Honoring Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander heritage

Your public library is here to connect you with books, online resources, and learning experiences that honor Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander history and culture all year long. On this page, you can:

The month of May is officially proclaimed as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by the White House but also is referred to by other organizations as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, AAPI Heritage Month, and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Month.

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Join us for a special celebration

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration

Sunday, May 21, 1-3 pm, Main Library Veterans Room

Join us for an afternoon of celebration, featuring activities for children and intergenerational families, reading and signing of books by APIDA authors, music by local bands, and performances by local groups. Bring a dish or drink to share at the potluck. Register now »

View special displays in the Idea Box & at Dole Branch

In the Main Library Idea Box

Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Month features art, clothing, books, photos, biographies of influential Asian Americans, and more, through May 28 in the Main Library Idea Box.

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Month display in the Idea Box

At Dole Branch Library

Home to the library's Multicultural Collection, Dole Branch features a curated display of artifacts available for checkout each month. In celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Desi heritage, this month's display features:

  • Bulul (also known as tinagtaggu): a carved wooden figure used to guard the rice crop by the Ifugao (and their sub-tribe Kalanguya) peoples of northern Luzon (from the Philippines)
  • The sculptures are highly stylized representations of ancestors and are thought to gain power from the presence of the ancestral spirit (from the Philippines)
  • Harem pants: part of a Thai woman's traditional outfit (from Thailand)
  • Figurines, one of which is a seven-inch terra cotta warrior statue (from China)
  • A woman's traditional sari (from India)
  • A peacock feather fan (from Indiana)

Take your learning further by checking out the books that are part of the display! 

Library shelves full of textiles, paintings, statues, and books celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.

Watch multicultural virtual learning videos

Explore items and cultures with Miss Juanta and friends in this video series.

Ao Dai (Vietnam)

Miss Juanta is happy to introduce her dear friend Huyen Le. Huyen is wearing a silk Ao Dai, the traditional Vietnamese garment now worn on special occasions. Does your culture have special clothes for important days?

Diwali (India)

Miss Juanta has invited community members to speak about Diwali, a beautiful celebration of light. Watch for the different diays—which is your favorite?

Sashiko (Japan)

Miss Juanta has a beautiful piece of sashiko, a form of Japanese embroidery, to show you. Yoko Terretta shows some of the beautiful work she has created after learning the skill from her aunt in Japan, and explains how the stitching is also a metaphor for her American Japanese heritage.

Thai Dancers (Thailand)

Miss Juanta has some special dolls to show you: They represent Thai temple dancers! Then watch a special dance, the Riree Khaosan, performed by children from Wat Dhammaram.

Explore librarian-curated online resources

Get access to subscription-based resources that Google can’t offer, with your Oak Park card and PIN:

For kids

Language learning

  • Mango Languages: Reach conversational proficiency in Hawaiian, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and more.

Newspapers & magazines

  • Global Newsstream: Get full-text access to newspapers, news wires, websites, and blogs from leading publishers in Asia. From the GlobalNewsstream front page, select "International Newsstream" and then "Asian Newsstream." Publications include The Wall Street Journal Asia, China News, and The Bangkok Post.
  • PressReader: Search publications by language or country.