Library Trends 29 (4) Spring 1981: Public Lending Right


Library Trends 29 (4) Spring 1981: Public Lending Right. Edited by Perry D. Morrison and Dennis Hyatt.

If one were to ask the "average" American librarian what public lending right (PLR) involves, he or she would probably mutter something about censorship and intellectual freedom. Actually, although PLR is marginally related to those issues, the term refers specifically to schemes in place in some ten countries, and under consideration in a number of others, whereby authors are compensated in some way by virtue of the fact that their works are used by library patrons.

Whether or not public lending right is actually a right inherent in copyright law, or merely a means of subsidizing authors employing library use as a convenient rationale, is hotly debated in the pages of this symposium. Also at issue is whether an author’s potential income is really affected by the presence of his works in libraries and by circulation from them. Also at issue is the matter of whether the presence of a book in a library results in the patron borrowing it instead of buying it. The authors of the following articles also pay considerable attention to the remarkable variety of ways in which existing, and proposed, PLR programs are structured.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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