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British Library

Volume 934: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1977

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42.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she has had representations from learned writers and publishers of scientific and technical books in the United Kingdom concerning the loss of subscriptions to their journals arising out of the practice of the National Lending Library in making available photocopies on request.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she now wishes to correct the Written Answer given to the Question the hon. Member for Essex, South-East asked her on 26th May, namely, what reciprocal overseas photocopy or loan services are available to United Kingdom customers either directly or through the British Lending Library; from which countries: on what scale; and at what prices.

In a recent letter to the hon. Member I informed him that the answer I gave to his Question on 26th May was not completely accurate and that it should have read as follows:

The British Library's lending division last year met 17,650 requests by obtaining material from 101 overseas countries of which about 55 per cent. were for loans. It is accepted practice for lending countries to reclaim postal costs only, and the lending division adheres to this practice. In the case of six countries, where there is an approximate balance in the number of requests between the United King- dom and the countries concerned, charges are waived reciprocally. For photocopies the practice is to recoup costs.