Books for adults, teens, and children are included in the recommendations, chosen by AAPI library staff, to celebrate and foster a better understanding of the AAPI experience

The Library also mark AAPI Heritage Month in May with virtual storytimes and other programs featuring Asian American and Pacific Islander voices

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, The New York Public Library today released its Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Reading List, featuring book recommendations for adults, young adults, and children. The list—curated by library staff members—includes titles written by AAPI authors, and that celebrate and foster a better understanding of the AAPI experience. 

The list is part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to fight ignorance, and hate by connecting the public to trusted knowledge and information—always important, but taking on special meaning this year, with a recent rise of violence against members of the AAPI community. 

“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,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx. “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.”

In addition to the list, the Library will host a series of virtual events and programs throughout May to help foster awareness of the varied cultures and experiences of AAPI people.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Reading List includes three separate lists of books for adults, teens, and children and features a wide range of genres, including picture books, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, and more. Curated by AAPI staff and colleagues at the Library, the list highlights celebrated authors such as Ruth Ozeki, winner of both the Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Caldecott Medal winner Grace Lin, and Newbery winner Tae Keller. 

Virtual events and programs will be held throughout May and will feature guest speakers, such as choreographers Rohan Bhargava, Jessica Chen, Brinda Guha, and Edwaard Liang in conversation on May 3 with Phil Chan, author of Final Bow for Yellowface: Dancing Between Intention & Impact, choreographer Sachiyo Ito hosting David Vaughan’s The Dance Historian on May 26, and book talks with 

authors Robin HaTraci Chee and Jennifer Chow. The Library’s popular virtual storytime programs will also highlight works from AAPI authors and its recently launched Story Line, which provides storytime programs over the phone, will include weekly bilingual storytimes in both Mandarin and Japanese. (Patrons can call 917-ASK-NYPL / 917-275-6975 and select option 6# to hear a story). The events will culminate in an online conversation on May 25, Let’s Talk About Asian Hate. During the program, attendees will hear some of the lived experiences in the AAPI community and have the opportunity to listen, reflect, learn, and engage in a meaningful way with others. 

The list can be found at Patrons can use the hashtag #aapiheritage to share and discuss the list on social media.

Patrons can check out books from the reading list at one of the Library’s grab-and-go locations. With over 50 locations providing borrowing services, patrons can place holds on materials and pick them up at a nearby open location quickly and safely. Patrons can also borrow books for free in a digital format via The New York Public Library’s e-collections, using its e-reader SimplyE (for iOS and Android).  New Yorkers who don’t have a library card can apply and receive one through the SimplyE app. 

About The New York Public Library

For 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

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