Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bed Bugs Invade Denver Public Library

Just when you think you've heard it all, something like this story comes along. It seems that a patron has been checking out old, historic books and returning more than the books. I'm not kidding.

According to Denver's Channel 7:
"Some of the bed bugs fell out of those materials that had been returned," said Denver Public Library spokeswoman Celeste Jackson.

The infected books came from 69-year-old Denver resident Roger Goffeney. He checks out historic books, some 200 years old, and helps archive them online in an effort called the Gutenberg Project.

When he brought a few of the rare books back, bed bugs from his downtown apartment hitched a ride.
The library said the items with bedbugs were immediately quarantined and prevented from being released into circulation so they didn't affect the public.

The library banned Goffeney three weeks ago and asked him to return the rest of the books to a secure drop.

Instead, the library said Goffeney returned the books a week later to the main book drop and reinfected the library.

The library said it had to destroy 31 books that Goffeney checked out. Now, it wants him to pay as much as $12,000 for the rare books and $6,000 for fumigation costs.

"I have no intention of paying a dime," the retired minister said.
Unbelievable. How do you deal with idiots like Mr. Goffeney?


  1. EWWWWW.

    What an idiot for returning the books to the regular drop after being asked to use a secure drop.

  2. I also say ewwwwwwwww.

    I never thought about things like bed bugs moving through the public library system.

  3. I didn't even know bed bugs could live in a book, or were they just wandering? Imagine what his apartment must be like. Ugh.

  4. Well, that's a little disturbing, but having worked in a library, not entirely surprising. I've seen a lot of unusual things returned with library books. At least the employees checking in the books spotted the bugs before they infected other books or got checked out by another patron.

  5. So gross! My boyfriend is a high school librarian and a few years back they had a roach problem due to some renegade snackers leaving messes behind. Luckily, they were able to contain the problem pretty quickly.

  6. It is really hard to get rid of bed bugs. i also had this problem and the best solution is to replace all your bed room.

  7. This post is interesting and frustrating and fascinating for a whole host of reasons, I wouldn't even know where to start.

    In 2000 I stayed at a hotel in Paris for three nights that had bedbugs and I didn't realize it until I checked out and noticed all these red bumps. By the time all the bumps revealed themselves I was covered I counted 54 bites on one hand alone. It looked like I had chicken pox. Thankfully I didn't bring any home with me.

  8. You guys should have seen the picture of the bed bugs I almost used to illustrate this post. I had second thoughts about using it when I realized I was grossing myself out just looking at it.

  9. Thomas, I always worry about bed bugs when I travel these days. I've read stories about the critters hopping a ride all the way home inside luggage and clothing, causing a huge problem and lots of expense for the traveler in his own home...Scary that it seems to be getting worse all the time.

  10. Perhaps the DPL should of called the "Verminators" that are on the Discovery Channel! LOL

    On a serious note, I'm unfortunately not surprised considering one of the DPL branches that I go to refuses to kick out a patron that regularly has nasty odors citing DPL being a "Public" facility (you can literally smell the patron from 10 to 20 feet away!)

  11. This whole incident caught me by surprise, Anonymous. I've seen some filthy library books in my time (disgusting might be a better word) but I NEVER expected to import bed bugs via a library book.

  12. Hi Sam, Anonymous again. Indeed the incident caught me by surprise as well. It's definitely a disgrace that the actions of Roger Goffeney will probably ruin the Inter-Library Book system. I still wonder why the home Library systems would of sent out such rare books (and DPL in particular should of limited the amount of those rarer volumes that were loaned to any individual at one time to one, maybe two at a absolute maximum to avoid potential situations like this one.)

    Something tells me DPL's policies in that department will probably change in the near future.

  13. Hello again, my anonymous friend. I suspect, as you say, some policy decisions were made to stop this from happening again. I still find this story hard to believe...