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A tiny pest has caused a big problem at Wichita's Central Library.
The facility, located downtown at 202 S. Main, will be partially closed at least through the weekend while it is treated for bed bugs.
A customer reported a pest late Wednesday, and workers were called in to examine the situation.
"They helped us with the assessment and they did identify the pest to be a bed bug," said Cynthia Berner-Harris, director of libraries. "We then made the decision to close the building so that we can assess the extent of the situation. We are still in the process of doing that."
Multiple bugs were found on a chair and one beside it, as well as in a reading area. Berner-Harris identified a reading area on the first floor and one on the second floor mezzanine as the locations of the bed bugs.
Most of the library was closed on Thursday. The building will have reduced operations from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The library will be closed during its normal business hours of 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. It is expected to be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
"We are continuing some lobby service here in the central library," Berner-Harris said. "All of our telephone reference services remain in place, as does our virtually reference service. Naturally all of our branch locations are fully operational."
Visitors can still return books to the Central Library, as well as pick up books that were on hold.
When asked if the pests were caught early, Berner-Harris said she "certainly hopes so." She said about 1,000 people come to the downtown library each day.
Berner-Harris said the library is being thorough with how it handles the situation to avoid it reoccurring.
"It's always a concern in a public building with high traffic," she said. "We are in the early stages of actually figuring out what actions we will take not only in the short term, but in the long term, to follow-up and protect against that.
"What we are wanting to do is to make sure we are extremely cautious, and we are identifying the problem - we are not doing anything to move the problem in the building or move it beyond the building."
Berner-Harris said the library does not have a budget for this type of event.