Message from the Chair of the PLR Commission

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February 15, 2024

A Positive Change

Sign up for electronic PLR payments and see the benefits

Now, I’m not a person who naturally likes change.

As I write this, my word processing program has updated — again — and has moved the spot in the system where I can increase the type size on my screen to some unknown place. It’s a change that, like many changes, unreasonably irritates me.

“Why can’t things just stay the same?” I mutter at the always-silent computer. “I like it the way it was. Is that too much to ask?” I’m sure I’m not alone in that sort of small irritation. That being said, there are things that improve when changes are made.

Here’s one: I like getting my Public Lending Right Program cheque. I always have.

I like to look at that crisp cheque face when it arrives, because it always makes me feel recognized as a professional author in Canada. It’s validation, in the form of cold, hard cash.

But as much as I treasure that cheque, I’ve moved to PLR’s direct deposit program, because it’s the best, most efficient way for the program to be administered. Wanting that payment to arrive as quickly as possible helps to demonstrate how important that crucial February influx of funding is to Canada’s creators. Over 5,000 other creators have made the change as well.

It means your PLR payments will arrive in your bank account, rather than at your address. Which is a good thing, because you may have moved and, in the middle of all that uproar, have forgotten to update PLR with your new address. Because cheques sometimes get lost in the mail. Because you may have neglected to deposit the cheque — lives can be busy — to the point that it’s six months old and can no longer be cashed.

So, take the time to go through the short process involved, and enjoy the fact that your next PLR payment will arrive the moment the money’s released. As we continue to move forward, we hope to be able to make it possible for new works to be submitted fully electronically as well — changes that we hope will make the program both faster, more accurate and nimbler.

While change seems inevitable, one thing that hasn’t changed is the success that Canada’s PLR program has become. This year, 18,247 Canadian authors are receiving a PLR payment as compensation for the presence of their books in Canada’s public libraries. In total, $14,696,212.91 in direct support to literary creators will be distributed. Creators have taken to celebrating PLR’s arrival online — and we welcome that, both on social media and throughout your personal and professional networks.

I’ll finish by saying I hope many more Canadian creators will also embrace PLR’s digital future. I know I will figure out my word processing program’s aversion to large print, despite my dislike of change. And two months from now, I’ll probably look back and think, “Why wasn’t it like this sooner?”

You might feel the same way about joining PLR’s digital future. Give it a try.

Russell Wangersky

-Russell Wangersky, Chair, Public Lending Right Commission