Letter: High price of public lending rights

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The Independent Online
Sir: Michael De-la-Noy (letter, 13 January) makes a rather bewildering logical leap when he suggests that the fact that authors receive 1.86p per loan from public libraries, under the Public Lending Rights scheme, is somehow a reflection of 'society's assessment of their worth'.

Public libraries are not a part of the welfare state; they are a public service that is paid for through local government taxation and that represents a vital part of the cultural, recreational, educational and economic fabric of our society.

To suggest that collecting fees for loans would be a simple extension of Public Lending Rights is not only nave from the point of view of administration and management, but also undermines a part of our national heritage that is still, despite the hammering it has taken through cuts in local government funding over recent years, in many ways the envy of the world.

Yours sincerely,


Acting Director

Professional Practice

The Library Association

London, WC1

13 January