Downtown Nashville library reopens after body lice found in building


After being closed off for some time, the Nashville Public Library on church street is back open. Staff say the location was shut down for a case of body lice
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:05 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - After being closed for some time, the main branch of the Nashville Public Library on Church Street has reopened.

Staff said the location was closed on Friday because of a case of body lice. The location was closed after administrators said body lice was found on the third floor, leaving some library members scared to come back.

The insects were found where library staff said hundreds of people visit daily.

“I come here a lot with the kids I care for,” Taylor Kirkpatrick said.

Hours after Kirkpatrick left Friday night, cleaning crews found body lice.

“With kids, I mean any kind of disease or sickness is going to go around, so I mean it’s not super surprising,” Kirkpatrick said.

What is surprising is the type of lice. Mayo Clinic doctors said body lice are small insects that attach themselves to your skin and feed on blood. Doctors said they mostly hide in fabrics, something the library is constantly filled with.

“I’m just used to hearing about hair lice so this could be a little scarier I would think,” Kirkpatrick said.

Crews evacuated and closed the library for a day of deep cleaning, but Kirkpatrick is now questioning their communication.

“I just wish that maybe it would have been talked about more or posted about,” Kirkpatrick said.

Library staff said it worked with the Metro Nashville Health Department to handle and resolve the body lice issue.

“It’s obviously something to be a little worried about and I just wish I would have known about it,” Kirkpatrick said.

Library administrators said the Church Street location is now clean and safe for public use.\