New Words

Posted 15 Apr 2019 by Ian Anstice in Funding Opportunities, Latest Libraries News

New Words logo“New Words” is an 18 month project to promote North West publishers and North West libraries to each-other and to the public. Partners in the project are the 22 Time To Read partner library services and the North West ACE-funded publishers (Carcanet, Comma Press, Dead Ink, Knives Forks and Spoons, Saraband).

The following is a technical overview of the project but look out in the future for events and promotions flowing from it ...


  • Improve links between North West publishers and libraries

  • Raise public and library staff awareness of publishers via book collections, events and displays

  • Art element will explore explore new ways of promoting books.


  • 22 events plus showcase event and learning event

  • Displays

  • Reading group resources

Working group members

Comma PressWorking group will include include co-ordinator, five representatives from publishers (one per publisher), five representatives from library services and others as appropriate. Expected to meet five times, with four meetings are scheduled, with the fifth being as and when needed.


Publishers will provide suggestions of books for collection/displays and to provide suggestions from authors and publishers for 22 events (one per library service). Events from the publisher themselves may include how to get published. They will work with librarians on how best to put on author events generally.


Librarians will attend five meetings with publishers. Some of the meetings will be in Manchester but other venues will be considered. Librarians will choose which titles to use in reading group sets and to decide how to best serve those non-set using library services. They will choose authors/publishers, from a selection provided by publishers, for events. Assist in arranging events, including showcase event, and fixing ticket price levels. 

Librarians will work with artist on what artwork is required for the project, share an explanation of their library stock purchasing process with publishers , discuss how best to ensure the work of regional publishers is purchased for North West libraries and discuss with publishers how to place other events in libraries outside of the scope of the New Words project. They will also consider ways of increasing diversity in stock buying to include more non-bestsellers and local stock.

Knives Forks and Spoons logoContractors

All appointments will be made in a fair and open process of advertising and selection by members of Time To Read. It may be that the posts are combined e.g. the artist and co-ordinator may be the same person.


An emerging artist will be chosen. The nature of the artist will be decided by the librarian/publisher group at the start of the project. The artist will need to be familiar with public libraries and/or will visit libraries to be aware of limitations (e.g. lack of display space) and possibilities. He or she will discuss with working group as to best options and may develop easily produced point of sale items, perhaps including book marks, leaflet, feedback postcards, header for book display, empty belly posters for space to write feedback comments or book reviews from librarians or customers etc.

He or she may develop eyecatching displays to promote the chosen books and publishers. Artists may wish to use currently under-utilised space in buildings for this e.g. floors, ceilings, stairs. Displays need to be easily moveable in the case of physical displays or duplicatable in the case of vinyls etc. Art is specifically not to include a single physical art piece as it would be difficult to sufficiently tour it.


SarabandAn independent evaluator will be engaged at the start, middle and end of the project to ensure that evaluation is at the heart of the programme and the most lessons are learnt from it.

Evaluation suggested (tentative): For staff: To be measured by pre- and post-project survey, independent interviews with staff and publishers.  Measure awareness of publishers/libraries with eachother at start and end of project. Online survey of participants at start and end inc. likelihood to work together again. Half day with a publisher and librarian at start of project to decide aims. For the public: To be measured by survey of those who have seen displays, art and reading group collections. Measure number of titles, and issues, in libraries at start and end of project. This includes counting the number of books by the publishers in the target libraries at the start and end of the project e.g. count issues of books by publishers and measure the amount of poetry. - Sample readers (bookmark/postcard), event attenders (online/paper form).             

Carcanet logoCo-ordinator

To arrange and attend meetings, travel, prep and co-ordination of various strands. Familiarisation of project, consultation, overseeing of various stages.

Time To Read

Will produce a toolkit on how best to promote local/independently published works in libraries including events and displays. Provide web space for promoted works, pending permission from those which are chosen, and it is expected also to include audio and video clips. Time To Read will promote to book bloggers and work with working group/artist to on publicity to include Facebook and press release.


Dead Ink Logo2019

  • May or earlier: Selection and appointment of librarians and publishers for working group.

  • May: appointment of co-ordinator

  • 30 May: First meeting

  • June: appointment of artist and evaluator. Publishers choose titles to submit to librarians for displays/reading group boxes and to develop event options

  • July: Librarians choose titles.

  • August: Second meeting. Artist to visit libraries, look at books and work on brief.

  • August/September: Books and materials bought for reading groups.

  • October: Third meeting

  • November/December: events booked, Distribution of reading group sets.


  • January to June: Events. 22 events with c. 20 attending each. Events will be ticketed/charged for with income being paid to Time To Read as part of funding.

  • April: fourth meeting

  • August: Showcasing event with c.50 attending. Event can be ticketed/charged for (C.£5). The showcase event will be for the authors and publishers to meet together with the public and librarians to gain a multi-faceted view of what's available.

    • Show what has been done in libraries and publishers to date e.g. displays, events.

    • Authors and panel discussing what has been learnt.

    • Opportunity, and encouragement, to mix at lunch.

    • Invite all relevant publishers and library services inc. Libraries Connected, Taskforce.

  • September: Half day session to share learning. Budget: £500 for publishers, £100 for artist,

Reading group sets

  • Funds for 22 reading group sets to include skips.   


    There are currently two vacancies associated with this project:




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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