For the past two days, while we have been dealing with the issue, we have kept the Library closed, said library officials in an email Thursday. Although inconvenient for many Hastings residents, we thought this the most prudent course of action.
The bed bug infestation was brought to officials' attention late Tuesday night after a library patron noticed the insects, officials said in the email.
Pest-control experts, as well as specially-trained dogs were brought in to determine the severity and scope of the infestation. Pest-control services told library officials the infestation is only a localized problem limited to furniture pieces in a few areas of the library, said officials in the email.
Bed bugs were found in the following areas: several chairs in the computer area, chairs near the entrance seating area, and the conference room and tables on the north side of the building. There could also be bed bugs at the reference desk. Bed bugs have not been found in the Childrens Section, lower level, circulation desk, staff office, directors office and book sale room, according to the email.
Officials said the library will be closed Monday so a pest-control company can decontaminate the library in a non-toxic manner.
They will remove the furniture that was determined to have bed bugs, as well as furniture in the same vicinity, and then place these items in a mobile heating unit, said officials.
Furniture, carpeting and fixed item that do not have bed bugs will also be treated as an extra precaution, officials said.
The following schedule will be in effect until the bed bugs are removed:
Thursday, Sept. 6 closed
Friday, Sept. 7 The Circulation Desk only will be open from 12 5 p.m. Patrons can return books, check out books that are on hold or renew books.
Saturday, Sept. 8 The Circulation Desk only will be open from 8:30 a.m. 2 p.m. The Friends' Book Sale will take place on the plaza outside the Library.
Sunday, Sept. 9 The Library will be open only for the 3 p.m. screening of We Need to Talk About Kevin, at 3 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 10 closed
The library will reopen for normal hours on Tuesday, officials said.
Obviously, this is not a pleasant situation, said officials. We believe, however, that we have taken the steps necessary to eliminate the problem in a way that will keep our community safe.
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