UK PLR and library closures

Despite the closure of UK public libraries in accordance with government guidelines on COVID-19 UK Public Lending Right (PLR) figures will still be collected and calculated. Authors, illustrators and translators and any other rightsholders are therefore encouraged to register their titles by 30 June 2020.

All registrations received by midnight on this date will be eligible for inclusion in the calculations for the current PLR year which runs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. However, as the British Library’s physical sites are temporarily closed and PLR staff are currently working from home, it is taking longer than usual to process registrations. There will therefore be a delay in responses being sent.

PLR payments are normally distributed in February and the PLR team is currently working with DCMS to put processes in place to try and maintain this deadline.

Visit to register for UK PLR or update your UK PLR account.



What will the effect of library closures have on UK PLR 2019–20?

PLR is calculated annually on loans from UK public libraries. The current and continuing closure of physical public libraries will have an effect on PLR 2019–20 borrowing figures and therefore on individual PLR statements. As the PLR year runs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, it is expected that the number of loans of print editions of titles will be lower than in previous years. However, as public libraries, supported by initiatives from Arts Council England and CILIP, have greatly increased their digital offer, potentially ebook, audio book and eaudio book loans will be higher.


How will the closures affect the 2019–20 PLR Rate Per Loan?

The PLR Rate Per Loan is calculated annually on the basis of actual loans from a sample of UK public libraries which is then grossed up in accordance with national data on library borrowing figures. If library loans are lower than usual, the Rate Per Loan will be higher. The 2019–20 calculation will reflect this variable.


Which titles need to be registered for UK PLR?

PLR encourages all rights holders to register their ebook, audio book and eaudio book editions by the deadline of midnight on 30 June 2020 in order for them to be included in the calculations. This is only the second year of ebooks being eligible for PLR so there may be older titles that still need to be registered.