Writers are the beating heart of the creative economy.
They give us our ideas for stage, TV, film and so much more. In January 2014 it was revealed that the creative sector contributed £8M an hour to the UK economy.
Writers need readers, and many millions of readers borrow from libraries. And authors enjoy the right to collect a payment accordingly – the ‘Public Lending Right’. A small government agency, PLR, is responsible for administering the scheme and ensuring government decision makers get the message about how vitally important PLR payments are not just for authors’ livelihoods but as a strategic boost to the creative sector.
This collection of stories shows selected highlights from four annual reports. We have visited libraries old and radically new. We were there when Dame Jacqueline Wilson – Childrens Laureate 2005-07 – visited the PLR office to launch a new computer system and meet children of the staff. A meeting of the PLR Advisory Group provided real insight into the characters charged with the schemes direction and a gathering at the House of Commons to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the right featured the cream of British authorship. Ralph Steadman was Ralph Steadman in his studio (illustrators qualify, as do editors and translators) and finally we accompanied a school trip to ‘Seven Stories’ – The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle.