New Westminster Public Library given the all-clear to reopen after bedbugs found in books

The New Westminster Public Library will re-open at noon today after a one-day closure due to the discovery of bedbugs in its collection.

Late Monday afternoon, a live bed bug and several dead ones were found in an area of the library's collection. These books were immediately removed from the shelves, sealed in plastic bags and disposed of outside the building.

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As a precaution, the library was closed for the day on Tuesday, while staff met with a pest control company to map out a strategy to deal with the problem.

"We are very pleased to report that as a result of quick action by library staff and the work of pest control personnel, including the use of a bedbug sniffing dog and handler, New Westminster Public Library is able to open at noon today," said chief librarian Julie Spurrell.

After hearing about reports of bedbugs in the Burnaby Public Library system, New Westminster Public Library Staff have done regular checks of the collection for the presence of bedbugs.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a bedbug sniffing dog and handler worked with pest control to search the library for further bedbug evidence.

"We have completed a search of the library. We found an additional four bedbugs in the collection in the area adjacent to where the orignal few were found," said Blair Fryer, the city's communications manager. "They have been removed form the library. Pest control staff did additional work and physically inspected and found no further evidence of bed bugs."

As a precaution, a large area around the collection was treated with high heat steam. Pest control conducted a physical inspection of all shelving and furnishings and found no further evidence of bed bugs.

"Shortly before midnight they gave us the all-clear," Fryer said.

Library staff have been contacted and informed that they will return to work and the library will open at noon today.

"I would like to sincerely thank our valued library users for their patience and understanding yesterday as we dealt with this issue," Spurrell said in a press release. "Even though we've been given the all clear, we will remain vigilant and will be including regular checks and inspections by pest control in our library maintenance program. Library staff look forward to welcoming everyone back to the library at noon today."

Bedbugs were found at the Cameron branch of the Burnaby Public Library on Oct. 18. That library reopened after books in the affected areas were bagged and boxed and sent to the Metrotown branch to be heat-treated. A pest control company steam cleaned the furniture and the bookshelves.

The Burnaby Public Library is having all of its branches inspected after dead bedbugs were found at its main branch in Metrotown at the end of September. After a reader found a dead bedbug in a book, a pest control company brought in and used a sniffer dog and found more dead bedbugs in the thriller-mystery section.

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