Public Lending Rights, or PLR, is an interesting initiative which allows authors to receive regular payments according to PLR legislation for every occasion when their books are loaned by public libraries.
The fact that it is being transferred to the British Library can hardly be called news – after all, it has been announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in March that the PLR will no longer exist as an independent organization and will become part of the British Library. However, the very act of transfer was completed only on 1 October 2013.
What does it entail for those who have already contributed their books to PLR? Actually, not that much. The team that worked on PLR remains intact and was transferred to the British Library along with the initiative. In future it will most likely work in about the same fashion as before. Payments will still be made annually, on the basis of loans data received from the British public libraries.
The reason for the transfer is pretty simple – DCMS decided to reduce the number of publicly funded organizations and transferred the Registrar of Public Lending Right to another publicly funded body. This will, in the long run, allow them to save on PLR’s maintenance and improve its functioning.
In fact, there will not even be any noticeable change in management – all the operations of the PLR will be still administered from the current PLR offices in Stockton-on-Tees. The same goes for payments – they will be done in the same way as always. The next Irish and UK PLR Statements will be posted in November 2013 and January 2014 correspondingly.
If you have contributed to a book which is currently lent out by public libraries in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, it is probably a good idea to register for the PLR scheme. If you have already applied for it, you don’t have to do anything – all the current registrations will remain unchanged and the changes in management won’t affect those who receive payments according to the PLR policies.
The staff encourages both the current and potential participants of the PLR scheme to address all their queries to the same office: 1st Floor, Richard House, Sorbonne Close, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6DA. The only change will be in e-mail and website addresses of the scheme.