The local library is one of the best places to escape the sweltering summer heat (besides our freezing office); they've got A.C., Internet access and chairs! But cooling off for free could come back to bite you in the ass at the Mid-Manhattan Public Library at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, where anonymous employees claim bedbugs are taking over. But the New York Public Library insists the issue has been contained... and actually was never an issue to begin with.
A library employee told WPIX that a co-worker was bitten by a bed bug in early July, while checking out books for a patron at the circulation desk. Administrators brought in dogs to sniff for bed bugs, and the tipster says "some books have been taken out of the shelves to be thrown away or frozen, so it is in the public areas, not just where we work. Employees keep finding bed bugs in the bathroom, in people's offices. They fumigate wherever somebody says they found something. They're not fumigating the whole library. They're doing it in spots. Everybody's scared that they're going to get into their homes." (Note: This quote has been removed from the WPIX story.)
But Gail Snible, spokesperson for the NYPL, emphasizes, "We have been working with the bedbug sniffing dogs, fumigating, and cleaning the entire library, taking proactive measures in response to the two bedbugs we found. We did not have an infestation, and we do not have bedbugs now."
Ironically, this is the same library that held a lecture on bed bugs back in May. And last year The Denver Public Library had to quarantine and fumigate four areas at the main branch because of bed bugs, and ended up having to destroy over 30 rare books. This bedbug assault on our civilization's libraries is certainly alarming, but we'll save our panic for when they infiltrate the Internet.