Authors have even more reason to cheer during Library Ireland Week this year, with the announcement that they may now apply to receive payments when their books are borrowed from public libraries.
The Public Lending Remuneration Scheme (PLR) was established at the end of last year with funding provided by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Authors (and illustrators and translators) who register their books with the Library Council, who are managing the scheme, may be eligible to receive a payment each time the book is borrowed from one of the country’s 358 public libraries.
Speaking at the Library Council today [3rd March 2009], Minister of State Michael Kitt, TD, thanked the library services for their co-operation in getting the scheme underway. ‘Public libraries have started providing the Library Council with details of what books they lend each month and I’m delighted that the Library Council is now inviting authors to register for the scheme. The Department is pleased to be able to support writers through the PLR’.
There are 14 million visits to Irish public libraries each year, resulting in 12.5 million loans of books.
Conor Kostick of the Irish Writers’ Union welcomed PLR, remarking that ‘Writers value the role of libraries and will continue to co-operate with librarians in promoting Irish literature. In addition to providing some money to authors, which is always welcome, the PLR scheme will give writers information about where and by whom their books are being read and all authors find that kind of feedback very encouraging’.
Many Irish authors receive PLR payments from the UK, where a scheme has been in operation since 1979.
The Irish Scheme is closely modelled on the UK one, and according to Cllr. Mark Dearey, Chairman of the Library Council, the UK authorities have been of great assistance in the establishment of the scheme here: ‘We have a close working relationship with the PLR office in the UK and I want to thank them for their the advice and support they have given to us’.
Submitting her own registration form at the Library Council, author Éilís Ní Dhuibhne remarked: ‘The part libraries play in disseminating books, often long after they have gone out of print, is crucial. My guess is that libraries will be even more used in the future. That authors will now benefit thanks to the implementation of PLR in Ireland is wonderful. I am immensely grateful to the Irish Writer’s Union and others who have campaigned long and hard for this day.’
Information on the scheme is available at www.plr.ie.
Further information: Brendan Teeling, email@example.com, 086 1725752 or
Eva McEneaney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01 6761167.
The press release is available for download as a pdf document on the www.plr.ie webpage.