HORRIFIED librarians watched a man cut himself at a library reception.
At around 3pm yesterday a man walked into Cosham Library and cut himself as staff watched on.
Librarians battled to treat the man, an insider has claimed, before police and paramedics arrived. The library was closed yesterday and today for cleaning.
The injured male was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital by ambulance - which is just a few metres away from the Spur Road property.
A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We were called at 3.16pm to the library on Spur Road, Cosham, following reports that a man had suffered injuries.
‘There was no third party involvement and no further police action was required.’
Library staff were also said to have been taken to hospital amid possible contamination fears over the man's blood.
One insider within the library service, who asked not to be named, said: 'He came into the library, stood in front of the reception and cut himself.
'Staff tried to stem the flow of blood, that's why one person had to go to hospital.
'It had to be closed for cleaners to come in and clean it up.'
Another worker said this was not the first threat of violence staff had faced. They added: 'We get some violence with people threatening to hit us with guitars, homeless people abusing us but it's just getting to the point where we have had enough.’
Witnesses reported seeing at least one ambulance, a paramedic and an unmarked response vehicle, which parked on the pavement outside to library 'for about 25 minutes'.
A sign on the door of the city facility said: 'Due to circumstances beyond our control Cosham library will be closed for the rest of Thursday 11th October. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.'
The library was also closed today for cleaning.
Amanda Drackett, 58, of Milton, works in the Tasty Plaice fish and chip shop opposite the library.
Speaking about the incident she said: 'I saw an ambulance and a car going across the pavement. There was a police car there too. I wondered what was going on.
'There must have been there for about 20 to 30 minutes and then they were gone.
'I never saw them take anyone out of the library.'
Kerry Harris, 31, of Stamshaw, also works in the chippy. said this was the second time in the space of as many weeks she had spotted an ambulance at the library.
'It's not unusual to see ambulances here,' she said. 'There were two ambulances last week.
'I saw them taking a man out then.'
Since the incident library management from Portsmouth City Council have spent time with the staff at Cosham Library and workers have been offered counselling.