Left-wing groups are coaching activists on ways to disrupt Christian author Kirk Cameron’s inaugural “See You at the Library” nationwide book reading event on Aug. 5.
Despite the pushback, book readings have been successfully scheduled at 265 libraries in 45 states, according to Mr. Cameron, a writer-actor, who initiated the event with Brave Books, a conservative book publisher.
“We expect tens of thousands of people to be there,” Mr. Cameron told The Epoch Times.
“If progressives want to flood their community with their agenda and their ideas through public schools and public reading rooms, then why can’t wholesome, patriotic families do the same thing?” said Mr. Cameron, who became famous for playing the role of Mike Seaver in the 1985–92 sitcom “Growing Pains.”
On Aug. 5, Mr. Cameron intends to barnstorm three states, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, dropping in on local libraries to conduct in-person readings.
The idea, he said, is to take back the public spaces that have been dominated by left-wing ideology.
Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who has taken on the mantle of fighting to keep transgender athletes out of women’s sports, will join Mr. Cameron on the tour at 8 a.m. at the Hendersonville library in Tennessee.
She will talk “about the importance of protecting the innocence of children, specifically in sports,” according to Brave Books.
Ms. Gaines told The Epoch Times she would read a book by Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack and has recently taken a stand against allowing transgender athletes to compete against women.
This will mark the second time Ms. Gaines has read the book at the Hendersonville library, which almost didn’t happen in February due to the librarian trying to move the reading that attracted a crowd of at least 1,000.
Afterward, the Sumner County Library Board in Tennessee voted to fire its Hendersonville library director after she was accused of mistreating Mr. Cameron and others associated with an event in February at the library, according to local news accounts.
Mr. Cameron said the library welcomed him back this time with open arms, where folks will sing the national anthem, cite the Pledge of Allegiance, and teach faith through storytelling.
Ms. Gaines, a resident of Sumner County, said she was disrupted by library staff while trying to video a promotion ahead of the reading in February at her local library.
She believes it’s vital for children to receive the message of God, morality, and virtue.
“I think it opened the eyes of a lot of people,” Ms. Gains said. “The things they’re pushing and the things they’re actually trying to permit from being pushed.”
Ms. Gaines said the idea that it’s fair for men identifying as women to compete against women is a “war on the truth.”
Mr. Cameron, who now stars mostly in Christian films, made headlines in December when he attempted to schedule story-hour readings of “As You Grow.”
The book celebrates faith, family, and The Bible.
“See You at the Library” was inspired by Mr. Cameron’s crisscrossing the country last winter.
He scheduled readings at public libraries to read Christian children’s books and challenge parents tired of being silenced by social-justice activists, to host a pro-family, Christian or patriotic story hour at their local public libraries.
Like at other book readings, Saturday’s national event is receiving pushback, according to Mr. Cameron and Brave Books.
He said local organizers had alerted him that left-wing activists were planning ways to cancel the events.
“Many of them are saying that they’re receiving threats of interruptions and protests by those who want to shut it down, including drag queens who say that they’re going to set up their own events, right next to these wholesome story events, and put on drag shows or drag performances for the kids,” Mr. Cameron said.
The American Library Association (ALA) came under fire for a virtual presentation to member libraries on June 8, offering suggestions to block Mr. Cameron and others from holding book readings.
The ALA official suggested in the video that libraries could limit accessibility to conservative book readings by adjusting rules for reading rooms, such as limiting the length of use or number of attendees or eliminating use on Sundays.
Another suggestion during the video presentation was limiting reading rooms to only those with a valid library card or scheduling a host of library programs on Aug. 5, “making it unavailable for the public.”
The officials said libraries could “fill the library with rainbows and have other programming in place. You can put posters on the wall that make clear what the library’s missions and commitments to inclusion and diversity are (sic).”
That led three U.S. Senators to demand an investigation into whether taxpayer funds are being used to undermine the First Amendment at libraries.
In a July 28 letter to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, joined by GOP Senate colleagues Mirk Braun and Kevin Cramer, said ALA was “actively discriminating against Brave Books on account of their faith.”
“Further, we demand that all current funds, as well as considerations for all future federal funds, to the ALA, be immediately halted until such an investigation into the ALA’s conduct has concluded.
“The ALA should not be eligible to receive federal funding should an investigation find that the ALA violated the First Amendment rights of Americans,” the letter stated.
The ALA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.
However, Fox News Digital reported ALA gave the news outlet a statement saying: “Libraries that create policies regarding meeting room use, such as the possession of a library card to reserve a meeting room, must apply them to all persons and groups equally to ensure that spaces are equitably reserved for members of the community served by the library.
“The Library Bill of Rights meeting room guidance further elaborates: ‘Libraries do not advocate for or endorse the viewpoints expressed in meetings by meeting room users, just as they do not endorse the viewpoints of works in their collections.'”