Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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Why AAPI Heritage Month?

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the many contributions generations of Asian and Pacific Americans have made to U.S. history, society and culture. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. (Information from Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and Library of Congress).

Scroll to the bottom of the page for downloadable resource lists and resource trackers.

As part of our Read Wider program we have downloadable resource lists and resource trackers.

Downloadable resource lists are full of books, movies, music, and online resources. Each list is carefully curated by our collection librarians to highlight own-voice stories, stories of struggle, and stories of strength.

Resource trackers for kids and teens or adults are a great way to record and highlight your favorite books, movies, music, and online resources for this month. Teens can choose to use the kids and teens or the adult resource tracker. Download a resource tracker at the bottom of the page, complete it, and join us for a discussion at the end of the month on new lessons learned and what actions could be taken in the future. By participating you will have the opportunity to support local businesses through gift card giveaways.

Who is considered AAPI?

Asian American or Pacific Islander is a broad term that encompasses most of the Asian continent and many of the Pacific islands. In the U.S we use these terms are a way to identify people from/descendants of people from Far East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent (including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam) and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). For a full list of countries in Asia visit Nations Online.

Please note that people in Asia generally do not refer to themselves as Asian but identify as the country they are from. In the U.S. the term Asian American encompasses a multitude of Asian identities and cultures. The individual experience of Asian Americans can vary but the violence, racism, and dysphoria is a common experience among those who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. (Information from the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Census Bureau and Nations Online).

Supporting the AAPI community

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, there has been an increase in violence against Asian Americans Pacific Islanders. These awful and tragic events are triggering for community members, specifically our AAPI community members. To learn more about these events, report a hate incident/violence against AAPI community members, or take action, visit Stop AAPI Hate. For our AAPI community members who need extra support, visit Asian Mental Health Collective.

The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) is another excellent resource. The APALA has put together a comprehensive resource document which includes anti-racist resources and links for legal help for AAPI community members. Lastly, we recommend checking out the USC Pacific Asia Museum. On this page, museum educators explain how the model minority myth is damaging to AAPI individuals and others. As always, the first place to start is with education!

Remember some of the best support is local support! Support local AAPI businesses, especially in these hard times.

Recommendations to start with

If you like memoirs, start with...

"the baddest bitch in the room by sophia chang book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "all you can every know by nicole chung book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "vietnamerica graphic novel by gb tran book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "sigh gone by phuc tran book cover and link to book in our online catalog"

If you like from book-to-screen, start with...

"crazy rich asians by kevin kwan book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "the namesake by jhumpa lahiri book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "little fires everywhere by celeste ng book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "the joy luck club by amy tan book cover and link to book in our online catalog"

If you like young adult romance, start with...

"a pho love story by loan le book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "when dimple met rishi by sandhya menon book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "a taste for love by jennifer yen book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "super fake love song by david yoon book cover and link to book in our online catalog"

If you like middle school grade books about family and friendships, start with...

"the year of the book by andrea cheng book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "aminas voice by hena khan book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "the great wall of wendy wu by wendy wan long shang book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "stargazing by jen wang book cover and link to book in our online catalog"

If you like fun and beautiful picture books, start with...

"eyes that kiss in the corners book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "little kunoichi the ninja girl book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "a different pond book cover and link to book in our online catalog"     "umbrella book cover and link to book in our online catalog"

If you want to laugh, start with these movies and TV shows...

"the big sick movie cover and link to movie in online catalog"     "fresh off the boat tv show poster and link to tv show series in online catalog"     "the mindy project tv show poster and link to tv show series in online catalog"     "lucky grandma movie poster and link to movie in online catalog"

If you love to dance, start with our Pitkin County Library Spotify playlist...

"mitski be the cowboy cd cover with link to the aapi heritage month playlist on spotify"

 

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