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Bedbugs in our US libraries

Bruce E. Massis (Columbus State Community College Educational Resources Center, Columbus, Ohio USA)
Angel Gondek (Columbus State Community College Educational Resources Center, Columbus, Ohio USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 19 July 2011




When reports that better clothing stores and hotels in the USA found themselves in the embarrassing position of acknowledging that they had indeed been infested with bedbugs, other organizations and institutions, including some libraries, have been on the alert ever since for similar evidence of such infestations. The purpose of this column is to discuss the recent reports of the re‐appearance of bedbugs and the impact they have had on some libraries.


The paper's approach is a literature review and commentary on this topic.


From the library perspective, any sign of bedbugs must be attended to immediately so that the infestation does not spread further. There are two proven and effective measures that can be undertaken by a library to address this issue – exposing the books to extreme heat or extreme cold – but placing the staff at risk should always be a consideration when attempting a self‐eradication in a library as well. Therefore, engaging a professional exterminator at the first visible sign of bedbug infestation should always be seen as a potential solution.


The value in addressing this issue is to create an awareness that the re‐appearance of bedbugs in some libraries is very real as indicated by the reporting of this issue in the media.



Massis, B.E. and Gondek, A. (2011), "Bedbugs in our US libraries", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 7/8, pp. 377-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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