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The front of the Shawnee branch of the Johnson County Library

Library wraps up bedbug treatment, reopens branch Oct. 9

Johnson County Library (JCL) is set to reopen the Shawnee branch at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9 as comprehensive treatment and cleaning for bedbugs wraps up.

Treatments at the Shawnee branch have been extensive, including:

  • Fumigation for eradication.
  • Sealing, baking and/or removing infested materials.
  • Item, shelf and building deep cleaning prior to reopening.
  • Branch staff refresher training.

JCL staff have handled, inspected or and/or cleaned more than 12,000 items at the branch over the past week. All potentially-affected books at the branch have been baked in portable ovens, heating items to 120 degrees F for 60 to 90 minutes. Potentially-affected furniture has been baked as well in a large-format oven-tent built in the branch for this purpose.

Other branches are being inspected and cleared by pest control specialists, including bedbug sniffing dogs. No further infestation has been discovered at any other branch at this time.


Q. What happened?
A. Bedbugs were discovered at the library's Shawnee branch. Unfortunately, bedbugs are a national problem, and they aren’t going away. This is an issue for public places that serve lots of people. It’s not a hygiene issue, it’s an environmental issue. Libraries have been aware of this for some time, and there are standards and best practices recommended by the library's national professional organization. Johnson County Library has policies and procedures in place and has conducted staff trainings in order to be prepared to mitigate the issue.

Q. What should I do with materials checked out from the Shawnee branch?
A. Place any materials that possibly came from the Shawnee branch in a sealable plastic bag and return to any Johnson County Library location.

Q. How do I pick up my holds at the Shawnee branch and are they safe?
A. Holds can be picked up at the Shawnee branch when it is reopened or call 913-826-4600 to change your hold pick up to another location. Items picked up at the Shawnee branch will part of the baking process to remove bedbugs. If holds are changed to a different location, the materials will come from another branch and are not transferred from the Shawnee branch. During the closure, patrons will not incur fines on materials checked out from Shawnee.

Q. Does this impact the Olathe Public Library?
A. The Olathe Public Library has been contacted and is taking the necessary precautions. 

Q. What can I do to check if bedbugs are in my residence?
A. Information about bedbugs can be found on the K-State Research and Extension website.



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