Parents of five US children are facing eviction from their homes because they can’t afford to buy a single book in their local library.
In a statement, the Alliance for Library Freedom said it had received more than 1,200 calls about eviction and was working with libraries to find ways to protect children from eviction.
“The Alliance for library freedom is proud to announce that the Alliance is working with schools, libraries and other institutions to protect the rights of children who live in their communities and to protect libraries from being targeted by unscrupulous landlords and predatory booksellers,” it said.
The Alliance, which has chapters across the US, said that some of its members were receiving calls from families who said their children were evicted for failing to pay rent.
“Our library services are our livelihoods,” Alliance for Libraries spokesperson Jennifer DeBruyn told Al Jazeera.
“Many of our libraries are closed to the public because of foreclosure and foreclosure protection.
These families are losing their homes to foreclosure, eviction and foreclosure eviction protection, and we have to do everything we can to protect them.”
Al Jazeera’s Michael Saker, reporting from New York, said the situation in the state was unique because of its unique laws governing library operations.
“You can be charged with eviction, you can be fined or you can lose your library, but there is no jail time for those who do not have a library license,” he said.
“There is no way to prosecute landlords who do this because they are not subject to any kind of criminal penalties.”
DeBruys said that if a landlord evicts a library tenant, he or she must be charged by the state.
“We’re working with the library to determine if there are any statutes in New York that are in place that are designed to protect library tenants,” she said.
“We are also working with law enforcement to ensure that people who are not in violation of any statute are not charged with a crime.”
We are working with local libraries to try to help them protect their library tenants.
We have a whole program of training, we have a lot of resources to help the library tenants, but also some other services like education and legal advice that we offer to the libraries to help educate them on these issues.
“De Bruys said the Alliance was also working to prevent landlords from evicting library tenants in the future.
Al Jazeera spoke with the Alliance’s vice president, Rebecca Schreiber, who said she had received a large number of calls from libraries in other states.”
It’s a huge problem,” she told Al