First Posted: 8/2/2013
A flea infestation is forcing the Pittston Memorial Library to close for 3 weeks.
Seitz Brothers Exterminators of Pittston were brought in and have been treating the problem, said Library Board President Barbara Quinn.
County and state Department of Heath officials have urged the library to close until the problem is completely eradicated.
Quinn said library officials first became aware of the problem on July 27.
“We noticed fleas around the public computer terminals,” she said.
An exterminator was brought in and officials thought the problem was solved. But officials started to notice more bugs.
“The fleas were becoming active again,” Quinn said. “So we decided we needed to close for the protection of everyone.”
They were told the bugs have a 21-day incubation period so to be safe they closed for the entire 21 days.
Officials suspect the fleas came in on a person using the library’s computers.
A note on the library door explains the problem: “Unfortunately we have some issues with bugs in the library and we want to be careful.”
One reason for closure is the danger of fleas spreading in books through the county’s inter-library loan program. Fleas could possibly be transferred to other libraries.
Any books should be put in the return slot outside the library or any other library in the Luzerne County Library System, including the West Pittston Library, the Wyoming Free Library, any of the Osterhout Free Library branches in Wilkes-Barre or Plains Township, the Back Mountain Memorial Library in Dallas, Hoyt Library in Kingston, Marian Sutherland Kirby Library in Mountaintop, Mill Memorial Library in Nanticoke, Plymouth Public Library and the Hazleton Area Public Library.
Anyone who ordered a book and needs to pick it up can leave a message for library director Anne Hogya at 654-9565, extension 20 to arrange pickup.
Books and other materials can be renewed at any other library.
“We are very sorry for any inconvenience, however we are working to make our beautiful library clean and safe,” said a note on the library’s Facebook page.
The library will reopen at 9 a.m. on Aug. 23.