Purpose and Preventive Measures

The Library promotes responsible lifelong use of its materials and facilities with minimal barriers to facilitate fair and equitable sharing of these resources. This policy is designed to help ensure that shared collections and facilities remain free of invasive pests which may pose a threat to the health and safety of patrons, materials, and facilities.

MCPL recognizes that patrons and staff alike have a role to play in controlling pests in our community. The Library actively works to prevent and contain pests and pest eggs in all of its materials and facilities. Library staff are trained in pest detection, containment, elimination, and prevention and regularly examine and update pest mitigation procedures according to best practices. The Library routinely engages pest control professionals to inspect its facilities in order to minimize the threat of infestation.

In this effort, the Library works proactively to:

  • Reduce risk of pest infestation to staff and patrons
  • Monitor our detection, testing and response levels on an ongoing basis
  • Contract only licensed, accredited, and reputable pest detection and control companies


Patron Responsibility

Patrons should cease borrowing physical materials if they are experiencing any pest infestation in their place of residence.

In the event that a patron discovers live or dead pests or pest debris (including but not limited to frass and shedded skins) in Library materials, the patron should immediately do the following:

  • If the materials are inside of the Library: Bring the materials to a staff member and inform the staff member of the problem.
  • If the materials are outside of the Library and in the possession of the patron: Place the materials into a sealable plastic bag. Return the sealed materials directly to a staff member and inform the staff member of the problem. Patrons should not use book drops to return materials suspected or with evidence of pests.
  • Do not self-treat Library materials that are suspected of containing pests. Patrons will be held responsible for any damages sustained to Library materials during an attempted self-treatment. Successfully eradicating pests requires professional procedures and equipment.


Library Protocol and Patron Borrowing Privileges

Staff routinely inspect all incoming materials for signs of pests and pest debris including items returned at public desks, book drops, and through interlibrary loan delivery. Items identified by Library staff as containing pests or pest debris are promptly quarantined and treated. Following treatment and prior to re-shelving, materials are re-inspected to ensure that the potential for damage and/or infestation is sufficiently mitigated.

The Library reserves the right to suspend a patron’s borrowing privileges if one or more items are returned containing pests or pest debris that are known to be damaging to Library materials and/or may result in pest infestation within Library facilities. At the Library’s sole discretion, patrons may be required to present proof that their residence has been successfully treated for and eradicated of pests by a licensed and accredited pest control company in order to restore borrowing privileges. Examples of proof of eradication include but are not limited to:

  • Receipts for treatment/inspection from a licensed pest control company
  • Written statement from the owner or property manager of a multi-family rental residence verifying treatment

Materials returned to the Library with detected presence of live or dead pests or pest debris may be discarded at the discretion of the Library. In cases involving a pest-damaged item which requires discarding, the Library will not necessarily charge patrons for the damaged item(s);however, in some extreme and/or repeat cases, the Library does reserve the right to charge for damaged items per the Financial Penalties section of the Checkout policy.


Public Donations

Donors should inspect materials for evidence of live or dead pests prior to donating them to the Library. The Library reserves the right to discard any materials with signs of past or present pest activity and consistent with its Gift Policy.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees September 20, 2023