Over the last few weeks, libraries all over the U.S. have been threatened with bombings.These have occurred in Nashville, Fort Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boston, to name a few.
A few threats have been assumed to be from those protesting recent LBGTQ programs, but this has not been verified by law enforcement. In several libraries, including Denver, the threats have been received via digital means — through email, or library systems.
Here is a letter from the American Library Association regarding these threats::
During the Summer and Fall of 2022, threats directed to public and school libraries and library workers escalated, including the forced temporary closure of five public library systems due to bomb and shooting threats.
On September 27, the executive board of the American Library Association (ALA) transmitted a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing concerns about the threats directed to public and school libraries and library workers. According to library directors and local officials, there is no evidence at this time showing a direct connection between recent threats and opposition to library materials and programs. However, the letter to Director Wray does underscore the increasing threats of violence to libraries and library workers nationwide.
From the Letter (Sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray):
We, members of the executive board of the American Library Association (ALA), are writing to register our concern over threats that are being directed at public libraries and library workers. In the past two weeks, bombing or shooting threats forced the temporary closures of Hawaii State Public Library System, Salt Lake City Public Library System, the Denver Public Library, the Fort Worth Public Library and the Nashville Public Library.
The bombing and shooting threats in these five metropolitan libraries come on the heels of other threats to library workers in school and public libraries, who have been increasingly targeted by violent disruptions of programs and verbal threats of physical harm, as well as attacks on social media platforms over the past year. In addition to documented instances reported in the media in recent months, library workers are reporting to ALA that they are receiving direct threats. We are concerned that these threats, some of which include the disclosure of personal details and false and defamatory claims, may lead to actual violence towards library workers.