Former President Obama Rallies Voters In Georgia For Senator Warnock's Re-Election

Barack Obama Uses TikTok To Support Libraries’ Push Back On Book Ban

Former President Barack Obama is standing with libraries nationwide in the fight against book bans.

Staff at the Kankakee Public Library in Illinois have gone viral on TikTok with book recommendations, location upgrades, and more, several times but in a new post on July 17, they took things up a notch with a guest appearance from Obama himself. With the caption, “Reading can transport you to new worlds,” the library staff can be seen reading banned books like Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give and using cool transitions to show different locations within the library. With Burna Boy’s hit single, “Last Last,” playing in the background, the video ends with the 44th president sitting with a good book and cup of tea. 

@kankakeepubliclibrary Reading can transport you to new worlds 📚 #LetFreedomRead #FreedomToRead #SummerReading #KankakeePublicLibrary ♬ original sound – Kankakee Public Library


Obama has partnered with numerous libraries across the country to film TikTok content to increase awareness of library services and promote access to books, the Washington Post reports, and this is the first video of the series.

With over 2,500 book titles banned in 2022 alone, data shows that number doubled in 2023. States like Georgia, Florida, and Texas have been at the forefront of the book ban, with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights investigating a Georgia-based school district that removed eight books from all libraries and media centers deemed inappropriate for containing sexually explicit material. Almost 19 states have legislation that would punish people for providing minors with “harmful,” obscene, or sexually explicit books.

In hopes of spreading the word, Obama posted a lengthy love letter to books on Twitter, saying “librarians are on the front lines” in the fight. “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,” he wrote. He continued to challenge people to read his letter and share his support for libraries that may be struggling.

According to Forbes, Obama also made TikTok videos with the Harris County Library in Texas, with the library’s mascot, Curbside Larry.