Educational Lending Right

The Educational Lending Right (ELR) scheme is an Australian Government cultural program administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA).

Curriculum Corporation (CC) has been operating the Educational Lending Right school library survey for DEWHA, previously the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), for ten years. Each year, the ELR school library survey is identified with the year in which it is operating and the survey number. For example, last year the survey was identified as the ELR 2009-10 school library survey, indicating the year, 2009, and the fact that it was the 10th survey.

What are the objectives of ELR?

The objectives of ELR are to make payments to Australian creators and publishers on the basis that income is lost from the availability of their books in educational lending libraries, and to support the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing and publishing.

How does ELR work?

The payments available under the ELR scheme are made to eligible Australian creators and publishers whose books are held in educational libraries on the basis that income is lost from the availability of their books in these libraries.

Creators and publishers submit claims for books that are registered for the scheme after meeting the eligibility criteria. An annual survey of the book stock of a representative sample of educational libraries provides an estimated number of copies of each eligible book. Payment is calculated by multiplying the number of copies by a rate that is determined each year.

ELR complements the existing Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme which covers books held in public lending libraries.

The annual process to operate the ELR school library survey

Claims from creators and publishers are invited by advertisements that appear in national daily newspapers and book industry trade journals each year.

Creators or publishers may make a claim by completing an approved claim form and submitting it to the Lending Rights Office at DEWHA before 31 March each year.

DEWHA will then process all the claims, which takes considerable time. They then formulate a list of titles which will become the ‘source file’. This file is then made available in September of each year for Curriculum Corporation technical support to incorporate into software for some library management systems to use, so the number of copies of specified titles can be calculated.

Each year at the commencement of term four, 600 schools across Australia are invited to participate in the ELR school library survey. These schools are randomly selected from a representative sample of primary, secondary and K-12 schools. Schools may be government, Catholic or independent, with an enrolment of more than 100 students. Only schools with a library management system supplied by one of the participating vendors are included in the sample.

The invited schools are sent a package of information, which includes instructions on how to carry out the survey in their library management system. It will also include items to support the process such as a blank CD-ROM for saving data and a reply-paid envelope for returning items. Recent packages have also contained a free pen, printed with the ELR slogan, ‘School libraries support ELR’.


ELR 2009-10 school library survey package

The ELR 2008-09 survey introduced a feedback form for participants to fill in and return to us with their comments on running the survey in their library management system. The feedback forms have given us information on how to improve the documents and help school libraries participate in the survey. Comments from schools about the process of running the survey have assisted CC and library system vendors to improve the processes of running the programs in library management systems.

If your school should be selected to participate in future ELR school library surveys, we hope you are able to engage with the request and provide the data which will be used to calculate the number of copies of particular titles in your collection. Your school will be supporting Australian writing and publishing.

ELR – Encouraging the growth of Australian writing and publishing