Caro­line li­braries close for proac­tive bed bug check

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@ches­

DENTON — The Caro­line County Pub­lic Li­braries in Denton, Fed­er­als­burg and Greens­boro will be closed for the next sev­eral days, in an at­tempt to proac­tively in­spect the build­ing for bed bugs, a news re­lease states.

With Eastern Shore li­braries re­cently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems with the pests, in­clud­ing the clo­sure of Dorch­ester County’s Cam­bridge fa­cil­ity ear­lier in the month, the Caro­line County Pub­lic Li­braries held K-9 in­spec­tions Oct. 25.

The bed­bug-sniff­ing dog Drax com­pleted in­spec­tions at each li­brary lo­ca­tion and iden­ti­fied in­fested ar­eas in each lo­ca­tion.

Caro­line County Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Debby Ben­nett said she ap­pre­ci­ated cus­tomers’ pa­tience while the dealt with the is­sue.

“It is our job to en­sure that our col­lec­tion is safe and that our li­brary lo­ca­tions are free of bed bugs,” Ben­nett said. “Li­brary staff will re­main vig­i­lant and will con­tinue to in­spect all ma­te­ri­als that are re­turned to the li­brary.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion, bed bugs are a grow­ing prob­lem na­tion­wide. While the pests do not trans­mit dis­eases, they can be found in nearly any pub­lic space.

At the Dorch­ester County Cam­bridge branch of pub­lic li­braries, the bugs were found in a few sep­a­rate lo­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to Direc­torFrances Cress­well.

The Ch­ester­town branch of Kent County’s pub­lic li­braries treated their fa­cil­i­ties Oct. 25, but were open in time for early branches vot­ing polls at 10 a.m. The treat­ment the Ch­ester­town fa­cil­ity re­ceived also was proac­tive, Di­rec­tor Jackie Adams said.

”For all in­tents and purposes, we are bed bug free,” Adams said Oct. 24. “We’re go­ing above and be­yond be­cause we un­der­stand the pub­lic’s con­cern and be­cause we want the li­brary to be a safe, open and wel­com­ing build­ing.”

Adams said this is the first in­ci­dence of a bed bug in­fes­ta­tion in her time as di­rec­tor, span­ning seven-plus years.

A meeting is sched­uled for li­brary di­rec­tors across the state to dis­cuss how to best pre­pare and treat li­braries for bed bugs, though a date has not been set as of Oct. 17.

As­so­ci­ate Edi­tor Tr­ish McGee at the Kent County News contributed re­port­ing to this story.

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