INDIANAPOLIS — While it was a packed house for a much talked about story hour featuring author Kirk Cameron, the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) said the attendance numbers being shared by Cameron’s publishers were greatly exaggerated.
The story hour on Thursday, Dec. 29 was to promote Cameron’s new children’s book “As You Grow.”
Cameron’s publisher Brave Books booked a room at the Central Library, and some members of the public had to be turned away because the room had reached capacity.
Brave Books posted on Twitter following the event, saying, “This is a message to every library in the United States: In 137 years of the Indianapolis Public Library’s history, NEVER ONCE have they had over 2,500 people show up to a single event. UNTIL TODAY.”
The tweet was accompanied with a video showing a full room and a line outside the door.
IndyPL responded and said the alleged numbers were inaccurate, also pointing out Brave Books could have booked a larger room but chose not to.
“Our estimated door count during the event is around 750, not 2500. We’ve had larger events. We turn 150 yrs old in 2023. And our auditorium, which our guests chose not to rent, holds 300, not 2000,” read a tweet Friday morning.
In a response Friday afternoon, Brave Books told FOX59 they got the number from employees at the library. But they said, “There was a line of people going from the 6th floor to the front door of the library. “
The story hour was already a highly contested topic between Indy PL and Cameron and Brave Books.
Cameron claimed IndyPL initially denied his publisher’s request for the story hour and that the denial was based on his “skin color” and “religious beliefs.”
However, IndyPL said its programming department only declined to partner with Brave Books for the event, and it never turned down a request to host the story hour.
“We have a programming department that handles Library events, and they do not say yes to everyone who asks to work with them on an event. Declining to partner on or promote a program happens often and is not a unique circumstance,” IndyPL said in a statement.
IndyPL stated Brave Books was also made aware of the room’s capacity before the event and never inquired about securing a larger space.