PLR increases but drop in registered loans 'disheartening'

PLR increases but drop in registered loans 'disheartening'

The British Library Board has recommended that the Public Lending Right (PLR) rate be increased to 8.2p per loan in 2018.

The increase, which is 0.38p up on this year, is the result of the reduction in the estimated number of loans of books registered for PLR.

The Society of Authors has said it accepts the new rate but has urged the government to ring-fence and increase the PLR fund in any future spending review.

A spokesperson said: "The decreased estimate for PLR-registered loans is disheartening, doubtless caused by cuts to library services and exclusion of some volunteer-run libraries from PLR. We urge the government to include volunteer-run libraries in PLR. The library service is under serious threat. We urge the government to fulfil its obligation to provide, protect and maintain a comprehensive and efficient library service."

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is seeking authors' views on the increase by a deadline of 24th November.

Earlier this year, the DCMS expanded the PLR to include e-books and e-audiobooks following years of campaigning from the SoA. The change means that authors of e-books and audiobooks will be eligible for payment in the same way as those whose physical books are borrowed from libraries.