plr news

14 June 2017

Message from Head of Operations North at the British Library

Let us know what you think about proposed improvements to PLR

The British Library is planning a range of improvements to Public Lending Right (PLR) as we modernise the service and put it on a footing that will ensure its continued growth and development.

Our proposals are based on ideas and suggestions drawn from market research we conducted with PLR-registered authors last summer.  Building on the established and highly valued service PLR currently provides, over the next three years we plan to:

  1. Incorporate remote e-book public library loans into the scheme. The recent change in legislation (to the Digital Economy Act) now brings the remote loan of e-books into scope for PLR alongside print and audio books.
  2. Capture loans data for all types of books directly from public libraries.  Increasing the existing sampling method and providing a richer, more detailed picture of the loans made in public libraries around the UK.
  3. Explore options for automating enrolment of authors’ books. Easing the administrative burden on registered authors by adding new titles to their PLR records as they are published using data from the British National Bibliography and our catalogue records.
  4. Upgrade the PLR infrastructure to make it more efficient and easy to use. Building on the excellent service the PLR team provides, we want to upgrade IT and deliver efficiencies that can increase the proportion of PLR’s budget that goes into the author fund.

To deliver these improvements we plan to move PLR from its current office at Stockton on Tees to the Library’s main site in the north of England, at Boston Spa, near Wetherby.

While remaining a separate entity within the Library, with its own ring-fenced budget, PLR will share the benefits of the British Library’s Cataloguing, IT and Estates teams which will create the infrastructure to underpin the new and improved service

If you have views on our plans for the service, please email the British Library PLR Review team at by Friday 28 July 2017.

For additional background to the proposed improvements, please see our Q&A paper.

With thanks in advance for your feedback.

Andy Appleyard
Head of Operations North

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18 May 2017

Registration reminder for UK and Irish PLR schemes

Online applications must be submitted by midnight on Friday 30 June 2017 to be included in the year end calculations. Postal applications must also be received by no later than Friday 30 June 2017.

You can apply to register your published titles online or via an application form. Alternatively you can request a form to be posted to you.

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2 May 2017

Remote ebook lending and UK PLR

On 27 April 2017 the Digital Economy Bill which included provision to extend the UK Public Lending Right legislation to include remote loans of ebooks from public libraries received royal assent.

We expect the new arrangements to take effect officially from 1 July 2018 when remote ebook loans data will start to be collected and any payments arising from the newly eligible loans will be made in February 2020.

Remote ebook loans will receive the same PLR rate per loan as print titles and audio titles and the terms for receiving PLR will also remain the same.  

We will keep authors informed of any updates regarding this. In the meantime, authors can register ebooks for UK PLR but loans will not generate any PLR earnings yet.

Further information can be found under our FAQs on Registration of non-print material.

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2 March 2017

Applications for registration

We currently have large volumes of online and paper applications to process.

If your online application is ‘awaiting approval’ there is no need to take any further action. You will receive an email to confirm when your application has been processed.

If you have sent a paper application, you should have received an email to confirm when your application was received.

We aim to confirm registration within eight weeks of receipt.

Thank you for your patience at this busy time

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28 February 2017

Public Lending Right: Past, Present and Future

On Monday 20 March, the British Library will be hosting a discussion on Public Lending Right: Past, Present and Future. The event will be chaired by historian Tom Holland, currently Chair of the PLR Advisory Committee and Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry titles and Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive of ALCS will be on the panel. The discussion is part of Between the Sheets, the BL season of events to celebrate libraries. The event will be held at 1.00pm – 2.00pm at the British Library, St Pancras, London.

Further details and information on how to book available here.

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23 February 2017

Remote ebook lending and UK PLR

Following an amendment to the second reading of the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Lords on February 22, the Bill now includes provision for the inclusion of remote elending with the application of PLR.

Commenting on the legislative change, Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library said:

“With the rapid rise in popularity of ebooks and e-audiobooks in recent years, it’s fantastic news that authors' UK PLR payments will now reflect remote ebook loans of their books from public libraries as well as the borrowing of hard copies. Over 22,000 writers, illustrators, photographers, translators, narrators and editors who have contributed to books lent out by public libraries in the UK receive PLR payments each year, so we look forward to working with even more new authors who are now eligible.”

The legislation will not come into effect until late spring 2017 at which point PLR will begin to work with DCMS on its implementation.

We will keep authors informed of any updates regarding this. In the meantime, authors can register ebooks for UK PLR but loans will not generate any PLR earnings yet.

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3 February 2017

Released today most borrowed authors and books in UK libraries

The Girl on the Train steams into number one spot - Paula Hawkins’ bestselling title revealed as most borrowed title from UK public libraries... (click here to read more)

Latest library borrowind data released - Five interesting facts and figures... (click here to read more)

Tracking the borrowing habits of the nation- Ask LEWIS... (click here to read more)

Further information on the nation’s book borrowing tastes can be found in the Media Centre area of our website.

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16 January 2017

UK PLR Annual Statements and Payments

The current timetable is as follows (any changes will be communicated if this timetable is affected):


Online statements will be available to view towards the end of January 2017. An email will be sent to those who have an activated online account to advise that their statement is available. Users may then log into their secure online account to view/print their statement.

Paper statements will be posted second class around the same time to those who do not have an online account. Please note that you will only receive a statement if you are due to receive a payment (ie if your books earn £1 or more). This is to reduce administration and postage costs - online statements will still be available regardless of the amount earned.


Payments will be made between 13 and 22 February 2017. Please ensure that your bank details are up to date and advise us of any change by 8 February 2017 to prevent delay in receiving your payment.

You can update your address and bank details in writing or via the online service. We can also accept changes of address (but not bank details) over the telephone, subject to verification being provided.

Please note that we are unable to accept changes to either address or bank details via email.

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