Chicago Public Library announced that the upcoming group of celebrity readers for the popular “Live From the Library” program will celebrate the beginning of Major League Baseball.
“Live From the Library” which features a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, will highlight notable representatives of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations, as well as the Chicago Sports Media, reading stories to children and families daily at 10 a.m. CST.
“Our libraries are more than just buildings to check out books, they’re our community meeting places, early-education and job-training centers, and where our young people are empowered to explore their passions and pursue their dreams,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Today, that mission is more urgent than ever as our residents – particularly our children – seek new ways to grow and learn while staying safe amidst the COVID-19 crisis. ‘Live from the Library’ stands as a wonderful new resource in that effort, and I’m grateful to the librarians and notable Chicagoans for their commitment to promote literacy and open new worlds of imagination and wonder across our city’s neighborhoods.”
Today (7/23), White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and Cubs play-by-play announcer Len Kasper kicked it off  in celebration of MLB Opening Day. Tomorrow, July 24, Chicago Public Library will features stories by Chicago Cub Albert Almora, joined by his wife Krystal, and former Chicago White Sox outfielder and current radio announcer Darrin Jackson  will join the campaign in celebration of Opening Day for both the Cubs and Sox. Saturday, July 25, ABC 7 Chicago sports anchor and reporter Dionne Miller and 670 The Score’s Danny Parkins will be the latest Chicago notables to read books to children digitally through CPL’s “Live From the Library” program.
“Live From the Library” was launched with a story by CPL Commissioner Andrea Telli on April 20 and readings have continued every weekday at 10am CST on CPL’s Facebook page  and Instagram page . Each day, CPL enlists a combination librarians from the institution’s 81 branches, authors, and notable public figures with Chicago connections, to bring communities together through the love of storytelling.
The Library has been fortunate to highlight videos from a great list of notable participants to this point, including Duke University Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski , Barack & Michelle Obama, Jeff Tweedy, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Lynch, Common, John C. Reilly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Bonnie Hunt, Keke Palmer, Michael Shannon, Senators Tammy Duckworth & Dick Durbin, Cardinal Blase Cupich of The Archdiocese of Chicago, Suze Orman, former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije, Chicago Blackhawk Zack Smith, Loyola University’s stars of the Final Four Sister Jean and Coach Porter Moser, Allie Quigley & Courtney Vandersloot from the Chicago Sky, Henry Winkler, Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, and several others.
The program has also tapped into many of Chicago’s cultural institutions throughout, such as The Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Lookingglass Theatre, as well as the city’s professional sports franchises. Several cast members from NBC’s trio of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, as well as other current and former films and television shows based in Chicago, continue to participate as well.
People can still view previously released videos HERE.
As this initiative continues through the summer, CPL is excited to feature several more notable readers, including Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child, Rhymefest, Michael Peña, Tamron Hall, Jennifer Beals, Chicago Bull Lauri Markkanen, former Chicago Cub Kerry Wood, former Chicago White Sox Ron Kittle, Diamond DeShields & Ruthy Heard from the Chicago Sky, Chicago-area native Candace Parker, fitness trainer Jen Widerstrom from “The Biggest Loser” and some notable surprises along the way.
CPL launched “Live From the Library” in response to the COVID-19 epidemic that closed all libraries for the first time in over 150 years. While the branches have since reopened, it will be a while before libraries are able to provide large, in-person programs. Chicago Public Library will continue to provide “Live From the Library” and other digital programming throughout the summer, in order to provide equal access to information, ideas and knowledge to children in Chicago through its virtual reading programs, learning courses, e-books and other online resources.
“As a librarian, I can tell you that nothing can replace a child’s happiness and the invaluable lessons learned when adults read books with them,” said CPL Commissioner Andrea Telli. “We know that reading books with children is the best way to encourage a lifelong love of books and Live From the Library demonstrates a crucial step towards ensuring that the library remains accessible for all even when the building access is limited.”
Starting Friday, July 17, Chicago Public Library added a new component to Live From the Library, featuring prominent middle-grade authors, reading a chapter from their books and offer writing tips and prompts to school age children once a week through #FirstChapterFriday. This program kick off on July 17 with author and actor Henry Winkler and follows tomorrow (July 24) with local author Jasmine Warga! Teens are also now able to explore themes in Young Adult Literature with significant YA Authors through weekly “Speak On It” moderated discussions on Wednesday afternoons.