Press release

Ed Vaizey announces transfer of authors' Public Lending Right to British Library

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey today confirmed that, following a public consultation, the Government is to go ahead with the transfer of the running of the Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme to the British Library. PLR is the right of authors to receive payment under legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries.


Mr Vaizey stressed that the day-to-day operation of PLR will remain in Stockton-on-Tees and the scheme’s main beneficiaries – authors - should notice no change to its running.

Transferring management of the scheme to the British Library will lead to running costs savings of around £750,000 in real terms over ten years, and will help ensure that the maximum proportion of PLR funding can be distributed as payments to authors.

Ed Vaizey said:

PLR is a good and sensible scheme. It helps authors get some return when their work is borrowed from a library rather than purchased outright. But, like so much else, it has to adapt to take proper account of the difficult economic climate at present. So this transfer is designed to help ‘future-proof’ the scheme, and maximise payments to authors by delivering future administration savings.

I hope that, by bringing it under the overall control of the British Library, it will also benefit from the opportunities that come from being part of a larger organisation.

Further information

Read the full consultation response

Notes to Editors

Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. To qualify for payment, applicants must apply to register their books with the PLR Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK.

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 PLR office is based in Stockton-on-Tees, and the PLR scheme will continue to be run from that office. The scheme will continue to operate as it does at present, and authors and other rights holders will not need to do anything differently in order to receive their PLR payments.

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