Explore provides the public library and archives service for the city of York. We manage 14 libraries, 4 Reading Cafes, a mobile library and the City Archive. Our vision is to enable everyone to live fuller, more connected and engaged lives.
We have a contract with City of York council. The initial contract period ran from May 2014 to 31 March 2019. After a competitive tendering process in 2018, Explore was the successful bidder and we were awarded a new fifteen year contract to run from April 2019 to March 2034.
Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited came into being in 2014 as a mutual industrial and provident society with charitable status. The society was the first of its kind in the UK and its creation was led by its own staff. Since 2014 several other public libraries have adopted our model and we work closely with them to develop our knowledge and practice. We have worked with the Cabinet Office and the Department for Culture Media and Sport to share our learning and expertise in the mutualisation of services and contributed to a toolkit which can be found at gov.uk
Jointly owned by staff and community members we are firmly rooted in York with a board of directors who are all local people and understand the city’s needs. The Chief Executive and board oversee our work, monitor performance and set yearly plans and budgets. We constantly seek input and engagement from our staff, community members, library users and partner organisations to help us develop and provide better, more responsive services.
- We will be enterprising – innovating and striving for excellence
- We will be community focussed – working in partnership to deliver high quality services.
- We will be fair – free and open to all and impartial in all that we do.
- We will be individually and collectively accountable for the stewardship of our collections and on the delivery of our commitments
- We will learn – building reflective practice into everything we do to continuously develop and improve.
About our Board
Our board of directors oversees all our work, monitors our performance and helps us to set our yearly plans and budgets. There are seven directors at any one time. Two places on the board are reserved for directors elected by the community members. Directors commit to attend regular meetings and may also chair an advisory group. Each member of the board has a duty and responsibility to protect the interests of Explore and ensure the organisation is well run. Members of the board are not to represent their own interests or that of any other organisation they have a role in.
About Advisory Groups
Advisory Groups discuss current challenges and come up with solutions, as well as suggesting ideas for new and improved services which are then considered by the board and management teams.
Here is our latest balance sheet for information
Enterprise balance sheet
Here is the latest Auditor’s Report
Explore Management Team
Fiona Williams (pictured)
Chief Operating Officer
York Explore Manager
Chief Finance Officer