Privacy was Will’s main concern after Monday’s incident at the Pine Hills library.”Having this medical issue causes a lot of problems for me, socially and professionally,” he said.
He has hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic skin condition in which pimple-like bumps grow wherever skin rubs together, like the groin and underarm areas.
When the bumps rupture, they leak bloodstained pus that often has a foul odor.
After years with the condition, Will, a taxi driver, said he often doesn’t realize a wound has opened until someone alerts him of the smell. He said he tries to stay out of public spaces when he can.”
I shower and clean my clothes every day, more than that,” Will said. “I always find the farthest seat away from people.”
He said he didn’t realized a wound had opened Monday while he was surfing the web.Albany Public Library spokeswoman Stephanie Simon said a patron complained about Will’s body odor to a staff member.
Library employees are trained to ask what is causing a patron’s body odor, have a printed copy of the behavior policy on hand and, if needed, offer referrals for social services, including locations where a person can shower and get new clothes, Simon said.”
We weren’t trying to drive him away. We didn’t even have the chance to explain,” she said.
Simon said one other person was within earshot during the brief conversation but Will said multiple people were nearby. Either way, he said, “There should have been none.”
“What about people who wear adult diapers or a colostomy bag?” Will said. He said he also believes the policy exists as “an excuse” to throw out homeless people, a claim the library denied.”
You don’t need an employee going around sniffing people,” Will said. “If you don’t know what a person is going through, you have no reason to open your mouth.”
Excerpt from the Article
Library staffs deal with patrons’ body odor, other issues
Man with disease that causes odor walks out after hearing complaint
By Emily Masters | Friday, January 20, 2017
518-454-5467 • @emilysmasters
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