#111: Barack Obama’s Support for the Kankakee Public Library

On this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, Jake welcomes Mary Bass, Celia Carr, and Corin Rose to discuss the collaboration between the Kankakee Public Library and the Obama Foundation to create a TikTok. The trio, each of whom were instrumental to the creating the TikTok, unveil the creative process, logistical challenges, and the thematic focus of the TikTok project.

The conversation covers the project’s origins, which first began when The Obama Foundation reached out to the library, how the TikTok evolved throughout stages of development, and the origins of the library’s presence on TikTok in general. They delve into the creation of a camera-drop effect, which was used to reveal scenes that each depicted the themes of individual books that have faced bans across the country.

They then go on to describe the involvement of President Obama, particularly the care that went into the dispatch of a KPL branded mug, used to illustrate that the footage of Obama was created specifically for the TikTok. The team underlines the collaborative effort behind the TikTok and its role in connecting with younger audiences and expanding outreach.

Throughout the episode, the spotlight remains on libraries as cornerstones of communities. The Obama TikTok serves as a prime example, encapsulating the library’s mission to enrich the community through engagement and promote its valuable resources.

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About Our Guests

For over 100 years, the Kankakee Public Library has served the City of Kankakee. Opening in 1896 in the Arcade Building, three years later the library moved to the corner of Indiana Ave. and Station Street, where it served the community for over 100 years. In 2004, the library moved again, this time to the corner of Schuyler and Court Street, tripling its size. This collaboration enabled remarkable growth, offering expanded services, more computers, and ample parking. In this new home, the Library flourished, becoming a catalyst for downtown revitalization. The iconic iron Lions, guarding the entrance since 1930, moved to the new facility in 2004 after restoration, symbolizing the enduring spirit of learning.

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