A Word from the PLR Commission Chair February 2020
While February is often a month filled with rain, ice and snow, high winds, and other unpleasant storms, here at PLR, February is the Groundhog Month, the month each year that payments go out to nearly 18,000 authors whose 79,000 books are found in Canadian libraries from coast to coast. This is a time to celebrate Canadian authors, without whom there would be no Canadian books. Public Lending Right payments validate authors’ works and compensate them for allowing free access to their books in libraries.
Once again, this year, we’re grateful to the Canada Council for the additional $2.5M infused into the PLR budget, a much-needed investment to respond to an increasing number of title registrations each year – approximately 6000 new titles were registered in 2019! It’s a pleasure to see the program grow and remain essential to authors in this climate of technological change and digital disruptions.
Audiobooks and Expanded Library Sampling
For the first time this year, audiobooks will provide an additional payment to authors, translators and narrators. Due to the PLR Program’s expanded library sampling to include a selection of libraries in all provinces and territories, and the addition of audiobooks, we are happy to report that 25% of the $5M total increase over the past two years has gone to titles that had never received payment. As well, this year’s maximum author payment of $4500 is the highest it’s ever been.
A thank you to libraries for their continued support of Canadian books, and most of all, a thank you to authors whose writing continues to create our Canadian cultural fabric. Happy writing and reading everyone!
-Genni Gunn, Chair, Public Lending Right Commission