Mattapoisett residents protest story hour

Aug 5, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — A children’s story hour at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library prompted concerned citizens and members of the Mattapoisett Democratic Committee to peacefully protest on Saturday, Aug. 5.

The children’s story hour was hosted by the Mattapoisett Republican Town Committee and is part of a national See You at the Library event organized by the public policy organization, Massachusetts Family Institute and the affiliated publishing company Brave Books.

The Massachusetts Family Institute website states that the organization has been a “proactive voice” on a number of issues including strengthening and protecting marriage between a man and a woman, “preserving life from conception to natural death,” protecting religious freedoms and more.

But protester Beverly Baccelli said she was concerned about the organizations views on the LGBTQ community, and specifically the “anti-gay” and “racist” reputation of “As You Grow” author Kirk Cameron.

The Brave Book story read at the event was “As You Grow” by Kirk Cameron which follows an acorn as it grows into a tree.

Baccelli raised concern about the flyer that was originally posted around town because it did not list the Mattapoisett Republican Committee as the organizer. 

“I believe in being up front and honest about things,” she said.

Mattapoisett Library director Jennifer Jones said the library was not the host of the story hour event but “merely a venue.”

According to the Mattapoisett Free Public Library meeting room policy, organizations that use flyers to promote their events must list ‘“Presented by [Group name] ” and “held at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library” the Library must not be listed as a host or sponsor on any flyers or advertising.”’

Story time organizer Micki Kane heard about the national event and thought it would be “a nice wholesome event for kids.”

 She said that the flyer for the story time not listing the Mattapoisett Republican Town Committee as the event organizer was a mistake.

“We had to change the flyers four times,” she said. “It was a learning experience.”