I’ve often said if I had to be stranded somewhere, I’d
choose a library. They are warm, well-lit, and clean. There’s usually a staff
room with the makings of coffee and tea, and often a fridge filled with snacks.
Best of all, there are books. Stacks and stacks, row upon row, of books.
I love to visit libraries around the world.
Did you know that the Tikkurila Library in Vantaa,
Finland has a karaoke room with thousands of songs that patrons can perform? (Don’t
worry; the room is soundproof.) Or that the New York Public Library loans
accessories like neckties or briefcases for people who need to polish off their
look for a job interview? How about this piece of trivia: the Joanina Library
at the University of Coimbra in Portugal has a number of bats in residence. No
one minds because the bats prey on insects that could damage books. Staff drape
the tables overnight and clean up the guano in the morning. Now that’s
And librarians are dedicated. As a kid, it was a
librarian who helped me learn to write so I could get a much-coveted library
card. As an adult, librarians helped me with research for a number of my books.
And now, as a writer, libraries also contribute to my income.
The end of February is when PLR (Public Lending Right)
cheques are issued to authors. This year, more than 17,000 Canadian authors
will receive money as compensation for free public access to our books through
Canada’s public libraries. I’m always grateful to receive that cheque. I’m also
grateful for what it represents – our incredible library system and the acknowledgement
of the role Canadian authors play in contributing to it. Thanks is also due to
the Canada Council for the Arts which spearheads this important program.
And if you’re a reader but you haven’t visited the
library in a while, I hope you check out your local branch soon.
Canadian writers might want to take note of two quickly approaching deadlines. Some deadlines might bring with them a sense of urgency or even dread, but these are what you could call happy deadlines.
The Public Lending Right (PLR) Program sends yearly payments to creators whose works are in Canada’s public libraries. Registration is open for a few more weeks yet. For more information go here: https://publiclendingright.ca/
Another program that benefits Canadian authors is Access Copyright. If you own reproduction rights to a book, articles in a magazine or newspaper, or work in a journal that’s available commercially, you can affiliate with Access Copyright and receive a yearly payment, called payback. The deadline to register for Access Copyright is the end of May, though if you’re a first-time user, you may have to wait a full twelve months for your first payback installment. For more information, go here: https://www.accesscopyright.ca/
A tip: if you decide to affiliate, gather all your information ahead of time. PLR requires titles, ISBNs, publication dates and photocopies of copyright pages. Access Copyright focuses specifically on the number of books, articles, and pages written in a given year. For the latter, any works published in print format between 1998 to 2017 are eligible to be claimed. Digital and online works aren’t eligible, at least not yet.
Canada Council for the Arts and the Writer’s Union of Canada have both played a role in establishing and maintaining the programs. Registration costs nothing and those annual cheques are always a welcome bonus.
Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis probably knows how much I love libraries. When I was a child, I learned to read and write because I wanted a library card. Back then, going to the library and wandering the stacks of books was one of my favorite things to do. When I became a writer, libraries (and the invaluable librarians who work there) took on added importance. As well as being a place of escape, I began to rely on the library for much of my research. I still do to some extent today.
Libraries nourished me as a child. They informed me as an adult. As a writer, they contribute to my income.
The end of February is when PLR (Public Lending Right) cheques are issued to authors. This year, more than 17,000 Canadian authors will receive money as compensation for free public access to our books through Canada’s public libraries. I’m always grateful when that cheque hits the mailbox. I’m also grateful for what it represents – our incredible library system and the acknowledgement of the role Canadian authors play in contributing to it. Thanks is also due to the Canada Council for the Arts which spearheads this important program.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the PLR. And for the first time since the program began, electronic books may be registered. If you’re an author and you’d like more information, go here: http://plr-dpp.ca/PLR/
And if you’re a reader but you haven’t visited the library in a while, I hope you check out your local branch soon!