Freedom to Read: Kankakee Library, Obama Foundation Join Forces in Social Media Initiative


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KANKAKEE, IL – The Kankakee Public Library is spearheading an engaging social media project focused on promoting the freedom to read. In collaboration with The Obama Foundation and other libraries across the country, they aim to highlight the significance of reading and the vital role libraries play in communities.

The centerpiece of the project is a captivating video featuring the dedicated library staff immersing themselves in the enchanting worlds of beloved books. This creative portrayal showcases how literature has the power to transport us to different realms of imagination and encourages viewers to embrace the magic of reading.

“This project has been a truly collaborative effort with the Foundation as well as the library staff. From initial workshopping of ideas to storyboarding and scene setting, coordinating staff schedules for filming, and the final editing work, so many have contributed their time and talent,” Library officials said in a statement Monday.  “The Kankakee Public Library is proud of this project. Please enjoy the final product by following the Kankakee Public Library on social media!”

Other libraries collaborating in the project include the Harris County Public Library of Houston, Texas, Woodland Public Library in Woodland, California, and Prince George’s County Memorial Library System in the greater Washington DC Metro area.

Former President Barack Obama, in a heartfelt letter Monday, expressed his admiration and gratitude for the hardworking librarians across the nation. He emphasized the significance of the free exchange of ideas, highlighting the First Amendment and the importance of diverse perspectives.

President Obama urged citizens to recognize the value of libraries as spaces that provide access to a wide range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas. He praised librarians as frontline warriors in promoting the freedom to read and encouraged everyone to uphold the tradition of the free exchange of ideas, a cornerstone of American democracy.

“Today, some of the books that shaped my life – and the lives of so many others – are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives,” President Obama wrote Monday. “It’s no coincidence that these “banned books” are often written by or feature people of color, indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community – though there have also been unfortunate instances in which books by conservative authors or books containing “triggering” words or scenes have been targets for removal.”

As we navigate an increasingly digital landscape, let us not forget the magic that lies within the pages of a book. The Kankakee Public Library, in collaboration with The Obama Foundation, is dedicated to fostering a love for reading and inspiring individuals to engage with diverse ideas. Follow their social media channels to embark on a captivating journey through the world of literature and embrace the freedom to read.


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