The Wells County Public Library (WCPL) strives to keep all circulating items in good condition as a service to the community. Library customers are expected to keep borrowed Library materials free from damage and from pests.
As bed bugs become increasingly more common in North American public spaces, WCPL employs a proactive approach to minimize the risk of their presence.
The library acknowledges that proactive inspections, staff training, promptly reporting of sightings and destroying bed bugs immediately are the most important actions it can take toward mitigating bed bug problems.
WCPL is committed to providing a positive library experience for all of its customers as well as a safe working environment for its staff. As part of this commitment the library has implemented a comprehensive and pro-active policy and procedure involving inspections of facilities by pest control professionals and training for staff on the identification and containment of bed bugs.
All library staff are aware of procedures related to handling materials contaminated with bed bugs. In the event that a customer discovers bed bugs in borrowed materials, containment and proper handling is extremely important. Guidelines for patrons who suspect bed bugs in library materials are available in the document General Questions About Bed Bugs and the Library available at any service point.
- When library patrons return borrowed materials, WCPL staff will inspect all items before re-shelving them.
- If library staff find returned material contains pests or evidence of pests (insects, rodents, etc. alive or dead), and the evidence is unequivocally connected to a specific borrower, library staff will take the following actions:
- The incident will be noted on the patron’s record.
- The patron will be shown the materials and bugs whenever possible. The patron will be informed of the condition of the item(s) as well as the consequences of future infractions.
- The patron will be given a copy of the Pest Policy and a sealable plastic bag in which to return all borrowed library materials in the future.
- In order to discontinue using the sealable plastic bag for borrowed library items, the library patron must provide a paid and dated receipt for pest extermination and/or inspection with clean results at the customer’s address. The address on the receipt must match the patron’s address in the library’s records.
- The patron will be asked not to use book drops for materials with live bed bugs or signs of bed bugs.
- If the same customer checks out and returns library item(s) containing pests or evidence of pests a second time, all patron accounts within this household will be blocked and they will no longer be permitted to check out library materials.
- In order to restore borrowing privileges, the patron must provide a paid and dated receipt for pest extermination and/or inspection with clean results at the patron’s address. The address on the receipt must match the patron’s address in the library’s records.
- Materials will either be treated or discarded at the Library’s discretion.
- If all evidence of pests cannot be removed from an item without destroying the item, or if the item cannot be repaired, the appropriate patron will be charged for the cost of replacing the item.
- All library materials found to contain pests or evidence of pests will be treated to remove the pests and thoroughly inspected before being returned to the circulating collection.
Public Donations Protocol
Donors are kindly asked to inspect materials prior to donating them to the library and to deliver them in sealed bags or containers. Library staff will perform an intake inspection as soon as possible. The library reserves the right to discard materials with signs of past or present bug activity.