PLR releases new figures on the UK’s most borrowed illustrators!

Public Lending Right (PLR) has for the first time released data showing the nation's most borrowed illustrated titles in UK public libraries.

Public Lending Right (PLR) has for the first time released data showing the nation’s most borrowed illustrated titles in UK public libraries.

The new data reveals the 50 most borrowed illustrators, who include pre-school favourites such as Quentin Blake and Shirley Hughes as well as the current Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child. The top three illustrators, Tony Ross, Nick Sharratt and Axel Scheffler all clocked up over one million loans.

Speaking of his delight at being the most borrowed illustrator, Tony Ross commented:

“WOW! That is wonderful, although I have had some help from fantastic authors, such as Jeanne Willis, David Walliams, and Francesca Simon. Thank you library users. I’m surprised, proud, and delighted!”

“It’s wonderful that the success of illustrators is now recognised in this PLR ranking”, said Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child. “Illustrations play such a significant role in the enjoyment of books and libraries and in bringing books to children throughout society.  The recognition that PLR now offers illustrators for their work is a  welcome and important step in highlighting the unique contribution of the illustrator to the success of the book.”

The PLR list of most borrowed illustrators was welcomed by Sarah McIntyre of Pictures Mean Business: “Money earned from PLR is a real lifeline for so many hardworking illustrators, but most of the people who tell stories through pictures in books struggle to build a name for themselves professionally. I’m thrilled to learn the PLR team has compiled a list of the top 50 most borrowed illustrators from UK public libraries! I hope one day in the near future, publishers will update their data systems and people will be able to find this information on illustrators as easily as they can find it on writers.”

PLR is adminstered by the British Library and gives authors the legal right to receive payment from Government each time their books are loaned through the public library system. In February 2017 PLR distributed £6 million to 22,202 authors at a rate per loan of 7.82 pence.

In order to receive payments authors must register for PLR.  Writers, illustrators, photographers, editors, translators, narrators, producers and abridgers can apply via the UK PLR office. Further details can be found on the PLR website:

Do you create visual material for your published work?

ALCS now pays members for visual contributions

If you create illustrations, diagrams or photos for books, magazines or journals, you can now claim for the use of these from ALCS. We’ll let you know later in the year when and how to tell us about the contributions you’ve made so keep an eye on ALCS News and on social media for further information.