I AM grateful to Tim Owston, whose letter, urging us to hold the next AGM of Explore in the city centre, appeared in last Saturday’s The Press.

We were also disappointed at the poor attendance but the attendance at last year’s AGM was equally disappointing and was held in the city centre.

Across the country, libraries are closing through lack of support, lack of resources and lack of imagination.

Explore is different… a mutual owned by its staff and members, and the City of York Council’s 15-year contract is a powerful statement about their commitment to libraries, to Explore and to having staffed libraries serving communities across the city.

We proudly serve Tang Hall, Acomb, Clifton, Dringhouses, Dunnington, Poppleton, Fulford, Huntington, Haxby, New Earswick, Strensall, Copmanthorpe and Bishopthorpe, as well as the city centre. And our libraries are not just places with collections of books, but places where communities, families and friends, connect.

Our challenge is to create in all those communities a better understanding about why our libraries matter. That they matter not just for the books but as community spaces, social spaces, cultural spaces, learning spaces, sustainable spaces for everyone… our members, our friends, our volunteers and our visitors… places for the lonely, the vulnerable and the marginalised… places for the young and old.

We hope that next year we will have an AGM where all our members will come and share their views.

Chris Edwards,

Chairperson of Explore,