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RuPaul library book sparks controversy in Colchester

The book was a part of a pride display in the library. Now, parents are weighing in.

COLCHESTER, Conn. — A biography about the drag queen RuPaul has stirred up controversy at the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester. It all started with a parent reaching out to the first selectman.

“A citizen reached out to me about a book that had a sexually provocative image that he felt was concerning,” said Colchester First Selectman, Andreas Bisbikos. 

The book was a part of a pride display in the library.

RELATED: Pride flag controversy in Goshen forces local officials to take action

“This book that people are concerned about is in the children's department, yes, but it’s also in the department for older school children. And we are not the deciders of what children read, parents are,” said Library Director Kate Byroade.

Parents are weighing in, with some defending it.

“I was really upset because I feel like it’s not appropriate for the first selectman to determine what’s appropriate for my kids,” said Kayla Stomberg.

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Bisbikos said when he brought the issue to the library director, it wasn't about censorship. 

“It’s important that we kind of get away from the misconceptions that are out there that this is some ploy to censor any book or to ban any book. That is 100% not going to happen," Bisbiko said. "It’s really about age appropriateness. Are certain books located in the correct section of the library?”

“We look for factual content, we look for accurate content. We look for it to be current and appropriate,” said Byroade.

RELATED: Pride parades march on with new urgency across US

Anyone with a concern or complaint about a book or resources within the library is asked to follow certain procedures and protocols. First, there is a "statement of concern" application the library asks people to fill out. 

“I spoke to the parent and the parent will be submitting an application today,” said Bisbikos.

As far as for the book, it’s off the shelves right now, but people can still check it out.

“There are quite a few holds on it right now. More people are interested in looking at this book now,” said Byroade.

DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at dturner@fox61.com. 

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