Leaders condemn bomb threats directed at suburban libraries
Bomb threats made to some suburban libraries in the past week have forced buildings to close and drawn condemnation from state officials and the local American Civil Liberties Union.
Warren-Newport Public Library closed Monday after receiving a bomb threat via email. Oak Park Public Library was threatened that its three buildings would be blown up Monday. Last week, libraries in Morton Grove, Wilmette and Park Ridge received similar threats.
And Park Ridge received a second bomb threat Monday, again forcing officials to close the building.
In each case, the buildings were reopened after police searches.
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias condemned the threats in a post on Twitter, now known as X, Tuesday.
Giannoulias said the threats represent "a troublesome and disturbing trend that has escalated from banning books, to harassing and criminalizing librarians and now to endangering the lives of innocent people."
Edwin C. Yohnka, spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois, said he believes the threats are ideologically driven attacks on libraries from a small handful of loud voices who seek to silence LGBTQ+ people, people of color and others.
"It is time that we unite as a state in opposing the voices of anger that want to ban books and not allow ourselves to be coerced by threats," Yohnka said. "We encourage everyone to show support for their public library by increasing your patronage, attending a library board meeting or sharing a message of support with your local librarians."