Rockford Public Library assures patrons they are safe despite vi - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Public Library assures patrons they are safe despite violent stabbing


The Rockford Public Library assures people they are after a violent stabbing. Officers say the victim was left with a severe eye injury. The library is assuring people who come to their facilities this was not a random attack. It was back to business as usual Tuesday with a steady stream of people heading in and out of the main library branch on Wyman Street.

"We're going to get some books and videos and pick up some holds we have," says Evelyn Juarez, library patron.

But others like Hannah Gibson are concerned.

"I mean I'm scared," says Gibson.

The 20-year-old is using the library during her job search. She says she sees people loitering inside and outside of the library all the time.

"There's always a security guard but to be honest there needs to be one or more in certain places," says Gibson.

Despite the distractions, she says she needs the library's resources. A lot of people do, which is why library staff say they should keep coming.

"I would assure everyone that the library is perfectly safe," says Lynn Stainbrook, Rockford Public Library, executive director.

She says safety is their top priority, especially in the children's area. Staff regularly monitor it and kick out people who don't belong there.

"I believe we have taken all the measures that are possible to take to help with these incidents. The staff have had training recently about sort of how to help people de-escalate when arguments are happening. This of course happened in a bathroom where staff was not available," says Stainbrook.

It was just before 4 p.m. Monday when library staff say they heard two men arguing on the second floor men's bathroom. A staff member called library security and they called Rockford Police.

"All of this happened very quickly. I'm actually very proud of library staff who responded quite correctly," says Stainbrook.

Stainbrook says the library was able to provide security footage of the man. The suspect is still on the loose.

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