The Public Lending Right Act 1979 gave British authors a legal right to receive payment for the free lending of their books by public libraries
Under the Act funding is provided by Central Government and payments are made to eligible authors in accordance with how often their books are lent out from a selected sample of UK public libraries. The UK Public Lending Right office is part of the British Library. The British Library receives funding for PLR from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. For the current spending review period PLR funding amounts to £6.6 million per year. To qualify for payment authors must apply to the PLR office which maintains a register of eligible authors and books. The scheme prescribes a minimum payment threshold of £1 and a maximum of £6,600. It is interesting to note that in 2016-2017 a total of 22,018 authors/illustrators etc received PLR payments. Less than 300 recipients were paid over £5,000, and more than 16,000 received less than £100.