Spokane Public Library closes all branches on Saturday after receiving “threats regarding” on social media
The Spokane Public Library closed all branches on Saturday after receiving “worrying threats” on social media, according to the library’s Facebook page.
The publication said the decision to close the branches was “out of prudence to ensure the safety of staff and the public.”
Amanda Donovan, the library’s director of marketing and communications, said the library received two non-specific threats on Twitter around 4 a.m. on Saturday. She said the individual tagged the Spokane Public Library in the tweet.
“The tweets appeared to be from someone who was suffering from some sort of mental health crisis, but we really felt like we wanted to close very carefully,” Donovan said.
She said library officials are evaluating whether to reopen branches on Sunday or Monday and will ensure that additional security is available when they reopen.
Spokane Police Department Cpl. Nick Briggs, a spokesperson for the department, said in a text message that the library had informed police of threats of violence, which were not directed against a specific branch. He wrote that the police are investigating.
The closure of library branches follows the opening of the Liberty Park and Shadle Park Libraries this month.
While unknown if connected, the social media threats add to recent threats in the Spokane area.
A college student was arrested on suspicion of stalking on November 5 after allegedly threatening the life of a 16-year-old student through intimidating social media posts and direct threats of gun violence.
The threats, according to court documents, prompted the school to cancel classes on November 5.
On October 28, Spokane Police received several reports of social media messages indicating that a student was being bullied and being abused at local schools. Officers investigating those reports found identical reports being investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, police said.
The investigation found that the social media threat originated from a high school in Louisville, Kentucky. Police said at the time that there appeared to be no credible threat to schools in the Spokane area stemming from the social media threat.
This is a developing story and will be updated.