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Home » Tompkins County » Ithaca » Bomb threat targets Ithaca bookstore’s LGBTQIA+ event, increases community resolve

Bomb threat targets Ithaca bookstore’s LGBTQIA+ event, increases community resolve

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A bomb threat last Sunday led to the evacuation of Dewitt Mall, with Buffalo Street Books and five individuals linked to the bookstore specifically targeted. The Ithaca Police Department, alongside the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, quickly determined the threat lacked credibility. According to Lisa Swayze, the bookstore’s general manager, the threat appeared aimed at the store’s inclusive efforts, particularly their Drag Story Hour.


The threat, sent via anonymous email to a distant news agency, prompted a robust response from local and national law enforcement, as well as support from the American Booksellers Association. In light of the incident, the bookstore is revising its safety procedures, drawing on best practices from across the bookselling community.

Despite the unsettling event, Swayze affirmed the bookstore’s commitment to inclusion and community engagement, expressing gratitude towards the volunteer Drag Queens promoting literacy and self-confidence among children. The community has been encouraged to continue supporting the bookstore’s events and mission.