Colchester First Selectman pulls book from library, sparks controversy

Book pulled from library shelf in Colchester
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 12:45 AM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - The First Selectman of a local town has come under scrutiny after a book was removed from the shelves at Cragin Memorial Library.

The book “Who is Rupaul?” was pulled after a parent complained to Colchester First Selectman Andreas Bisbikos. Bisbikos writes in a Facebook post:

Colchester Citizens,

A parent brought forward a serious concern regarding a book found in the children’s section of the library. The book contains sexually provocative drawings in which the parent found offensive. The book in question was immediately removed from circulation. I have instructed Kate Byrode, our Library Director, to begin an inventory of the children’s material. We encourage parents that come across any material in the children’s section that may be deemed questionable, to bring it to the attention of the library staff immediately.

Andreas Bisbikos Facebook

“He asked me to remove it from the shelves. I stated that we have a procedure and policy form that would be the best way so we can address the concerns in public,” says library director Kate Byroade.

The book depicts a woman in tall boots and bustier forming the word “viva”.

The First Selectman’s actions sparked outrage from parents who say this was censorship and homophobic.

“The complaint itself is solely concerning the imagery with their legs wide open in a sexual, provocative manner. It has nothing to do related to sexual orientation or any other social issue,” says First Selectman Bisbikos.

Bisbikos said he saw the images and believes the parent was right, adding that the library should be keeping track of what is age appropriate.

“I don’t feel this type of book should be located between Clifford the Big Red Dog and Where’s Waldo,” says Bisbikos.

The book was approved by professionals, and the library director says parents should join their kids at the library.

The book was removed temporarily until someone fills out paperwork. Then the library will review the book and decide what to do with it. If no complaint is received, the book will be back on shelves.

A GoFundMe has been started with the goal of bringing more inclusive books to Colchester. You can find it here.

The Colchester First Selectman pulled a book from library shelves after a complaint was made that it depicted "sexually suggestive" drawings.