Police say the threats are retaliation for a big drug arrest that happened across the street.
The normally tranquil setting of the Olympia Timberland library was shattered Wednesday when one of the security guards said he had a serious threat made against him from a neighbor.
"(He) ran across the street and started threatening to kill (the security guard) and followed him into the library," said library manager Donna Feddern.
Police arrived moments later and arrested the man, who they believe was acting in response to the arrest of two suspected drug dealers and users two weeks earlier.
Dean Fulks and Laurie Pfeiffer are two of the six people who were arrested at the house across the street from the library. Library staff had become increasingly alarmed after finding drug items in the bathrooms and in the surrounding library grounds.
"The library is sacred, you know," said library patron Jeannie Blackden.
Blackden said she just learned about the death threat.
"I felt like somebody kicked me in the stomach when I heard that somebody threatened the staff here," she said.
The private security guard who received the threat has since quit, but the library has hired two more guards to take his place.
Since the arrests, library workers say there's been no more drug use in the facility. And since Wednesday's arrest, there have been no more threats to library staff.
"It's disappointing and we hope we're coming to an end of this behavior," said staff member Jeff Kleingartner.
Feddern also hopes things at the library get better and they can close the book on this tense situation.
"It's just a matter of the police letting these people know it's not okay to talk to us that way," she said.