Supporting Australian book creators

By Nicole Richardson


In Term 4 of 2017, SCIS invited 750 Australian schools to participate in the Educational Lending Right (ELR) School Library Survey. We received 364 responses to the survey, surpassing the required minimum of 300. We are grateful to all school library, teaching and administrative staff who recognised the value of the survey by sharing their time and support in completing it. We also extend this thank you to all education departments, Catholic Education offices, and library vendors who assisted with the data extraction process.

The survey, which we manage on behalf of the Department of Communications and the Arts, is part of the Australian Government’s ELR program that recompenses book creators for their books being available in educational libraries. The survey determines the estimated holdings of particular titles in Australian school libraries. This information, combined with the results from TAFE and university libraries, is then used as the basis for payments to registered book creators. ELR is a relative of the Public Lending Right (PLR), which sees book creators recompensed for having their work held in public libraries.

Together, the Lending Rights schemes encourage the growth and development of Australian writing and publishing by providing an additional income stream for book creators. Australia is fortunate to be the only country with a comprehensive ELR scheme.

The Department of Communications and the Arts recently published the Public Lending Right Committee Annual Report 2016–17. In 2016–17, ELR payments totalling $12.128 million were made to 9,996 claimants, including 9,632 creators and 364 publishers.

The report names the 100 highest scoring books from the results of the 2016 ELR survey. Of these, the ten highest scoring books were:

  1. Mem Fox, Possum Magic
  2. Mem Fox, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
  3. Emily Rodda, The Forests of Silence
  4. Morris Gleitzman, Boy Overboard
  5. Robin Klein, Hating Alison Ashley
  6. Jeannie Baker, Where the Forest Meets the Sea
  7. John Marsden, Tomorrow, When the War Began
  8. Pamela Allen, Who Sank the Boat?
  9. Morris Gleitzman, Once
  10. Robin Klein, Boss of the Pool

Nicole Richardson

Communications and projects coordinator, SCIS

Education Services Australia