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AAPI Heritage Month 2024

About Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) was first started in 1992 by the United States Congress as Public Law 102-450. May was chosen to mark the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. You can learn more about the history of how AAPIHM came to be through the Library of Congress. The broad umbrella of the Asian American Pacific Islander term captures all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.


This May, come to the library to celebrate with us! Enjoy author talks, film screenings and craft workshops as well as great books, films and digital library resources that will help you learn more about the diverse accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


Raya and the Last Dragon movie poster

Pajama Movie Night: Raya and the Last Dragon

Thursday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. | Tenley Friendship Library 

Enjoy a family movie night at the library! Food, pillows, blankets, and PJs are welcome. Showing Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), rated PG. 

Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month scavenger hunt

AAPI Scavenger Hunt

Monday, May 6 - Sunday, May 12, All Day | Shepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Library 

Notable figures from AAPI history are hidden around the Library. Drop in all week long to search for them and win a small prize.

Corky Lee's Asian America book cover

Corky Lee's Asian America: Fifty Years of Photographic Justice 

Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 

Join the Library, the Corky Lee Estate, Loyalty Bookstores, and the 1882 Foundation for a special conversation about the late photographer Corky Lee. An expert panel will discuss Lee's legacy and discuss photographs from this beautiful new book of Lee's work. 

TAAL Academy of Dance

TAAL Academy of Dance

Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 

Taal Academy, based in Washington, DC, specializes in teaching Bollywood and classical Bharatnatyam dance. Founded by Shuchi Buch in 2015, Taal (which means rhythm in Hindi) believes dance transcends boundaries and brings communities together. At this event, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of Bollywood and Bharatnatyam dance. This is a fantastic opportunity for both adults and children to explore music, culture, and rhythm through the art of dance.

Bellevue Library Presents: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Movie Festival

Asian American and Pacific Islander Film Festival

Saturdays, starting May 11 at 3 p.m. | Bellevue/William O. Lockridge Library

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with us through beloved movies featuring AAPI characters Saturdays from May 11th to June 1st. Snacks will be provided as long as supplies last.

Roses in the Mouth of a Lion book cover

Calendars and Clocks Book Club

Monday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Join us in May for the monthly meeting of the Calendars and Clocks Book Club! Our seasonal read for AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month is Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman.

The Donut King Movie Poster

Tuesday Matinee: The Donut King

Tuesday, May 21 at 2 p.m. | Woodridge Library 

An immigrant story with a (glazed) twist, THE DONUT KING follows the journey of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who arrived in California in the 1970s.

Exhibit by R.O. Kwon book cover

Exhibit: An Evening with R.O. Kwon

Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Join the Library, Loyalty Bookstores and The Writer's Center for an author event with R.O. Kwon for her new book Exhibit. In conversation with Lupita Aquino, Kwon will discuss this exhilarating, blazing-hot novel about a woman caught between her desires and her life. 

See all Upcoming AAPI Events

Fiction Books for Adults

Fiction Books for Teens

Stream DC Public Library Events

Stream author talks, panel conversations and maker talks with incredible writers, artists and activists, including local artist Rania Hassan, author Kat Chow, chef Eric Kim and more.

DC Public Library hosts live events all year long! Don't miss an upcoming live stream, subscribe to the DC Public Library Youtube channel.