The Canada Council for the Arts distributes payments to over 17,000 Canadian authors annually through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries.
The Canada Council works with the expertise of a permanent advisory board, known as the Public Lending Right Commission, to define the program’s criteria and promote the program among eligible authors, illustrators, narrators and translators.
The Public Lending Right Commission
The Public Lending Right Commission is made up of writers, translators, librarians and publishers. The Commission also includes non-voting representatives from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Library and Archives Canada, and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
Over 17,000 Canadian authors are compensated annually from the Public Lending Right through direct payments ranging from $50 to $4,500 a year. Eligible work includes original writing, translation, illustration, narration and photography contained in library books across a range of literary and scholarly genres.
We support and celebrate public access to Canadian content in libraries! PLR surveys the catalogues of public library systems across Canada in order to create its annual payments, working in close collaboration with professional librarians in all regions of the country. By supporting the work of PLR, Canadian public libraries benefit from a strengthened relationship with authors and publishers, further contributing to a strong literary ecosystem for all.
Through its system of annual payments, PLR directly benefits published Canadian authors and provides compensation for new and recently published work in a wide array of genres that can be accessed by the reading public in library collections, year after year, thus enriching the cultural life of current and future generations.
How to Register
The Public Lending Right Program is open to Canadian authors who meet the program’s eligibility criteria. To register, authors must complete and mail in the registration form available from the Public Lending Right website during the annual registration period (15 February to 1 May).