The Public Lending Right scheme (PLR) celebrated its 40th anniversary last night (Wednesday 25th September) with a party at the British Library.
Maureen Duffy, an original campaigner for Public Lending Right, spoke about the importance of authors being both recognised and rewarded and about the value of libraries before receiving a gift in recognition of her exceptional contribution to campaigns for PLR around the world.
The Society of Authors (SOA) which played an active role in a long campaign to get a PLR system introduced in the UK and, more recently, fought for the extension of PLR to both audio books and ebooks created a birthday card of greetings from authors which shared messages about the importance of PLR for writers, illustrators and literary translators. SOA c.e.o. Nicola Solomon presented the card to UKPLR before the birthday cake was cut by Duffy.
Tracy Chevalier congratulated PLR on the landmark anniversary, saying: "Happy 40th Birthday, PLR! What a civilised bit of legislation you are, all the more so now in this turbulent time. Long may you last…"
Deborah Moggach added: "Happy birthday PLR - what a wonderful scheme this is. Of course it's nice to get the money but it's much deeper than that - it connects us with our readers and with the great network of libraries, each one of which makes our country a more civilized place to live."
"PLR is nothing but good news. Good news that my books are still being read long after publication; good news that I can pay a bill, make a journey, or have a treat, and good news that we still have our libraries with everything that means for our communities," said Claire King.
Beverley Naidoo added: "Congratulations dear PLR! You speak up for the value of public libraries and of authors. We are inextricably bound and thank you for tying the knot!"