What is Time to Read?

A partnership of public library authorities in NW England collaborating on reader development activity.

Time To Read is a unique partnership of 22 library authorities in North West England, working together to promote reading.

The region covers Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, all of Greater Manchester and Greater Merseyside.


Time To Read grew out of training piloted by Opening the Book (link www.openingthebook.com) in 1996, which encouraged ten reading enthusiasts from different library authorities to share ideas and develop new reader-centred promotions and activities. This training inspired new ways of thinking and the library staff involved were determined to keep working together.

Over the next few years the 10 “founders” were joined by other authorities and by 2002 the partnership included 19 authorities. At this stage a post was created to coordinate the network’s activities.

The post is managed by Libraries Connected NW and co-ordinated by Sue Lawson. To find out more, please read our Reader Strategy.


Time To Read’s purpose is to develop the adult reading audience (16 years+) .

It does this by coordinating shared projects and promotions.

Practitioners share good practice and ideas with each other, face to face and via this website.

The role of the coordinator is also to source additional funding and partnerships and to advocate for North West Libraries’ reading offer.

The Time To Read network meets quarterly to share information. Guest speakers are invited occasionally e.g. publishers, reading agencies, BBC. The team determines training needs, develops and endorses new plans and shares information.