It's an issue the Sawyer Library in Gloucester, Massachusetts has been trying to turn the page on.
They were seeing drug deals and drug overdoses in the building that made their visitation numbers plummet.
"We noticed library visits went down by about half," said John Brennan, president of the library's board of trustees.
Brennan called it a threat to their future.
"It was very uncomfortable for those of us who work here," said Beth Pocock, assistant director of the library.
Their solution was to hire retired police officers.
"Whatever hours they are open, we will work," said Ernest Curtis, a former Gloucester Police officer of 33 years.
In total, six officers were hired and it costs the library about $140,000 a year.
"The corporation entity that is the library, we're paying for it," said Brennan.
The former-officers started about three weeks ago and there hasn't been an incident since.
They have also added security cameras and changed the rule on who can access the key to the bathroom.