Brief History of Time To Read
the NW Libraries' Reader Development Partnership

1996

Rachel van Riel (Opening the Book) delivers 6 month training course in Reader Development & Training to 10 NW representatives- funded by Arts Council England NW (ACE NW)

NW region consists of 22 authorities including Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, all of Greater Manchester and Greater Merseyside.

1997

The team of 10 continues to meet to exchange ideas with permission of SCL (Society of Chief Librarians) NW

1998  

First National Year of Reading.

1999

DCMS/Wolfson funding announced. Time To Read encouraged by SCL NW to bid for a regional project. 14 authorities partner successful bid for Reading Lifelines. This is an outreach project targeting 16-25 yr olds.

2000

Reading Lifelines appoints a regional co-ordinator (Julie Spencer) from within the Time To Read team, on secondment from her authority (Bolton) & funded by DCMS/Wolfson.

Time To Read boosted by reps from authorities participating in Branching-Out training (being delivered by Opening the Book, keen to support the development of regional networks).

2001

Time To Read submits 2nd successful bid to DCMS/Wolfson. 18 authorities now partner in the new project Everybody’s Reading. Project co-ordinator continues in post.

ACE NW undertakes consultation about reader development activity in the region- and recommends appointment of a co-ordinator for a wider range of activity

2002

DCMS/Wolfson funding ends. Time To Read wants to maintain co-ordinator position to continue to develop new work in the region. 19 authorities, via SCL NW agree to contribute funds to pay for a full-time post, also supported by ACE NW. Post advertised nationally and new co-ordinator recruited (on secondment from Manchester) for an initial 2 year period. (Selection Panel consists of 2 senior members of TTR team with ACE NW Literature Officer)

Steering Group of stakeholders established- ACE NW, 3 x SCL members, Libraries NW, MLA NW, Current Chair of TTR

2003

Remaining 3 authorities contribute to 2nd year of post- all 22 NW authorities now participating. MLA NW recruits Libraries Development Officer who works closely with Time To Read co-ordinator, assists with Business Planning process and also contributes funding.

Main promotion: TTR promotes poetry with posters and postcards

Website set up www.time-to-read.co.uk

2004

SCL NW agrees to fund post for a further 2 years. All 22 authorities contribute. ACE NW contribute a reduced amount of funding, but fund additional project work through Grants for the Arts

Best Practice Publication sells nationally

Readers Days x 5

Poetry posters and drinks mats

2005

Regional strategy (Readers for Life) endorsed by SCL NW and adopted by all 22 authorities

Here & Now: NW writers’ promotion to March 06

2006

Post renewed for a further 2 years to Sept 2008. All 22 authorities continue to contribute. ACE NW funding now ceased, though continue to support individual projects

In partnership with Literaturenorthwest, GFA funds support subs for independent magazines in all library authorities (for 2 years)

Big Gay Read delivered with Queerupnorth, receives national profile

2007

ACE NW leave steering group as Time To Read judged to be well established.

MLA NW leave steering group due to restructuring

The Reading Agency invited to be represented on steering group

Pure Passion promotion of Romantic Fiction, delivered in Partnership with Romantic Novelists Association and Harlequin Mills & Boon

2008

Second National Year of Reading coordinated by The Reading Agency

Partnerships Project Manager from The Reading Agency joins steering group

Readers For Life Strategy 2 renewed for 3 years with greater focus on local authority performance indicators

2 Positive Action Trainees work for TTR, in Liverpool & Lancashire, funded by GFA

Pure Passion leads into major partnership with Harlequin Mills & Boon

Big Science Read (Greater Manchester)- events in 10 library authorities

Co-ordinator speaks at Australia & New Zealand Reader Development Conference in Melbourne

Funding agreed to Sept 2011

2009

Post of Regional Co-ordinator confirmed as permanent on Manchester Libraries’ structure.

Cheshire County Council splits into 2 authorities called Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester.  Region therefore, now 23 authorities.

Co-ordinator speaks at European Seminar on Libraries of the Future in Helsinki

NYR best practice publication delivered across region

NOW that’s what I call READING Facebook promo launched

2010

Pages Ago a major promotion of Historical Fact & Fiction supported with GFA funds.

May 2010: change of government. Cutbacks to Local Authority funding made almost immediately. Lots of changes to personnel & structures.

St Helens withdraws from TTR from Oct 2010, due to re-prioritising of funds. TTR now 22 authorities

2011

Reading Places:  a promotion of travel writing supported from core TTR funds.

Knowsley withdraws from TTR from Oct 2011 due to funding cuts. TTR now supported by 21 authorities

Co-ordinator post becomes part-time (3 days per week) from June, to save funds for everyone. Funding agreed to March 2013

ACE Literature Relationship Manager joins steering group.

Strategy renewed to March 2013

2012

Knowsley rejoins TTR so 22 (of 23 ) authorities now participating

National Libraries Day (Feb) TTR supports an author visit to each authority (22)

Reading Rewards- an adult reading challenge offering shopping vouchers as prizes ,trialled

Poetry Places 2 funded by GfA 12 poets’ work is promoted via print materials and events in all library authorities. Collections of poetry books added to stocks

TRA Digital Skills project- Lancs & Halton take part, with learning cascaded to whole region via TTR and nationally via TRA-led conference

2013

Reading Rewards re-run in 22 authorities.

Try Reading project linked to the Rugby League World Cup. ACE grant of just under £200k to support a reading project in 30 authorities across the NW and Yorkshire/Humberside.  19 authorities in NW participate directly. (not the Cheshires or Sefton)

2014

Website renewed with more contemporary designs and more interactive features

Magic of Libraries video commissioned and promoted via YouTube and Vimeo

Cheshire East withdraw from Time To Read for financial year 14/15 due to budgetary pressures. TTR now 21 authorities

2015

This Reading Business runs in 21 authorities

Jane Mathieson (co-ordinator)  decides to retire (end Aug)

Future of TIme To Read confirmed and supported by 21 authorities

Clancy Mason, Reader Development Manager for Blackpool Library Service, is appointed the new Time To Read Co-Ordinator. (Nov)

2016

Artist Vanessa Cuthbert commissioned to produce a series of new artworks for Time To Read, to be used on the website, social media and book bags.

New Time To Read Reader Strategy published outlining the shared ambitions of all 21 Time To Read members.

Time To Read leads on the North West delivery of Celebrating Shakespeare, a national project funded by Arts Council England ensuring every library in the UK has access to resources to help celebrate Shakespeare. 



North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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