ALCS welcomes MPs' PLR call

ALCS welcomes MPs' PLR call

The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) has welcomed a group of MPs' call for it to administer the Public Lending Right (PLR), amid uncertainty about its future.

In a report issued by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the MPs said it was "disturbing" the government did not reveal the plans to abolish the PLR body with its registrar Jim Parker before announcing its closure.

It has been mooted the British Library could take on PLR but the MPs said this would not be "appropriate", suggesting instead the ALCS, which already distributes royalty  payments to authors.

The ALCS welcomed the suggestion, saying it has worked closely with the PLR in recent years and already administers PLR schemes for UK books borrowed in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.

Maureen Duffy, honorary president of the ALCS, said: "If change has to happen then I hope the government will listen to the recommendations of the committee as well as consulting with writers, many of whom have already signed a petition asking the government to safeguard PLR. It would be most desirable to keep the administration of PLR With an organisation which has the interests of writers at heart."

Elsewhere, the report also attacked the government's decision to turn over the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)'s duties to promote improvement and innovation in the library service to the Arts Council. It said it was "unrealistic" to expect the Arts Council, which is facing cuts itself, to take on the MLA's responsibilities as it "does not have the expertise or the resources to carry on, adequately, [the MLA's] functions".

It recommended the government launches a review into the Arts Council's museums and libraries function and consulted both sectors about the decision.