Evanston police say an unsubstantiated bomb threat forced the closure of the Evanston Public Library downtown and the Robert Crown Recreation center for about four hours Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Similar emailed bomb threats led to the closure Tuesday of libraries in Addison and Aurora. Police also searched the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago after that library received a bomb threat, but that building was not closed.

The threats came as Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias testified at a U.S. Senate hearing about the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on book bans.

Evanston police say the bomb threat was received at 3:01 p.m.

Evanston Deputy Police Chief Daniel Russell says officers, with the assistance of a Metra police department K-9 unit, searched the downtown library, the library branch at the Crown Center and the rest of the recreation center.

Russell says they found no evidence of a bomb and the buildings were allowed to reopen about 7:02 p.m.

Police ask anyone with information about the source of the email to contact the detective bureau at 847-866-5040 or Text-A-Tip to CRIMES (274637) and then start your message with EPDTIP.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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