Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Public libraries and protests

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Photo: HBO

Entering the May 5 edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, it felt clear ahead of time what one subject would be: Campus protests. It, coupled with the trial of a former President, were the two biggest stories in the news of the past week. It would honestly be shocking in the event that the protests were not a focus of the first part of the night.

Rest assured, that happened here. Oliver took on Eric Adams, the police, and various conspiracies that were out there about who were behind some of the protests. We get the feeling that the writers’ goal for the lead-off segment was to take an angle on the protests that you were not seeing elsewhere, including disproving a lot of the comments made out there by various parts of the media. There was comedy there, but also a recognition that not everything is a part of some elaborate scheme by people in power.

Despite everything that Oliver had to say about campus protests at the start of the show, it only covered ten minutes of the actual episode. The rest was reserved for another subject altogether: Books. Or, to be more specific, public libraries. We know them for the purpose of borrowing reading material, but are there actually a lot of other things that you can find here? Apparently so, including tools, a model of a crane, and a lot of other things you would never expect at such a location.

This wasn’t the main focus of the segment, though. Instead, it was about how libraries have been thrown into a lot of various arguments and regulations all over the country for what they provide. This was a thorough takedown of a lot of the claims made against libraries, but also a way to show their value.

Was this one of the more by-the-book segments that Oliver has done on the show over the years? Sure, but it was still appreciated — and also an opportunity to say thanks in some ways to what librarians have done over the years.

What did you think about the May 5 edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver?

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