Parents reclaim libraries with Christian story hour events across state

"The stories we read were simple illustrations of powerful truths," an event organizer told Alpha News.

One of the events was held in Heritage Library in Lakeville on Friday, Aug 4. (Alpha News)

More than a dozen communities across the state participated in Brave Books’ first annual “See You at the Library” event over the weekend, a national movement to “bring traditional Christian and American values back into the public space,” local event organizers told Alpha News.

“When we saw Brave Books was looking for people to host story hours at their local libraries, we thought it would be an awesome way to connect with the community, educate parents how low our literacy rates are, and bring an hour of fun to families right in their local library,” said Britni Granquist with Dakota County Moms for Liberty, which helped organize five story hours across the south metro Friday and Saturday, attracting more than 600 attendees.

One event was held in Heritage Library in Lakeville on Friday, Aug 4. While there were some concerns about protesters, only five individuals showed up, standing under a tent wearing Pride shirts. None of the attendees interacted with the protesters.

“Not only did the kids get into the dancing, singing and reading the book; we saw teenagers, parents and grandparents up dancing, laughing, and having a fun time as well,” Granquist said.

The room was filled to standing room only, with rows of chairs of adults and around 30 kids seated on the floor listening as parent Karin Miller read two Brave Books, “Little Lives Matter” and “Elephants Are Not Birds,” which emphasized a theme of “Be brave to be who you were created to be,” Miller said.

The room was filled to standing room only, with rows of chairs of adults and around 30 kids seated on the floor listening as parent, Karin Miller, read two Brave Books. (Alpha News)

The event ended with the group singing two verses from “God Bless America,” led by an area pastor.

Granquist said this event tied in well with recent discussions her group has been having about literacy rates in Minnesota.

“Our group has been having a lot of conversations about the extremely low literacy rates happening not only in our country, but our county. Dakota County student proficiency rates are about 50% are unable to read at grade level,” Granquist said.

Miller, a parent who also helped organize the event, told Alpha News that it appeared as if the library was not being entirely truthful with the group when they attempted to make reservations for a room to use.

Initially, they were attempting to schedule the event for Saturday, Aug. 5, which Brave Books had named as the day to mark the national movement. However, they were allegedly told that the room was already booked.

Miller told Alpha News that she and others went to the library on Saturday to see if the room was actually reserved. According to Miller, the room was reserved online for a “private event.” Photos provided to Alpha News show the room sitting empty and dark at 11:30 a.m., 1:40 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.

“There was one event of a kids band called Jolly Pops this morning. I asked a library employee if there are any other events happening at the library today, and he said, ‘Unfortunately, no,’” Miller told Alpha News.

The library responded to Alpha News’ request for comment after publication, saying it hosted a large children’s event on Saturday and “reserved the room beyond the event for cleanup.”

“It is challenging to determine how much cleanup time will be needed following an event and in this instance the cleanup went quickly. The room was available for use after the cleanup was complete,” Dakota County Library Director Margaret Stone said. “Any individual or group is welcome to use library meeting spaces with the only requirement [being] following the meeting room policy.”

All told, the event was a positive one, Miller said.

“The stories we read were simple illustrations of powerful truths — that little lives matter, elderly lives matter, and persons with disabilities lives matter. That each person has a special design with special gifts, that that we can all be brave to be who we were created to be,” Miller said. “These are vital messages that the younger generation needs to hear and that older generations need to be reminded of.”

This story was updated Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. with a response from the library. 


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.