Legal Deposit Libraries


Dear Publisher

This is the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries, writing to you to state that you must now send us five copies of your latest publication. This is a legal requirement - - so no shirking!

The ALDL is the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries

Be not amazed to feel melancholy. This is history. The dull notation of record is often one of the best things that happens to your book!




I sometimes meet people who don't give up their requested 5 copies to the ALDL. They see the ALDL as freeloading off of them, and I always disagree! Perhaps it is the legally-required bit they don't like; perhaps they'd think it would be better if the ALDL paid for the books; but I don't know.




The attached request was for John Herdman's IMELDA - - the exact request number being as follows: ACQ: 4817417


Bodleian Library, Oxford

The Cambridge University Library

National Library of Scotland

Natioanl Library of Wales

Trinity College Dublin


I notice the odd-one-out here. One is not in the UK. I do not know how that works.

John Herdman told me that Trinity Library is considered by some fuddy-duddies and other high academic or cultural echelon types, to be a last outpost of the British Empire; which is amazing as that dates back to 1916.





I wonder, what do Amazon, and Lulu do? These companies buy ISBNs in batches of 10,000 I suppose because they publish so many self-published works. When you sign up at Amazon or Lulu to publish your self-published work, you are offered one of their own ISBNs, and many people take them up on this - - and so - - do they or Amazon have to make this bust fulfilment? 

Amazon must simply have a conveyer belt operated by a large button printed with the word GO! on it - - - a conveyer belt leading right to the ALDL.

The invention of Amazon must have meant in fact, that the ALDL was obliged to employ more staff. Their work must have been quadrupled at least by the output of this enormous publishing factory in The Cloud.

All of us writers can say we are 'in the Bodleian' I suppose! This will be handy at the great dinner-party in the sky.


 Peter Burnett