AAPI Heritage Month 2023

Hi, it’s DiAndra from ALASC’s blogging team!

May marks the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, an occasion to honor the contributions and achievements of AAPI communities in America. As library and information science students, we have an important role to play in preserving and promoting AAPI heritage. During May, many cultural heritage organizations and libraries highlight AAPI resources, materials, and events. It can be overwhelming with how many resources are out there, but here are a few good places to start: 

  • The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This site highlights AAPI exhibits and collections, teacher resources, and events. 
  • The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA), was founded in 1980 by librarians for Asian Pacific American librarians who serve Asian Pacific American communities. The organization supports a mentor/protégé program, publications, awards, and more.
  • The Toolkit for AAPI Library Programming, created by ALA’s 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders, guides library professionals broadening their programming by providing a more comprehensive representation of various regions of Asian and Pacific Islands. It aims to increase the presence of AAPI representation, beyond the historically represented East Asian community. 


Check out these AAPI x LIS books:

“Asian American Librarians and Library Services: Activism, Collaboration, and Strategies” by Janet Hyunju Clarke

In this book, library professionals and scholars share their reflections, best practices, and strategies, emphasizing the importance of diversity in the LIS yield, library programming, and resources. They highlight the need to represent the diverse experiences and information needs of Asian Americans in the U.S. and beyond more fully. This book is available through the King Library here.

“Pushing the Margins: Women of Color and Intersectionality in LIS” Edited by Rose L. Chou and Annie Pho

Edited by SJSU iSchool alumna Rose L. Chou and current (2023) president of APALA, Annie Pho, this book explores the experiences of women of color in the LIS field. This book is available through the King Library here.


Also, hear from some of our AAPI leaders in the LIS field in this month’s free online symposium organized by SJSU’s iSchool:

“Self-Care, Challenges, Solidarity: Asian American Women Leaders”

May 26, 2023, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Register here.

In this symposium celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, speakers will discuss the obstacles and difficulties that AAPI women library workers encounter, the importance of self-care, and strategies for fostering solidarity within BIPOC communities as a whole.