How PLR uses the UK loans information gathered

1. To calculate payments due to authors

A representative sample of book loans, consisting of all issues from selected public libraries is recorded. This is then multiplied in proportion to total library lending to produce for each book an estimate of its total annual loans throughout the country. Books must be registered in order to qualify for payment.

Each year, after deduction of administrative costs, the fund allocated by Parliament is divided by the total loans of registered books to arrive at a ‘pence per loan’ figure. This forms the basis for calculating payments.

The amount payable is proportionate to the estimated number of times that registered books are borrowed nationally during the PLR year (July – June). Payment is made the following year (usually in February). The maximum anyone may receive in a year is £6,600; earnings that total less than £1 are not paid.  Money saved as a result of these thresholds is returned to the Fund for redistribution.


2. To promote libraries and improve publicity

An annual press release is issued in February detailing trends in UK library borrowings, useful facts and figures and details of the most borrowed authors and books in various genres.

The loans data collected is now available online to public libraries through PLR's LEWIS (Loans Enquiry Web Information Service). LEWIS provides a wide range of search options over a twenty-year archive of loans data on national, regional and local borrowing trends. It allows searches by author, publisher, subject category etc.

Library information

Information for authors and librarians regarding the PLR library sample

How the UK PLR library sample works

Guidance on the UK library sample, grossing-up loans and how long library authorities stay in the sample

How the UK library sample affects authors

Guidance and information on how UK library sample affects authors

Information for UK sample library authorities

Information for library authorities participating in the UK PLR sample

Irish PLR

Information about library data collection under the Irish PLR scheme

PLR news stories

UK PLR payments update

1 February 2019

Over 22,000 authors have received a payment through UK PLR

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

3 December 2018

Writer and translator Daniel Hahn appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

Most borrowed authors and books in UK libraries

27 July 2018

The latest annual data shows the most borrowed authors and books in UK public libraries during 2016-17

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

11 June 2018

Writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

More news stories

PLR case studies

…“The financial support is invaluable – translators don’t always get a royalty so PLR is really precious. Equally important is the symbolic recognition of our stake in a book. While it is taken for granted that an author has a stake in a book it is not always remembered that a translator does too.”…

Daniel Hahn, translator and writer, registered for PLR on the publication of his first translation. He values highly the existence of the built-in PLR share to which all translators are entitled. Having translated 35 books and written several others since 2007, Daniel outlined his career as a translator and how he works.

…“I expected pennies and I got pounds! Quite a few more than I had expected. How many times in somebodies life do you get something for nothing?”…

Audio-book narrator Jeff Harding, registered for his PLR share in an astonishing 658 audio books when the extension of UK PLR to non-print material was first introduced in July 2014. He currently has over 700 titles registered. Jeff describes the skills of narration and explains what PLR means to him.

…Tracy Chevalier, Alexis Deacon and S F Said tells us why it is important that contributors register for PLR, how easy it is to apply and the value of PLR to them.…

Watch our short video in which authors Tracy Chevalier and S F Said and writer / illustrator Alexis Deacon talk about why eligible contributors should register for payment through the government-funded PLR scheme.