

“York reopened in January 2015 and looking at last quarter of 2014/15 we can see a small reduction in visits (1.4%) and book issues (8%). We are looking into the reasons for these”.

This is put down partly to an outbreak of anti social behaviour by young people (see right).

This isn’t the first report of issues with personal behaviour which now extend across an apparently widening part of the City.

Generally branch libraries, like those in Acomb and Dringhouses, are performing well with a wide range of activities taking place.

Books borrowed April 2015

Library visits April 2015

World book day – “flash retelling” planned for York

Around 750 pupils from City of York Council schools will be taking part in a ‘flash retelling’ to help mark World Book Day on Thursday 5 March.

Pupils across the city will be retelling a traditional tale they have learnt off by heart at 10.30am.

The pupils have used the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to help them learn the tale. This involves them using actions and a visual story map to learn the tale. Learning stories off by heart gives children the story language and text structures to be able to create their own stories.

Pie Corbett who developed the Talk for Writing approach, said: “The great City of York will ring together the bells of a thousand voices, telling and celebrating the joy of a story. Stories lie at the heart of every culture. Without them, education is dry as dust. They bind us together as one people helping us to understand ourselves and each other. Stories make us a stronger and better people. Let the story spread across the city and stay in the heart of every teller and every listener.”

World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of books and reading, marked in over 100 countries all over the world. For more information on libraries in the city visit www.exploreyork.org.uk

Stay healthy, find work and enjoy life online

 “Be Online 2015” at Explore York Libraries and Archives

Free, short workshops for residents to get even more from the internet and its world of information are being offered by Explore York.

From Monday 23 February to Saturday 7 March 2015, Explore York Libraries  invite residents to ‘stay healthy, find work and enjoy life online’ with a series of free and informative workshops to help further understanding and enjoyment of the internet.
Be Online 2015 will include free introductions to Twitter, Instagram, Ancestry.com, NHS Choices, eBay, Google and much more.
In partnership with Tinder Foundation/UK Online, libraries across York (except the reading cafés and mobile library) will be hosting at least one session for people of all ages and skill levels. Whether learners know the basics or have never even touched a computer before, these sessions will help widen understanding of how the internet and its applications can truly help enhance and make daily life easier.
To find out more about Be Online 2015, pick up a leaflet from your local library or visit www.exploreyork.org.uk and click on the What’s On tab. Bookings for each session can be made at any of the libraries in person, by phone or by calling 01904 552828 and leaving a message. Places are limited so please book early.

  • Get to Know the Basics of Digital Imaging We’ll show you how to improve your digital photographs with red eye control, special effects, filters and more. Explore Acomb Library, Sat 7 March, 12.30 – 1.30pm
  • Get Started with Skype Find out how to set up a free Skype account to contact friends and family across the world via live video. Explore Acomb Library, Mon 23 February, 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Twitter for Businesses Discover how Twitter can help your business grow with this informative taster session. Explore Acomb Library, Weds 25 February, 11.00 – Noon Explore Acomb Library, Mon 2 March, 6.00 – 7.00pm
  • Get to Grips with the Explore E-Library Discover the benefits of e-reading with our free and exciting online library.Explore Acomb Library, Sat 28 February, 12.30 – 1.30pm Explore York Library, Weds 4 March, 10.00 – 11.00am
  • Get Stated with Instagram Come along and get to grips with the image-based social network. Explore Acomb Library, Mon 2 March, 2.00 – 3.00pm
  • An Introduction to Shopping Online Get to know how to shop for bargains and keep safe while shopping on the internet. Poppleton Library, Mon 2 March, 2.30 – 4.00pm Dringhouses Library, Thurs 5 March, 3.00 – 5.00pm

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York Libraries and Archives, said: “The internet can help us improve our health, search for jobs and complement the many hobbies and pastimes we enjoy. Through these workshops, Explore York Libraries and Archives can give people the support they need when it comes to discovering the digital world.”

Community archive collections ready to go on show in York

Interesting web site review of the modern records archive service being set up in new accommodation at the central Library.

Already catalogued are 15 collections including

New Archive reading room

New Archive reading room

  • The York Art Society
  • York Rugby League Club
  • York Musical Theatre Society
  • Boy Scouts Association York
  • York Educational Settlement
  • Cundall Family Papers and Photographs

Also available will be some interesting records from the First World War including details of buildings damaged by Zeppelin attacks (some of which are still standing)

The new archive and library is expected to open to the public on Monday 5th January 2015


York libraries update report

The first progress report since York’s libraries were taken over by a “Community Benefit Society” is to be publicly considered next week The Society holds exempt charitable status & is jointly owned by staff and the community.

The society receives a York Council taxpayer’s subsidy of £1.9425th May 11 New Library Square million each year but is expected to make savings of £50,000 next year.

The report reveal’s that, not only are visitor numbers down because of the central Library temporary closure, but book issues are also continuing to decline.

However EBooks and audio downloads are increasing rapidly.

From February 2015 a toy library service will be introduced. Parents, after selecting toys on line, will be able to pick them up from their nearest library. This service replaces the now defunct toy library bus.

The new Archives and Local History Library will open along with the rest of York Explore on 5th January 2015.

The report can be read by clicking here

Performance results can be read by clicking here

York Council admits library usage error

Following our story at the weekend, the Council has now said that there was an error in the usage figures they provided for York libraries last year.

The revised figures now issued, in response to the Freedom of Information request, turn what appeared to be a decline in use into a modest increase.

Any impact that the current temporary closure ,of the York central library may have, will be revealed when the 2014/15 figures are released.

Revised York Library visit numbers. click to enlarge

Revised York Library visit numbers. click to enlarge

Numbers visiting York Libraries.

Note – Story update – Council issues revised figures click here

The number of residents using York’s libraries appeared to half last year as rebuilding works took a toll.

The figures were revealed by the York Council in response to a Freedom of Information request

The relatively new library in Rowntree Park increased its visitor numbers to 89,478 putting it second only to Acomb (117,402 visitors) in popularity

Tang Hall library is being moved to a site at Burnholme College while York central library is closed for a refurbishment project

This, Heritage Lottery Fund funded, Gateway To History project is a £1.77m plan to create a 21st century Archive at York Explore. It will be finished in 2016, although the library should reopen later this year.

The Library service – which is now run by a “mutual society” – costs taxpayers around £2.3 million each year.

The mutual society is member run. Two thirds of members are library users, and one third staff.

Any York resident over the age of 16 can become a member for free, and effectively becomes the holder of one share in the society, worth a nominal £1. You have to apply to be a member: do so by emailing contact@exploreyork.org.uk.

Library users don’t have to be members of Explore to use the services.

Every member can vote on the way Explore is run at the annual general meeting.

At the moment there are about 120,000 registered users of library services

There may be some concern that many library users don’t appear – during the period that 2 libraries have been closed – to have transferred their business to other libraries in the City. Neither the new library management company not the Council, have published a business plan showing the assumptions they made on overall library visitor numbers during and after the rebuilding projects.

With an additional library planned as part of the community stadium project in Huntington, future user numbers are likely to be viewed with increased interest. A return to the steady growth, as seen over most of the last decade, will be the least that taxpayers will expect.