Honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage: Books, an in-library display, videos & more

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

The month of May is officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress but also is referred to as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by other organizations.

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Join us for an upcoming event

Quarantine the Past: Allegories of the Self by Joel Javier

Main Library Gallery. Through arts education and his own studio practice, local artist Joel Javier advocates for equity, diversity, and opportunity in the arts. On display through June 11, this body of work are reflections and refractions of his time in quarantine during the first year of the global pandemic.

SamaSama Project: AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

Wednesday, May 25, 7-8:30 pm, Main Library Veterans Room. Hear a performance from this Chicago-area Filipino folk fusion band. SamaSama—translated as “united, together”—truly lives up to their name, creating a blend of Filipino folk, rock, ska, and Latin music, inspired by a 1970s musical movement called Manila Sound. Register now »

Not Quite: Asian Americans & the "Other" in the Era of the Pandemic & the Uprising

Thursday, June 2, 6:30-8 pm, Main Library Veterans Room. Dr. Ada Cheng explores several major themes: the meanings of home(land), racial profiling and the image of the perpetual foreigner, and anti-Asian racism under the pandemic. The performance is 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A. Register now »

Live Performance: Exploring Heritage

Tuesday, June 28, 3-3:30 pm, Main Library Veterans Room. Saxophonist Eric Zheng presents a performance of original arrangements and compositions influenced by Chinese music and his classical training background. Through an exploration of his heritage, he seeks to carve a space for Asian-American artists and promote representation in the western model of music. Register now »

Hidden Memory: An American World War II Story

Wednesday, July 13, 6:30-7:30 pm, Main Library Veterans Room. Join professional storyteller Anne Shimojima, a third-generation Japanese American, as she shares the moving story of her family's journey from Japan and through the concentration camps of World War II. Shimojima's powerful and impactful presentation includes family photos as well as ones from the National Archives. Register now »

Coming soon: Experience a special display in the Idea Box

Representatives from the Asian American community will be creating a new display in the Idea Box in May. More details to come!

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?

Thai Dancers

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 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 Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Malay, 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.

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