Meet our board

Meet the Board of Explore York Libraries and Archives

Chairman Portrait

James Henderson

Chairman of the Board at Explore York Libraries and Archives

My name is James Henderson and I’m chair of the board of York Explore L&A and my day job is Head of Marketing Performance at Aviva. I’m 36 years old and I live in York with my wife Natasha and our 3 year-old son Rufus.  I’m absolutely passionate about libraries – not just to provide access to information but as essential, safe places where everyone is welcome.  I’ve been involved in the evolution of York Explore for about 6 years and as Chair my role, along with the rest of the Board, is to make sure we have the right level of governance, control and direction to meet the objectives of both the organization and the community.

“I believe there can be a bright future for libraries and archives in York, and in an era when libraries are more at risk than ever I also believe the service will grow and flourish through this approach. I would encourage all current and future library and archive users to get involved with us and help shape our future direction by becoming members of the society. More than this however, whether it’s the fantastic new City Archive, first-class cafe and family spaces, or an ever-improving collection of digital and traditional literature, our aim is to make Explore the centre of each community.”


CEO portrait

Fiona Williams

Chief executive, Explore York Libraries and Archives
“I am proud to be representing our amazing staff who have worked so hard to set up a new organisation that will not only maintain the services currently available in the city, but also be able to improve and expand them. We will have the freedom to make our own decisions about our future.

This is a real opportunity to secure the longer term future of the greatly valued libraries and archives in York.”





John Carhill

Community Director – John brings extensive business and commercial experience. Now retired, he carries out a number of local volunteer roles including at St Leonard’s Hospice and the Yorkshire Regiment archives. With a keen interest in family and local history John is particularly interested to help broaden the interest and access to the York archives. The archive and local history collections hold some fantastic treasures that show how York has developed over the centuries. These records trace the history of our local communities, and provide some fascinating insights to our past and to the events which have created today’s York.