Al Jazeera is reporting that the Boston Public Libraries (BPL) is under an unprecedented attack by a new group that claims to be a coalition of the internet’s biggest libraries and online communities.
The group is called the Digital Public Library Alliance, which describes itself as a coalition with a goal to “improve access to public library resources”.
“We’ve had our first major event in six months,” said BPL chairwoman Elizabeth Rochman, in a statement.
“There are more than 10 million Americans in libraries across the country, and they are struggling to find the time and space they need to access the books that matter most to them.”
The coalition is seeking to increase access to online content and create new libraries, among other goals.
The coalition, which is seeking funding, has pledged to use its power to “take back libraries” and “expand access to books”.
Rochman said that the coalition’s goal was “to ensure that libraries can be open, accessible, and inclusive for all people, regardless of their skill level or background”.
She said that this was not a partisan movement, but was an effort to make libraries “more accessible to all people”.
The coalition said its members were working to “strengthen the digital library experience and help make library communities more inclusive and inclusive of all communities, regardless [of] their skill levels or background.”
The Digital Public Libraries Alliance was formed last week, and is headed by former US congressman Brad Sherman, who was recently confirmed as the first female US commissioner of the Library Association.
Sherman previously told Al Jazeera that he wanted the BPL to be more inclusive of people of color.
“We have a long history of inclusion, and it is essential that we continue to work toward that,” Sherman said.
Shermans statement said that libraries should “make the most of their digital platforms and give them the resources they need”.
He said that digital libraries were “a key part of a library’s future, serving people of all backgrounds and abilities”.
Sherman has previously called on Congress to grant the BPS the authority to require libraries to provide more than just books.
“As a society, libraries need access to more books,” Sherman told the Boston Globe.
“This is something that every American has a right to, not just because we can’t afford books, but because libraries are a key part in the economic health of our communities and the economies of the country.”
A statement from the coalition read: “We are committed to making sure that all libraries in the United States have access to the digital resources that matter to them, including online content, music, video, and movies.”
The group has also called for the BSPL to remove the ban on paid public library staff, which it described as “an outdated, antiquated and discriminatory rule”.
It also said that it was “working to change the [BSPL’s] policies to require paid staff for all library functions and events”.
The Digital Library Alliance has been active for several months, said Rochamson.
She said the coalition would focus on increasing access to libraries, as well as increasing digital literacy.
She added: “The BPL is an open, inclusive and welcoming place.
We need to be as inclusive as possible to ensure that we remain the place that our community wants to be.”
Rochamss statement did not specify which libraries would be targeted by the alliance.
However, the coalition has recently come under scrutiny for a series of allegations of plagiarism and misappropriation of intellectual property.
In April, a group of BPL employees claimed that they were forced to steal the work of another group of academics.