Chicago, Illinois – Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is expressing a deep concern over the escalating wave of bomb threats targeting libraries across the state of Illinois.
The threats, which have also been reported in libraries across the nation in recent days, have raised troubling questions about the safety of these community spaces. Other libraries have closed early recently out of caution following threats made to local libraries.
“As the State’s Librarian, I strongly condemn these threats of violence and intimidation that are unfortunately becoming all too common at libraries in Illinois and across our nation,” Secretary Giannoulias declared.
The recent bomb threats in Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Gurnee and Wilmette among other libraries in Illinois over the past few days have ignited fears and prompted a renewed conversation about the safety measures in place to protect patrons and staff members. This disturbing trend, which has progressed from book bans to the harassment and criminalization of librarians, has now reached a critical point where innocent lives are being endangered.
Giannoulias stressed his unwavering support for libraries and their vital role in communities. Libraries have long been regarded as safe havens for learning, accessing ideas, and fostering dialogue. Librarians, in particular, are hailed as dedicated public servants who treat individuals with dignity and respect, safeguarding fundamental rights such as the First Amendment’s protection of free speech and the constitutional right to read.
“We must join together to stand up to fringe elements that resort to threats of violence and seek to destroy the fundamental freedoms that our nation was founded upon,” Giannoulias urged.
The escalating threat of violence in these revered institutions underscores the need for collaboration among community members, local authorities, and library administrators to ensure the security of these spaces. As libraries continue to be centers of intellectual exploration and community engagement, it is imperative to address these threats and safeguard the principles that define a democratic society.
The recent spate of bomb threats serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding the values of free expression, knowledge dissemination, and the protection of public spaces. As investigations into these threats continue, communities and officials alike are left grappling with the challenge of maintaining safe, open spaces for all.
For now, Secretary Giannoulias’s call to action resonates loud and clear: the time has come to unite against those who seek to undermine the very essence of our democratic society by resorting to violence and intimidation.