Update on PLR service review

service review

Update on the PLR review and planned changes to the service

Published date:
From: Andy Appleyard, Head of Operations North at the British Library

In June this year we conducted a consultation with PLR registered authors and stakeholder bodies in order to ascertain viewpoints on planned changes to the PLR service and how it will be delivered. (A summary of responses is available here.) The rationale behind the change is as follows:

  1. To ensure PLR’s future sustainability, by implementing a new IT application which, as well as adding new functionality, will be more resilient and easier to maintain and develop going forward.  
  2. To modernise the service proposition in accord with user suggestions and taking advantage of new technology.
  3. Reduce risk and realise efficiency savings by relocating the PLR operation at our Yorkshire (Boston Spa) site alongside the corporate functions that support PLR. 
The responses received provided reassurance that authors and stakeholders agreed with this approach and also suggested other ideas around improvement, some of which are underway (inclusion of ebooks, new web pages, closer working with ALCS etc) and others which will feed into the planning process.

Feedback also highlighted concern for the long serving team at Stockton-on-Tees; their well-being is a key priority for the Library and accordingly they have been consulted closely such that their needs can be accommodated. The team are essential to ensure continuity of service and transfer of knowledge to new team members.

The plan is to transfer operations from Stockton-on-Tees to Boston Spa gradually over two years, completing by March 2020. The first phase of the migration strategy is to recruit a shadow PLR team, by January 2018 who will work in parallel with their Stockton colleagues until the operation fully migrates to Boston Spa. 

It is our intention to maintain the current high levels of service, but in the unlikely event services are affected whilst the new team are being trained, please do bear with us and we will work hard to recover in accordance with your expectations. We will continue to provide updates so please keep a close eye on our News Stories section on the PLR web pages.

For additional background, please see our Q&A paper.


Public Lending Right (PLR)

PLR is every eligible author's legal right to be remunerated when their books are borrowed freely from public libraries