Mostly, wildlife in a library is found in two-dimensional form, safely contained in the pages of the collection.
But a deer's visitation was more than words at the Washington Highlands Interim Library on Tuesday afternoon.
One librarian was in the bathroom, and another checking emails when they heard the crash of glass.
Both staff members walked toward the sound of the commotion and discovered a small deer had leapt through one of the windows at the interim library, located on 4037 S. Capitol St. SW.
One of the women, Mariah Perry, said when they first saw the deer laying on the ground, they were initially uncertain just what kind of animal it was.
But when the deer got up and charged, Perry said she and her colleague ran straight for the back of the library screaming and barricaded themselves behind a door.
No children were present at the time, about 1 p.m. The librarians called police, and then police called animal control.
"He was just out here making a lot of noise," Perry told News4, "running into walls, running into doors, chairs, even books.
Animal control arrived shortly after and helped the deer out of the library. Animal control then went to the rear of the building and gave the two librarians the all-clear.
The deer had to be euthanized.
Cleanup crews returned Wedneday morning. Officials plan to reopen the library Thursday at 1 p.m.