EXPLORE libraries in York will stay open during Lockdown 3 for essential services.
Books will be available through click and collect, while access to computers and printing will be given to people who do not have these at home. All books at present on loan will be renewed until March 31 2021.
Explore centres in York, Acomb and Tang Hall will be open during the lockdown by pre-booked appointment only from Monday to Saturday. Computer access will be available at all three sites, with click-and-collect books available only from Acomb and Tang Hall.
The Reading Café at Rowntree Park will open every day for takeaway. All other Explore libraries and reading cafés in the city will be closed. The City Archives at York Explore are closed too, but archivists can answer questions by email.
Online, Explore is offering free e-Books and audiobooks for all ages, free newspapers and magazines from around the world via the PressReader app, and a varied events programme via Zoom, featuring well-known authors, together with workshops and activities.
Explore’s specialist team has put together information to support people, covering everything from home schooling to maintaining health and wellbeing. All links can be found at www.exploreyork.org.uk.
Fiona Williams, Explore’s chief executive, says: “Giving access to our pcs [personal computers] means everyone in York has access to the internet and isn’t digitally excluded.
“Opening at York, Acomb and Tang Hall provides a good coverage across the whole city. We will be monitoring usage and feedback and will be able to make changes in response.
“We have made everyone’s books due back on March 31, so no-one has to worry about fines. We will also continue with developing more online services in addition to those already available.”
Fiona adds: “I’m happy that our takeaway service from Rowntree Park Reading Café is available seven days a week. Many people take their exercise in the park and this means they can pick up a coffee. It’s a shame that we’re back here in another lockdown, but we will hope that there’s a better future in a few months.”
Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, says: “As the city comes together once again to fight Coronavirus and stay home as much as possible, it’s great to see our libraries adapt to continue essential services and offer resources for residents across the city.
“From story books for children staying home, to Zoom courses and workshops for those of us learning a new skill this lockdown, York’s libraries continue to offer something for everyone.
“I want to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers at Explore, and all those in community services, who are adapting to the new lockdown and working hard to serve the residents of York at this critical time.”
Full details, such as opening hours during lockdown and how to book an appointment, can be found at https://exploreyork.org.uk/explore-during-lockdown/.