BOSTON (CBS) -- Standing on the steps of the Boston Public Library at Copley Square, dozens of library workers and patrons held a "Fill the Library with Love" rally on Saturday.
They said the demonstration comes on the heels of multiple hateful and disruptive incidents inside several public libraries involving anti-masks protesters.
"It's pretty unsettling seeing video footage of people coming in, screaming at my colleagues, many of whom never expected that to happen," one attendee told WBZ-TV.
There have been two incidents at the Boston Public Library and at the Hyde Park Public Library. Some protesters stayed for hours in the library.
"Library workers cannot do their job if they're spending three hours being harassed by anti-maskers," another person said.
Many librarians said their job has been challenging these past two years, and these incidences have made it extremely stressful. They hope the rally sends a clear message of unity, and that in standing up to hatred and bullying, the library can be made a safe space again.
"I came out to support because they've been struggling and feeling unsafe. And the policy in place, they didn't put them in place, but they need support to enforce them," said Erin Murphy.
Jessica Elias has been a librarian for eight years and said her colleagues are being targeted.
"Cut it out. Stop. And if you have to protest, the staff are not the people to yell at. We are abiding by the mandates. If you want to use our spaces, we are asking you to abide by the rules," said Elias.
Rally organizers said they would like to see an emergency plan and more safety measures in place for libraries to protect staff and patrons.
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