The British Library and Legal Deposit

A few days ago, I received a receipt from the British Library, confirming that my “Selected Poems” has been added to their shelves/catalogue.

Under UK law a copy of every publication, published in the United Kingdom, (print and electronic), must be provided to the British Library, and to 5 other UK libraries on request.

The responsibility for furnishing copies rests with publishers which, (in the case of self-published authors) in effect means that they must provide their published works to the British Library and (if requested to do so) to the 5 other UK libraries.

The above system (which is known as Legal Deposit) helps to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage for the benefit of authors and readers alike.

You can read more about Legal Deposit here,

The paperback edition of my “Selected Poems“, (which is held by the British Library) is available from Amazon and can be found here,

24 thoughts on “The British Library and Legal Deposit

  1. Stevie Turner

    Hi Kevin,
    Any book published via Ingram Spark will be requested by the British Library, as all mine were. However, unless I’m mistaken, I don’t think they actually get placed on library shelves – instead the British Library just keeps a copy for our cultural heritage, as you say, as part of a legal deposit. It’s up to each individual librarian whether or not they buy our books. I used to work in a library many years ago and used to be in charge of ordering in LP records, and so I assume the same goes for books – they’re not automatically placed on library shelves unless ordered in by the staff.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for the information, Stevie. My understanding is that anyone can go into the British Library and request to read a book held by them. However any book so requested can only be read within the confines of the British Library. I assume that the rules as regards the 5 other Legal Deposit libraries are the same. Its interesting to have your perspective as someone who used to work in a library. Best wishes, Kevin

      1. Stevie Turner

        Yes, I’ve had several requests to send books to the 5 other Legal Deposit libraries as well, but I don’t think the books actually appear on the shelves. This was brought home to me when my royalty statement was published at the end of last year. A big fat zilch!

  2. Pingback: Library Books? | Stevie Turner

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