NYPL celebrates AAPI Heritage Month with books by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors

April 30, 2021

Collage of adult reading recommendations; Courtesy of the NYPL

To mark Asian American Pacific Islander Month in May, the New York Public Library this week released a recommended reading list featuring books written by AAPI authors. The curated list includes books for adults, young adults, and children that “celebrate and foster a better understanding of the AAPI experience,” according to the library.

While released in time for AAPI Heritage Month, the list comes as the city has seen an increase in harassment and violence against Asian New Yorkers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

“Libraries play so many crucial roles, including bringing communities together and connecting them with the tools, information, and knowledge that they need to understand and respect varying perspectives, and to combat ignorance and hate,” NYPL President Anthony W. Marx said in a press release.

“This has always been critically-important, but sadly, in recent weeks and months, the heinous rise in violence and discrimination against members of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have shown just how vital that role is. We stand with our AAPI communities, and are proud to share reading recommendations that showcase their voices and celebrate and foster a better understanding of their cultures.”

Curated by AAPI staff at NYPL, the three reading lists include a wide range of genres, including picture books, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, and more, according to a press release.

Find the library’s AAPI Heritage list for adults here, young adults here, and children here. Virtual AAPI Heritage Month events and programs will be held throughout May, including virtual storytime and Story Line, which provides storytime programs over the phone and includes weekly bilingual storytimes in both Mandarin and Japanese.

On May 25, the library will close out the events with a program titled “Let’s Talk About Asian Hate,” which will allow attendees to listen to experiences as told by the AAPI community.

After only offering grab-and-go service for the last year because of COVID, the city’s public libraries will open some branches for limited browsing and computer use next month. Starting May 10, patrons will be able to browse in-person for a set period of time and make appointments to use computers at select locations.


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