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Charles W. Gibson Public Library
Charles W. Gibson Public Library / My Buckhannon file photo

Charles W. Gibson Public Library closed due to treatments for bed bugs

BUCKHANNON — The director of the Charles W. Gibson Public Library announced on social media Tuesday that the library has been closed for nearly two weeks after bed bugs were discovered.

Library director Catherine Norko said the bed bugs were found on January 18 during an inspection of materials that had been returned, and the library was immediately closed to the public. Treatments to exterminate the pests are ongoing, and the library will remain closed until they are complete and an exterminator clears the facility to reopen to the public.

Here is Norko’s full letter:

Dear Charles W. Gibson Public Library Patrons,

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience of the library’s unexpected closing on January 18, 2024.

As with any public library, we are vigilant with the inspection of our materials that are checked out, taken to our patron’s homes, and later returned to us for redistribution. During an inspection on January 18, evidence of bed bugs within some materials was discovered. We immediately took the action of closing the library to the public until a complete evaluation could be conducted and a plan for remediating the situation could be developed. As a result, one treatment for the situation has been conducted by a professional exterminator, and three more treatments are scheduled.

Once the final scheduled treatment takes place, we will ask the exterminator for an updated evaluation to make sure the facility and all materials are safe for the public to enjoy as before.

The Board of Directors has taken the additional measure of purchasing two heat boxes to treat library materials for this instance and to prevent additional outbreaks. Throughout this closure, the library will be undertaking a substantial cleaning of the building, daily monitoring and the use of the heat boxes to treat all library materials to ensure they are safe.

The Board of Directors and the staff of the Charles W Gibson Public Library are dedicated to operating a safe facility for our community. We will not reopen until that can be guaranteed.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Catherine Norko, Library Director

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