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SoA calls for PLR expansion amid boom in volunteer-run community libraries

In the UK, the Society of Authors (SoA) is campaigning for the Public Lending Rights (PLR) system to include loans from volunteer-run community libraries, reports the Bookseller.

Since 1979, the PLR system has made yearly payments to authors and illustrators for books lent out by public libraries. Payments are based on data collected from a representative sample of book loans from public libraries across the UK.

Volunteer-run community libraries, which aren’t counted in the sample, are becoming more popular across the UK as local councils look to cut their spending.

SoA CEO Nicola Solomon said the case for including community libraries in the data collection is ‘even stronger now, as the proportion of professionally staffed libraries decreases significantly and local authorities rely on volunteers to try to fulfil their obligations to provide an efficient and comprehensive library service.’

British Library head of PLR policy and engagement Julia Eccleshare said there was no scope for including community libraries ‘as things stand’, meaning authors could miss out on payments from community libraries across the country. ‘The structure of the process for recording loans for PLR is enshrined in PLR legislation and it’s devised to be fair across the country,’ said Eccleshare. ‘It’s a case of watching this space to see how many more community libraries there are.’


Category: Library news International