Bed Bugs Are Cause for Closing the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library By SUE FEIR and JOANNA RIESMAN
We are writing to explain the unexpected closure of the Library. An alert patron indicated late Tuesday that there may be bed bugs in the Library. We quickly closed the Library in order to evaluate the situation.
For the past two days, while we have been dealing with the issue, we have kept the Library closed. Although inconvenient for many Hastings residents, we thought this the most prudent course of action.
Following a full inspection of the building by a specially trained dog, as well as consultations with pest-control experts, we have determined that we have a localized bed bug problem, one that is limited to certain pieces of furniture in specific parts of the Library. We have an effective and non-chemical solution, which unfortunately cannot be implemented before Monday, September 10. Here are the details:
What Parts of the Library are Free of Bed Bugs: The entire Children's Section, the entire downstairs, the Circulation Desk, the staff office, the director's office, and the book sale room have NO bed bugs.
What Parts of the Library Do or May Have Bed Bugs: The inspection revealed that several chairs in the Computer Area, in the seating area near the entrance, in the glassed-in Conference Room on the North side of the building, and at the tables on the North side have insects. In addition, the Reference Desk may also have bed bugs.
What We Plan to Do: On Monday, a crew from Bliss Pest Protection Services will arrive at the Library. 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. The furniture will be heated, the most effective means of killing live insects as well as pulverizing their eggs. While this is being done, workers will use a HEPA vacuum and steam cleaner within the building. Please note that in an abundance of caution we are treating furniture that has not been determined to have bed bugs, as well as cleaning the carpeting and fixed furniture in affected areas. Research indicates that the method we have chosen is both very effective and does not introduce any toxins into the Library.
When Will the Library be Open: Because the Circulation Desk area is clean, we have decided to open the Library Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for limited periods of time and for limited purposes, as follows:
Thursday, 9/6: CLOSED
Friday, 9/7: The Circulation Desk ONLY will be open from 12-5pm. Patrons can return books, check out books that are on hold or renew books.
Saturday, 9/8: The Circulation Desk ONLY will be open from 8:30 to 2pm. In addition, the Friends' Book Sale WILL take place on the plaza outside the Library.
Sunday, 9/9: The Library will be open ONLY for the Talking Pictures event, a screening of We Need to Talk About Kevin, at 3pm. Please use the downstairs entrance.
Monday, 9/10: CLOSED
Tuesday, 9/11: Open regular hours, 9:30am to 8:30pm
Obviously, this is not a pleasant situation. We believe, however, that we have taken the steps necessary to eliminate the problem in a way that will keep our community safe.
Sue Feir is Hastings’ Library Director and Joanna Riesman is president of the Library Board of Trustees.