The body that looks over the UK PLR scheme in which authors receive a payment each time one of their books is hired out from UK libraries today issued the following statement:
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced today that the Public Lending Right body will cease to exist as a separate organisation and responsibility for managing the PLR Scheme is to be transferred to the British Library. The post of Registrar will be abolished and the Registrar’s responsibilities will be taken over by the British Library board. The changes are expected to take effect from 1 October.
PLR staff, currently employed by the Registrar, will transfer over to the British Library and PLR will continue to be administered by the existing team from their offices in Stockton-on-Tees. Although the position of Registrar will disappear, the current Registrar will be retained by the British Library for an agreed period to help ensure a smooth handover.
These changes in governance will have no impact on PLR as the right of authors to receive payment for the lending out of their books by public libraries. The PLR Scheme will continue to operate in the usual way after the transfer of responsibilities to the British Library. Authors should continue to register their books for UK and Irish PLR with the PLR office in Stockton.
The government decision to abolish the PLR body follows a public consultation last year and completion of an Impact Assessment (see DCMS website) which identifies further savings in PLR’s administration costs that will be achievable as part of a larger body like the British Library. The British Library has also released astatement.