Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Painting torture at Manchester Parish Library

Published:Saturday | October 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Upon arrival at the Manchester Parish Library on Thursday and Friday of last week, I was greeted by the thick scent of oil paint. As I ascended the steps leading to the adult library, the scent got so strong, I had to use my rag to cover my nostrils.

For a brief moment, I thought the library must be closed. To my surprise, painting was being done in the open area where customers were sitting reading books and using the free Wi-Fi service, while staff members were coughing and sniffling while trying to attend to the needs of customers as best as possible under the circumstances.

I asked to speak with the person in charge and was told that she was out. I had some documents to be photocopied on both days and I had to leave because I am asthmatic and should not have to put my health at risk to use the facility. A few persons were complaining as they left as well, causing the library to lose revenue for both days.


Based on my research, oil paint contains potentially poisonous hydracarbons and high levels of volatile organic compounds which pollute the air. Inhaling these chemicals for prolonged periods can cause serious health issues such as cancer, poisoning, respiratory difficulty, coughing, confusion, rapid heartbeat, skin and eye irritation, sinus problems, nausea and vomiting.

From my observation, the person in charge of the Manchester Parish Library has scant regard for customers and staff members, and as such needs to be trained.


Mandeville PO, Manchester