Due to issues with the heating system at Dringhouses Library, York Explore Libraries & Archives has notified councillors of plans to temporarily close the library from Monday February 13 until the end of the month.
Ward councillors have raised concerns about the impact of the temporary closure on the local community and have asked for an urgent meeting with Explore to discuss possible temporary solutions which would ensure that staff, volunteers and residents can safely access vital services.
Explore has said that an inspection identified that the current heating is insufficient to effectively heat the building.
The organisation has ward councillors that a permanent solution has been identified and that action is being taken to obtain appropriate advice and permissions from Conservation Officers at the council before the work can progress, given the listed status of the building.
The councillors have called on York Explore Libraries to find temporary solutions to keep the library open.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Cllr Stephen Fenton commented: “It’s very disappointing to learn of the proposed temporary closure so abruptly, as no prior notice had been given to local councillors or residents.
“The library is an important much-loved local community asset and provides crucial services to many residents.
“We’re particularly concerned about the impact of the proposed closure on elderly residents, who, for example, use the library to access the internet, to get help and advice and to have some social interaction.
“Any closure would also be a blow to young people for whom the library is a place for learning and enjoyment, particularly with half-term around the corner.”
Cllr Fenton added: “Of course, the health and safety of the library’s staff, volunteers and customers always comes first, so it’s crucial to ensure permanent solutions are brought forward as soon as possible.
“However, in the meantime, temporary arrangements need to be put in place until the heating issues are fixed. We will discuss this urgently with York Explore Libraries & Archives.”