PLR subsumed by British Library
THE PUBLIC LENDING Right (PLR), which ensures authors get micro-payments whenever their books are lent by public libraries services in the UK and Ireland, has been taken over by the British Library (BL), with effect from 1 October.
As far as authors are concerned, this will have no immediate effect. The BL is at pains to stress that PLR staff will transfer to the British Library and continue to work from the current Stockton-on-Tees office.
And authors "should continue to register their books for UK and Irish PLR with the PLR office in Stockton". Web addresses (below), phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. Regrettably, the post of PLR Registrar, whose duties have up to now been carried out so excellently by Dr Jim Parker, will eventually disappear: Jim will be replaced by the British Library Board.
The good news is that the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that the PLR budget for 2015-16 will for the moment be "protected" from cuts, and stay at the current level of £6.7 million.
You may already have noticed a British Library logo appearing in the corner of the banner at the top of www.plr.uk.com, the website for PLR UK & Ireland in recent months.
No logo for Labharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann (the National Library of Ireland) appears alongside the BL's, which is a curious omission. The Freelance recalls some kind of conflict in the past about British institutions running Irish affairs. The Public Lending Remuneration Office in Dublin (www.plr.ie) is apparently unaffected.