If you're wondering about those spiders...

February 24, 2021

In January 2021, the university's pest management division notified the library that they found spiders in a Shapiro Library mechanical room during routine monitoring of the building, and that they were treating the area. They didn't specify the spider species, and we only learned later that they were consulting with specialists to make this determination. 

Three weeks later, pest management sent an email informing us that recluse spiders were found in the building. Out of an abundance of caution, and not aware that these were the same spiders found in January, we made the decision to close the library while we gathered more information.

After conferring with pest management over that weekend, and with assurances that the building is safe, we reopened. Pest management is continuing to actively monitor and treat for the spiders. 

We'll continue to closely monitor the situation, and are also in agreement with pest management that we'll be seeking improvements in the lines of communication about their findings and processes so that everyone can be better informed in the future. 

The Mediterranean recluse spider is reclusive, as its name suggests, and generally avoids people and the spaces they occupy. Their presence in a mechanical room doesn't pose risks to library patrons. Staff working in the building are taking appropriate precautions in vulnerable spaces.

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