The Need to Read project aimed to explore ways in which museums, libraries and archives can help people develop skills for life. Pilot projects, funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), were undertaken in London, the North East and the North West.
MLA North West worked in partnership with the Manchester Basic Skills Consortium to examine the resources available to museums, libraries and archives in supporting the teaching of skills for life, and to measure the awareness amongst staff of the skills needs of their users and how they could support them through their work. Basic Skills Awareness training sessions for staff and volunteers were held at Manchester Central Reference Library, the Imperial War Museum North and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
Need to Read has shown that museums, libraries and archives can provide a unique environment for all sections of the community to develop their confidence in learning through informal activities, and to inspire them to seek further learning opportunities.