Chicago Public Library and FCB join forces to launch live storytime

The Obamas and Oprah are among those reading children's books across the library's social channels.

You don’t have to be a toddler to enjoy the dulcet tones of Mr and Mrs Obama reading a children’s book. 

Chicago Public Library (CPL), one of the largest libraries in the U.S. with more than 385 professional librarians, is playing host to daily storytimes streamed live at 10am CST across its Facebook and Instagram pages.

The institution teamed up with FCB, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the CPL Foundation to launch "Live from the Library" from Chicagoans for children everywhere.   

The former president said: "Public libraries are essential institutions, and that’s why we’re bringing a new branch of the Chicago Public Library to the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side. When it opens, it will give families one more chance to explore their interests, learn and engage with their communities. And we’re excited for you to visit one day!"

Mrs Obama added: "I remember my first trip to the library and how important I felt. It was around age four. My library card was a key that unlocked a world of knowledge and experiences."

This week, the program will feature many of Chicago’s most beloved public figures, including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who are scheduled to read The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds today. 

Their appearance is followed by Oprah Winfrey on Monday May 18. The program also taps into many of Chicago’s cultural institutions like The Second City and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, as well as some of the city’s sports franchises like the Cubs and the Blackhawks.

"Growing up in Colombia, I had limited access to libraries," said Andrés Ordóñez, CPLF board member and chief creative officer of FCB Chicago. "That experience gave me an appreciation for how precious libraries are. In addition to having two children now, this is the reason it was important that I joined the Chicago Public Library Foundation Board. I want to give back and I’m proud to bring together a team to create a virtual program that serves children around the world."

Mayor Lightfoot added: "Live from the Library represents a critical resource for children and families in our communities, and I’m grateful to the librarians and notable Chicagoans for promoting literacy and putting smiles on our children’s faces."

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