A benefit book sale for the Lawrence Public Library has been canceled by the presence of bedbugs in some donated items.
The nonprofit Friends of the Lawrence Public Library announced the cancellation Wednesday in a news release.
The fall book sale had been scheduled for Sept. 26 through 29 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. But a donor called the group last week to say his donated books contained bedbugs, which an inspection confirmed.
The Friends group said they immediately contained the books and any others in close proximity and they were disposed of. For now, a large portion of the books collected for the sale are quarantined for treatment.
"We would rather act with an abundance of caution and protect the public health by canceling our sale, than put the public at risk by selling these books," said Mary Burchill, who chairs the Friends group.
They said at no time were the books from the donation intermingled with the library's collection or put in the public library.
Ruth DeWitt, the Friends group coordinator, said she appreciates the donor's candor in reporting the infestation.
No further donations are being accepted for now. The organization urges any members of the public who wish to donate materials to hang on to them until further notice, and only donate non-contaminated materials.
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