Last Friday, February 22, the Milpitas Library unexpectedly closed due to facility maintenance.

The reason? Library staff had received a patron’s report from someone who suspected they’d been bitten by a bed bug during their visit to the library.

“We take these reports very seriously,” said Diane Roche, Director of County Library Communication and Marketing. “As a precaution, we closed the library as soon as we received that information so we could take the proper actions not only to protect our patrons but also our staff. And we ordered a building inspection.”

The building inspection found evidence of bed bug activity in the library, though not an infestation.

Currently, the library is being treated. After the treatment process, it will undergo a second inspection to ensure that the space is fit for patrons to enter.

The second inspection is scheduled for Wednesday morning. The library could potentially open and resume its regular hours on Wednesday, if the inspectors deem that all is clear.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs are a worldwide problem. Notably, these bugs carry no ability to transmit disease of any kind.

“Our Milpitas Library is a big facility, and we have over 1,500 people visiting daily,” said Roche. “We have monthly inspections. It’s part of our regular maintenance. But with so many people coming through, it’s not always possible to prevent every situation that requires maintenance. Even though we know they don’t carry disease, they’re still a nuisance and an inconvenience. And we want to be sure we’re providing a welcoming place for all.”

Update: The Milpitas Library opened for its regular hours this past Wednesday, February 27. A representative from the library told The Beat that the problem has been taken care of, and as a precaution, they are inspecting other libraries. 

Photo from the Santa Clara County Library district website.

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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