LIBRARY bosses in York are inviting local people to ‘bring a bit of joy’ to the city by contributing to their Christmas fundraising appeal.

Money raised through Explore York’s Joy Bringers campaign will be used to fund holiday activities for children as well as to keep the city’s 15 libraries warm and welcoming through the winter.

Explore chief executive Jenny Layfield said it cost £3.1 million each year to keep Explore and its 15 libraries running.

Two thirds of that comes from a contract with the city council - but Explore itself needs to raise the rest, through fundraising and through its commercial activities such as cafés.

“Our libraries are fantastic places where communities come together, and dreams can start," Jenny said.

“Through the Joy Bringers campaign, we want to raise funds to ensure our libraries can continue to be transformative spaces for everyone."

York Press: York's libraries are 'transformative spaces', says Explore boss Jenny LayfieldYork's libraries are 'transformative spaces', says Explore boss Jenny Layfield (Image: Gareth Buddo/ Explore York)

There are various ways people can contribute to the Joy Bringers campaign, Jenny said.

They can go along to their local Explore library and make a donation by cash or by card; they can buy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake in any Explore café; or they visit Acomb Explore and ‘gift a book’ to the library’s collection.

Alternatively, you can make a donation online at

Every donation will go towards supporting Explore and its activities, Jenny said.

York Press: Explore York chief executive Jenny LayfieldExplore York chief executive Jenny Layfield (Image: Explore York)

In particular, donations will be used to:

  • Keep library spaces warm and welcoming, so that they become strong community centres
  • Fund holiday activities for children and young people designed to 'challenge imaginations and create a space where dreams can grow'
  • Help Explore staff share the ‘joy of reading’.

Explore runs York’s libraries and archives service under contract from City of York Council.

An independent mutual society owned by its staff and community members, it manages 15 libraries in York, including its flagship York Explore central library, which is home to the city archive.

Seven of its libraries are ‘reading cafés’ where you can enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat while making use of library facilities. There is also a mobile library and a home library service.

York Press: Explore York has seven 'reading cafés'Explore York has seven 'reading cafés' (Image: Explore York)

Explore employs more than 100 people, and last year welcomed 724,717 visitors.

The library service loaned out 1,808 books EVERY DAY on average last year.

It also staged 2,571 events attended by almost 40,000 people in total.