BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – A library in northeast Oklahoma is taking extra precautions with help from the city after bed bugs were found inside the library.
According to the Examiner-Enterprise, the incident started about a month ago at Bartlesville Public Library when “a violin from the library’s ‘things collection’ was returned with bed bugs in it.”
“Staff handled the situation in the correct manner by isolating the item and treating it,” said Bartlesville’s City Manager Mike Bailey. “The patron was identified and we took steps to determine if any of the other items returned by this patron were also affected.”
Bailey says several items, returned by the same person, also contained bed bugs.
“It was at this point that library circulation staff began checking all book returns for bugs, and two additional homes were identified as having returned books containing bugs,” he said.
The Examiner-Enterprise reports that “corrective steps have been taken to ban one patron, who was observed with having the bed bugs on their person, and then library staff barred the other two accounts from checking out items from the library’s collection.”
An extermination team and company that uses specially-trained dogs to detect bed bugs were sent to the library by the City of Bartlesville.
“These canines have checked out collection on two separate visits and identified a few areas of concern,” according to Bailey.
Five pieces of furniture and 35 books were removed from the library. Extra treating measures were also taken in the entire library.
Personnel also posted a notice about the problem at the library in a well-known area.
“We believe the Library is bug free at this time and poses no risk to patrons or employees,” the notice said, according to the Examiner-Enterprise. “In an effort to mitigate future outbreaks, we will continue to exterminate and utilize canines on a regular basis, as well as inspect items being returned or checked out from the Library.”
Bailey says the library was not infested, and the city will continue to keep city-owned facilities free of bed bugs.
“However, we understand that even one of these bugs is too many,” Bailey said. “As such, we will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our library — and all city-owned facilities, for that matter — free of these unwanted pests with extermination efforts, canine inspections, bait traps and checking items manually.”