Library information

Under the PLR Scheme, details of book loans are collected from a sample of public library authorities throughout the United Kingdom. The loans data is collected by sample library computers over the period of a year (1 July - 30 June) and is transmitted to the PLR computer at regular intervals. 

The original sample in 1982 comprised only 16 individual branches - but this has been expanded over the years and we now collect data from a minimum of 30 library authorities covering around 1,000 individual branches. At least seven of the sample authorities are changed each year. Loans data is collected from several (or all) library branches within each authority.

PLR is restricted to loans of books from public libraries. Book loans from university, college, school and other libraries do not qualify for payment.

The current sample shows the list of authorities which are participating in the sample this year (1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018). Previous years listings are available within the library sample archive.  The forthcoming sample details authorities which will participate in the sample from 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019.

Lists of UK and regional 100 most borrowed titles are collated and distributed by PLR yearly. For further information look in our Media Centre.

Current UK PLR sample (2017-2018) 

The following authorities will participate in the UK PLR sample from 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018:

Region Authorities
East Bedfordshire/Bedford, Hertfordshire
East Midlands Derbyshire
London Lambeth, Luton, Southwark, Triborough Libraries (Hammersmith and Fulham/Kensington and Chelsea/Westminster)
North East

North Tyneside, Sunderland

North West & Merseyside Cheshire East/Cheshire West and Chester, Cumbria, Halton, Stockport, Warrington
South East Hampshire, Kent
South West Bournemouth, Poole
West Midlands Worcestershire
Yorkshire &
The Humber
Barnsley, Wakefield
Northern Ireland The Northern Ireland Library Authority
Scotland Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, South Lanarkshire
Wales Caerphilly, Conwy, Gwynedd

Forthcoming UK PLR sample (2018-2019) 

The following authorities will participate in the UK PLR sample from 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019:

Region Authorities
East Bedfordshire/Bedford, Hertfordshire
East Midlands Derbyshire, Rutland
London Greenwich, Hounslow, Lambeth, Luton
North East

Durham, North Tyneside, Sunderland

North West & Merseyside Cumbria, Lancashire, Stockport
South East Kent
South West Bournemouth, Devon, Poole
West Midlands Worcestershire
Yorkshire &
The Humber
Barnsley, Wakefield
Northern Ireland The Northern Ireland Library Authority
Scotland Aberdeenshire, Falkirk, Fife, South Lanarkshire
Wales Caerphilly, Conwy, Gwynedd

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 PLR uses the UK loans information gathered

How PLR uses UK loans data to calculate author payments and publicise the scheme

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

All Parliamentary Writers Group launches Inquiry into Authors' earnings

22 June 2018

All Parliamentary Writers Group call for evidence

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

11 June 2018

Writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

Update on remote ebook lending and UK PLR

8 June 2018

Registration extended to include remote loans of ebooks and e-audio books

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.