Cheshire Library Votes to Carry Controversial Book - NBC Connecticut

Cheshire Library Votes to Carry Controversial Book

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    Cheshire Library Votes to Carry Controversial Book
    Petit Family Photo
    A controversial book about the Petit family murders will appear on Cheshire library shelves.

    If you're interested in reading the controversial book, "In the Middle of the Night," you can soon check it out at the Cheshire Public Library. By a vote of 5 to 1, the library board voted to allow the book on the shelves.

    The board voted on the book during the regular board meeting held on Monday night.

    Protesters argued the book does not belong in the library of the town where the murders were committed.

    The book details the 2007 murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and her two daughters Hayley and Michaela, and some claim the book violated a court-issued gag order because the author, Brian McDonald, interviewed one of the accused, Joshua Komisarjevsky.

    Some residents were frustrated by the library's decision. Kimberly Mach, who had fought for weeks to keep the book off the shelves, was surprised by the decision.

    "I will never step foot in this library again as long as this book is on the shelf," Mach said.

    There was only one dissenting vote on the board.

    Marilyn Bartoli, who has been a board member for three years, has been openly against carrying the book for weeks.

    She left the meeting quickly after it ended, but before she left, she said, "It wasn't the decent thing to do as far as protecting people. Who's protecting Bill Petit, and his family, and the memory of his children? Apparently not our own library."
     
    Several people spoke at the meeting in favor of keeping the book at the library, calling it a censorship issue not to carry the book.
     
    "All books need to be protected," Marlena Soble, of Cheshire, said. "Once we stop protecting the bad books, then no one will be there for the good books."
     
    The library has ordered two copies of the book. Eleven people on the waiting list to check the book out once it arrives, library officials said.