Amid Colchester Book Controversy, Review of All Children's Material Paused

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A review of kids books in a Colchester library has been paused.

The first selectman had called for the inventory after concerns were raised over a book there about the drag queen RuPaul.

A controversy involving this book was the big topic of a virtual meeting of the Colchester Board of Selectmen on Thursday.

Several members called out First Selectman Andreas Bisbikos.

“You react. You go to Facebook. Then you think. Then you react again,” said Denise Turner, Colchester selectman.

The first selectman posted on Facebook last week that after a parent complained to him, a book called “Who is RuPaul?” had been taken out of circulation at the Cragin Memorial Library and that he had called for an inventory of all the children’s material.

The library pointed out if people have concerns about a book, there is a formal process they can go through.

“I do not agree this should have been on the shelves in the children’s section,” one person said.

“I want us to get back on track. I want us to follow the rules. I want us to do the right thing,” said Rosemary Coyle, Colchester selectman.

The library director said a drawing in the book was what raised some eyebrows.

Some say the first selectman’s actions were government overreach, while others say it was just looking out for the kids.

On Thursday, the board voted to strike down the first selectman’s order to look at all the books arguing it would take up a lot of library staff time.

“Though I disagree with where this is going, we’ll do it on a case by case basis and as things come up, we will take it one step at a time,” Bisbikos said.

Following the board’s vote, people in town got to weigh in.

“I am so concerned about any policy that restricts my children’s free access to various books and information from our library,” said another community member.

Bisbikos denied he was trying to ban or censor any books, saying he was standing up for the kids.

“I pray to God that there are no further books that are highly questionable in that library,” Bisbikos said.

After an official complaint, a review of the book is now underway. NBC Connecticut reached out to the library for an update but has not yet heard back.

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