York Explore Library and Archive

Library Square, York YO1 7DS

Disabled Go access guide »

Tel: 01904 552 828

Opening Times

Note: The Library, Family and Local History Rooms and Archives will be closing early on Thursday 23 November  for a large author event with Ali Smith. We will be open again as usual at 10am on Friday 24 November.

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 is challenging local businesses to donate £90 as it marks 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 share a unique and vibrant future for York. Find out how you can support us


  • Cafe open every day for delicious light meals, drinks and homemade cakes.
  • Explore Shop  with a range of items to tempt you
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Books free to borrow – including eBooks and audio books
  • Our Archives and Local History Service
  • Free WiFi
  • Internet access and printing
  • Events! See the What’s On section for all events, or for events at York Explore
  • Free Information: get your questions answered by skilled library staff
  • Quiet space to study or read
  • Fully accessible Changing places toilet