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Fox News
Fox News
4 Aug 2023


Kirk Cameron’s message of returning faith and family to the public forum arrived Saturday at a small library in Brooklyn, New York, in a largely Chinese neighborhood — despite the threat by an official to disrupt the event.

"There is a strong movement out there to indoctrinate our kids from drag-queen story hours to everything you see on TV," Lily Laureano, a Brooklyn mother of two, told Fox News Digital, before reading from Cameron’s inspirational children's tale "As You Grow."

The story-hour organizer was joined by about two dozen children and parents, almost all of them Chinese-American, at the McKinley Park Branch of Brooklyn Public Library. 

POLICE IN ALABAMA STOP NOISY PROTESTORS FROM DISRUPTING KIRK CAMERON LIBRARY EVENT

"We’re losing our family values," the mom added. "They’re being undermined by society that’s being encouraged to believe that anything goes."

The family reading hour was nearly disrupted minutes before it began by a library officer, who said the reading-room capacity was limited to 27 people. 

There were 28 people in the room. 

Brooklyn parents Lily and David Laureano

Brooklyn mom and dad Lily and David Laureano kick off a family-friendly library story hour with prayer on Saturday, August 5, 2023. The parents of two children hosted the event at the McKinley Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, part of a nationwide effort at more than 300 libraries around the country Saturday inspired by actor-author Kirk Cameron and his publisher, Brave Books. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The occupancy sign in the room posted by the New York Department of Buildings listed the limit at 35 people.

"You’re just looking for ways to impede the event," Laureano’s husband, David, told the officer, who walked away and did not return. 

"We’re losing our family values. They’re being undermined by society encouraged to believe that anything goes." — Lily Laureano

The Laureanos were among hundreds of parents around the nation Saturday who hosted family-friendly reading hours as part of the "See You at the Library" movement, inspired by actor-author and family-values warrior Cameron and his publisher Brave Books.

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The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library System in Huntsville, Alabama threatened to cancel a Saturday reading hosted by Cameron himself, citing logistics and security concerns. 

Lily Laureano

Lily Laureano hosted a family-friendly library book reading in Brooklyn, New York as part of the nationwide "See You at the Library" event inspired by actor-author Kirk Cameron. A library officer threatened to disrupt the event, citing a capacity of 27 people in the reading space — while a sign listed capacity at 35 people. Twenty-eight people were in the reading room. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The Alabama library reversed its decision on Friday, after facing public and potential legal backlash. 

Cameron has been denied spots to speak at public libraries around the nation and threatened with denial by others.

KIRK CAMERON-INSPIRED LIBRARY EVENT ON AUG. 5 IS ‘AWESOME WAY TO BE BOLD,’ SAYS LOUISIANA PASTOR

The Brooklyn event eventually went off without a hitch. 

"The library welcomes people from all walks of life and all perspectives," Brooklyn Public Library spokesperson Fritzi Bodenheimer told Fox News Digital afterward.

McKinley Park Branch library, Brooklyn

The McKinley Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library was one of more than 300 libraries around the country to host family-friendly story hours on Saturday, August 5, 2023. The "See You at the Library" series was inspired by actor Kirk Cameron, author of the inspirational children's book, "As You Grow," and his publisher, Brave Books. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

"This is part of a nationwide movement started by Kirk Cameron and Brave Books rooted in Christian and American values," Lily Laureano said, before sharing a prayer, song, dance and then reading "As You Grow" cover to cover. 

One parent was perplexed after hearing the book cover to cover for the first time.

"The library welcomes people from all walks of life and all perspectives." — Fritzi Bodenheimer, Brooklyn Public Library

"It seems fairly straightforward and not controversial in any way," said a Manhattan father of three girls, who declined to give his name.

"It talks about growing up and not losing faith when you’re sorrowful and looking for better days ahead. I’m curious as to why these story hours haven caused so much controversy and so many headlines for what seems pretty basic. It was even less controversial than I imagined."

Lily Laureano

Lily Laureano, a Brooklyn mother of two, hosted a family-friendly library story hour on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at the McKinley Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. It was part of a nationwide effort at more than 300 libraries around the country Saturday inspired by actor-author Kirk Cameron and his publisher, Brave Books. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

"What's going on in the world right now is very dark," responded Laureano, who hosted the story hour wearing a black T-shirt that with the words "Chosen" and "1 Peter 2:9" written in white. 

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light," reads the biblical passage referenced on her T-shirt.

"I’m curious as to why these story hours have caused so much controversy and so many headlines … It was even less controversial than I imagined." — New York City father

She said she was inspired to become more involved in her community, and grew deeper in her Christian conviction, after one of her children was exposed to drag-queen events at a "progressive" school. 

She felt the sexual messaging was inappropriate for children and marked an incursion by educators and public officials into parental territory.

Brooklyn library reading

Kirk Cameron's message of faith and family inspired hundreds of public-library story hours around the nation, including one hosted in Brooklyn by mother of two Lily Laureano on Saturday, August 5, 2023.  (Brave Books/Fox News Digital)

"For me, it’s my responsibility as a parent to bring up my kids knowing basic family values. It’s not the government’s business at all to raise are children. And with the way things are going, it’s basically a fight at this point."

"I want to thank you," a former librarian named Jean told Laureano at the end of the event.

"This is the only library in New York City hosting one of these readings."

Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.