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


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.


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


First National Year of Reading.


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.


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).


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


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


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


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


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

Here & Now: NW writers’ promotion to March 06


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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)


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


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)


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. 


Time to Read secures ACE funding for celebration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen via two methods:. LipService commissioned to produce show "Thrills and Quills" which is then delivered throughout region plus Laura Jamieson designs and delivers the "Travelling Writing Bureau", encouraging hundreds of people to write and swap letters to Austen.

Clancy Mason leaves Time To Read for Arts Council England. Ian Anstice from Cheshire West and Chester becomes co-ordinator.

Guide to delivering successful author events produced. Survey completed of charging for events. Representative meetings include get-together with NW publishers, guides to fundraising and producing a City Read promotion.

St Helens rejoins Time To Read, bring numbers back up to 22.

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.

Keep up to date

Follow Us

  • flickr
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • twitter

We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you.

If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them.