Hundreds pack Indianapolis library for Kirk Cameron story hour after book reading dispute
Hundreds packed the Indianapolis Public Library on Thursday to hear Christian actor Kirk Cameron read his new children's book As You Grow after a debacle surrounding the actor's allegations that his request to host the event was initially denied.
The story hour booked by Cameron and his publisher, Brave Books, garnered large masses of people, forming an overflow crowd. A video posted on Twitter shows overflow attendees packed in the aisles of the library as there was no remaining space in the booked room.
Brave Books claimed online that over 2,500 people showed up and that it was the most attended event in the library's history. However, the library said its door count was around 750 and has held larger events.
According to a local father of four Ryan Wilson, Cameron was escorted by police to each floor to thank supporters and wish everyone a happy new year.
Cameron, best known for his work on the television sitcom "Growing Pains," made initial allegations stating that the Indianapolis Public Library rejected his publisher's request to hold a story hour. The library was among dozens of others that Cameron and Brave Books claim either rejected their requests or hadn't responded.
In a public letter, Cameron questioned if he was prevented from reading his Christian children's book because his race and the book's Christian content didn't fit the library staff's view of diversity.
The Indianapolis Public Library, which has 24 locations, told WishTV News 8 that it never told Cameron and Brave Books it couldn't rent space for an event at the library, but the library would not officially partner with them to promote a story hour for his book.
Brave Books Founder and CEO Trent Talbot accused the library of lying, telling The Christian Post that they requested to schedule a "story hour" and that if they wanted the library to sponsor the story hour, they would have specifically asked it to do so.
Last week, Cameron announced plans to hold story time events at two libraries — including the Indianapolis library — that previously rejected his request.
"Thank you for coming and making this such a special event today," Cameron said in a video.
"Find Brave Books. I'm sure there's so many of them here at this library. Read them to your kids. God bless you and Happy New Year."
Brave Books posted photos showing supporters lined up on the library steps starting at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. reading.
"Huge opening day success for this movement!" Brave Books wrote in a tweet.
Attendees allowed inside for the reading squeezed together and lined up against the library bookshelves in overflow to hear Cameron share his book.
Cameron describes his book on the Brave Books publishing website as a "pro-God, pro-America lesson that is so important for children."
The book aims to use "brilliant art [to teach] the Biblical truths of the Fruit of the Spirit," such as love, joy, peace, kindness and faithfulness.
Cameron and Brave Books alleged that over 50 public libraries have denied them the opportunity to host story hour events. For many of those libraries, Drag Queen Story Hour events are typically included in their programs for children.
On Friday, Cameron told Fox News that some in Indianapolis have told him they couldn't even get into the building because it was at capacity.
"Yesterday in Indianapolis, a brushfire of faith, family and freedom was ignited. It has now spread to Scarsdale, New York, and its moving across the country uncontained," Cameron said. "I am so thrilled."
Cameron held a story hour reading at the Scarsdale Public Library in New York on Friday. Another is scheduled for Jan. 20 at the Central Kansas Christian Academy in Great Bend.
Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com.