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Public Lending Right

What is Public Lending Right (PLR)?

Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment under legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries.

Under the PLR system in the UK, payment is made from government funds to authors, illustrators and other contributors whose books are borrowed from public libraries. Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK. The Irish Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) system covers all libraries in the Republic of Ireland and operates in a similar way.

To qualify for payment, applicants must apply to register their books.

The UK PLR scheme is administered by the British Library from its offices in Stockton-on-Tees (the 'PLR office'). The PLR office also provides registration for the Irish PLR scheme on behalf of the Public Lending Remuneration office.

Over 23,000 writers, illustrators, photographers, translators and editors who have contributed to books lent out by public libraries in the UK receive PLR payments each year.

The British Library and PLR

As of 1 October 2013, the British Library Board has statutory responsibility for administering Public Lending Right (PLR). It is committed to maintaining the high standard of service experienced by authors under the former Registrar.

The existing PLR team in Stockton-on-Tees will join the British Library and continue to administer the right for authors to receive payment for the loans of their books by public libraries.

The decision to transfer responsibility for PLR to the British Library was taken by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in March 2013. The Registrar of Public Lending Right has been abolished under the Public Bodies Act.

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