It was an exceptionally beautiful Saturday in Alabama as I headed toward the Madison-Huntsville County Public Library for Brave Books’ See You at the Library event. As RedState reported late Friday, Madison County Public Relations Director Jay Hixson issued a letter stating it was canceling the event because of security/capacity issues. According to Moms for Liberty Chapter Chair Emily Jones, who organized the event weeks in advance:
They [County of Madison] said we had so many people and there were so many planned protesters, that there was a security concern with being able to keep everybody safe. When the letter came out officially from the library, it changed to capacity issues. So, they’re somewhat related, but the verbiage change from security from conversations to the actual letter.
It was probably not a coincidence that this was one of the three events that actor, author, and Christian activist Kirk Cameron and former competitive swimmer and NCAA champion Riley Gaines chose to pop into as surprise guests. I asked Gaines if she was surprised by Madison County’s move to cancel them.
I was bummed, but I can’t say I was overly surprised, because we’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it before in my experience of speaking out about these cultural issues, and so I will say, I was slightly surprised it was in Alabama.
I’ve been to other states where it wasn’t a shock, and so I can’t say it was a shock, but I was surprised in the fact that this is where the protest kind of occurred. Yeah, but I was super, super excited to see the community kind of rally together.
And rally they did. After a legal demand letter on behalf of Brave Books written by First Liberty Institute, Jones’ appearance on Fox and Friends, and strong community pressure, the County of Madison allowed the event to go forward at the library on Saturday as originally planned. A Huntsville megachurch also offered its facilities in the event the cancellation stood, so Jones made the decision to allow both to go forward, extending the reach of the See You at the Library event even further. Instead of the cap of 225 set by the Madison-Huntsville County Public Library, hundreds more gathered at The Rock Church after they left Madison to sing songs, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, hear Riley Gaines speak, and hear Kirk Cameron read from his Brave Book title, Pride Comes Before The Fall.
Jones informed me that there are larger issues at play with Madison-Huntsville and other Alabama county libraries, which is why this particular Story Hour and one other were targeted by the American Library Association (ALA). When asked if she thought ALA was instrumental in the initial cancellation of the event, Jones replied:
Oh, 100 percent. There, there’s just no way. So, I found out yesterday [Friday] in Prattville [Alabama] they were doing a [See You at the Library] show at the library there as well, okay? They told the host yesterday they wouldn’t be able to have the event at the library because of safety concerns due to the capacity, based on you know, the number of people they expected to come. The same language they used on us. The exact same situation in Prattville.
So yeah, ALA is 100 percent behind this. No doubt in my mind.
Once again, good triumphed over evil, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly were protected, and the fire of virtue, values, and wholesome content for kids burned even brighter thanks to the work of Brave Books and Brave citizens like Jones.
Days before the August 5 See You at the Library events, Kirk Cameron said:
There was an article that came out a month or so ago. I can’t remember the outlet, but essentially it was an alert to librarians across the country saying that this Kirk Cameron, Brave Books youth library event is coming out on August 5th, and it’s going to be one of two things: The author said it’s either going to be a force to be reckoned with or it’s going to be a great big nothing burger. And they’re hoping for the nothing burger, that it was going to be a great, big, fat dud. But just the opposite has happened. Thousands and thousands of families are joining together for See You at the Library and we’re confident that good is going to triumph over evil.
It did, indeed, in 46 states and almost 300 counties across the United States. God Bless America!
Great See You At The Library event this morning in Bossier City, LA! Kids & families loved it. One family traveled over an hour and a half away to be a part. We prayed, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, read some great @BraveBooksUS, crafts & more! #syatl #syatl2023 @KirkCameron pic.twitter.com/BN9CqBHcI5
— brad jurkovich (@bradjurkovich) August 5, 2023
See You at the Library! 📚
— Erin Anderson (@TrueTexasTea) August 5, 2023
The ALA now has egg on its face and is also facing the increased scrutiny of Congress on whether the millions of dollars in taxpayer funding they receive is warranted. There were protests at the See You at the Library events in various places, but nothing that turned violent or was allowed to mitigate the wholesomeness, fun, and joy of these gatherings.
— Keri Smith 🌱Deprogrammed (@RealKeriSmith) August 5, 2023
Alabama.com decided that the protests would be all they were going to fixate on.
The Moms For Liberty event at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library on Saturday morning drew protests, according to social media and news reports.
According to social media and reports? They’re a major outlet, and they were too lazy to send a reporter to drive a few hours to cover it? Brilliant.
The library system announced Thursday that the event would not be held because of space concerns. On Friday, however, the library agreed to accommodate the event with with a limit of 225 attendees.
Actor-writer Kirk Cameron appeared along with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who has spoken out against trans woman Lia Thomas competing in NCAA events.
Amy Minton was also there in Madison, and her pictures, as well as the ones below, pretty much reflect that the participation far outweighed the protests.
Great day with @KirkCameron & Riley Gaines, Jared Hudson, Emily Jones and other @RSRuffian friends at “See you at the Library”!! Thank you @BraveBooksUS , @SenPhilWilliams and all! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/uXNdjNdFFT
— Amy Minton (@mintonfamily123) August 6, 2023
Compare this crowd of 225 adults and children at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library room:
To the handful of concerned citizens with their signs outside of the library.
The beauty of these events is that each one had its own individual flavor. Here are some of the highlights from Madison-Huntsville. Thanks to Brave Books and Kirk Cameron, a fire has been lit, and the community of parents and concerned citizens across the country have stoked the blaze. They are now activated even further to host events centered around virtue, values, and love of country.