INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) is responding after actor Kirk Cameron claimed the library initially denied to host a story hour due to his skin color and religious beliefs.
Cameron is currently promoting his new children’s book, “As We Grow,” described as an illustrated book chronicling the life of a tree while teaching kids about “love, joy, and gentleness.”
His publisher Brave Books told Fox News Digital when they first reached out to IndyPL about a potential story hour, an unnamed employee was “not encouraging” and said the organization looks for authors who are “diverse”, especially “authors of color.”
In an open letter addressed to IndyPL’s acting director Gregory Hill, Cameron wrote, “So many of our communities, perhaps like yours, are facing rates of crime, abortion, and murder well above the national average. I believe the children in your community would benefit from hearing a message teaching Biblical wisdom as I explain in my new book.”
Cameron continued in his letter to Hill: “You may understand why it surprised me to learn that the Indianapolis Public Library – committed to inclusivity as it appears to be – elected to exclude me based upon my skin color and the religious beliefs espoused in my new book.”
However, IndyPL says it never told Cameron or Brave Books that they cannot book a room or host their own program. The library said it has its own programming department that handles its own bookings, and representatives regularly decline to promote or partner on events.
“We are aware of this room booking at Central Library on December 29th, and understand that the publisher is making the event open to the public. Because this is not an Indianapolis Public Library event and is instead simply a room booked by a separate group, you would need to visit the publisher’s website or social media, Brave Books, to get more details about the event. We do not put any non-IndyPL events or routine room bookings publicly on our website calendar.”Indianapolis Public Library
Brave Books’ Chief of Staff Zac Bell backed up Cameron’s testimony, saying, “When we initially reached out, the IndyPL was very clear that they were not supportive of a Kirk Cameron story time. We were not given options. Instead, we were told they would not advocate for a story time with Kirk Cameron, and they have a strategic plan in place on who they allow doing story times. Kirk Cameron did not fit that plan. We sent them the letter to which they immediately caved and we are now scheduled to do a story time.”
Cameron’s story hour at IndyPL’s Central Library (40 E. Saint Clair Street) has been booked for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 29.
IndyPL said it did order copies of “As We Grow” because there is “patron interest in it.”
Cameron’s publisher Brave Books describes itself as an “alternative to the current progressive agenda dominating children’s literature.”
“We founded Brave Books because while we were trying to raise our children to love their God and country, we became more and more aware that there is a real war being waged for the hearts and minds of the next generation.”Brave Books’ “About Us” page
Fox News Digital reported more than 50 public libraries turned down Brave Books’ request for the story hour or did not respond at all. It says Scarsdale Public Library in New York is the other public library that agreed to a story hour after initially saying no.