York Explore Library and Archive

Library Square, York YO1 7DS

Disabled Go access guide »

Tel: 01904 552 828

Opening Times


Our Changing Places facility is currently unavailable due to a maintenance issue that is making the space unsafe for use. We have reported the problem and hope to have it fixed and usable again as soon as possible. We will update as soon as it is available once again. The nearest Changing Places facility in the city centre is located at Silver Street, YO1 8RY – Update Mar 18: We are currently working with colleagues at York City Council to fix the issues that are causing damaging to this part of the building, this could take a little time but we will keep you updated with any changes as soon as we can.

Christmas Opening Times

  • Saturday 22 December : 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday 23 December : 11am – 4pm
  • Monday 24 December : 9am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 25 December : Closed
  • Wednesday 26 December : Closed
  • Thursday 27 December : 9am – 5pm
  • Friday 28 December : 10am – 5pm
  • Saturday 29 December : 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday 30 December : 11am – 4pm
  • Monday 31 December : 9am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 1 January : Closed
  • Wednesday 2 January : Usual opening hours below

Library, Family and Local History Rooms

  • Monday: 9am to 8pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 8pm
  • Wednesday: 9am to 8pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 8pm
  • Friday: 10am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 5pm
  • Sunday: 11am to 4pm

See the cafe page for cafe opening hours and menu, or the archives pages for the reading room opening hours.

This library is closed on bank holidays, but you can use our catalogue website at any time to reserve and renew books, and our e-library to download books and magazines.  Rowntree Park Reading Cafe is open most bank holidays.

See the What’s on page for our programme of talks, exhibitions, activities and events for everyone, whatever your age or interests, or call in to pick up a brochure.

Why not come inside, take a look, and have a chat with our friendly staff?

Challenging York businesses – What will your £90 spark?

The team at York Explore challenged local businesses to donate £90 to mark 90 years since opening. The iconic Walter Brierley designed public library has been in the heart of the city, sparking imaginations and shaping futures for 90 years. With your help we can we can continue to share a unique and vibrant future for York. Find out how you can support us