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April 29, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Silvana Quiroz 

(301) 699-3500 x6158

Silvana.Quiroz@pgcmls.info

Library Commemorates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

This May, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System offers in-person and virtual events to recognize the diversity of the Asian Pacific American diaspora

Largo, Md. – Asian Pacific Americans have contributed to American culture in many ways and the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is pleased to honor and celebrate this legacy with numerous events and educational resources. Families throughout Prince George’s County are able to learn more about the impact of the Asian Pacific American community in local neighborhoods and across the country.

To open the celebration, the Library presents Lei Day and Native Hawaiian History, a virtual event for all ages (May 2, 7 pm). The celebration will also include a virtual tour to embrace hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of “flower viewing,” by cherry blossom viewing in the National Museum of Asian Art’s Japanese collections (May 3, 6:30 pm).

Dr. Julie Park, Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, will approach the myth of the Asian Pacific American community being a minority, opening the conversation about how this myth masks the diversity and changes this community has experienced. Author Patti Kim will visit the Laurel Branch Library to discuss her background as an immigrant growing up in America and sign copies of her books. Her childhood experiences inspired her novels, “I’m OK” and “It’s Girls Like You, Mickey.” Patti Kim is also the vice-chair of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System Foundation and an immigrant from Busan, South Korea.

Featured events:

  • Film Discussion: Finding KUKAN (Virtual)
    Monday, May 9, 7- 8 pm
    Adults
    Filmmaker Robin Lung documents her 7-year journey to uncover the efforts of Li Ling-Ai, the visionary but uncredited producer of KUKAN, an Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.
  • Dr. Julie Park: Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth (Virtual)
    Tuesday, May 10, 6:30- 7:30 pm
    Teens & Adults
    Dr. Julie Park, Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Park speaks on the origins of the model minority myth and how it is perpetuated today.
  • Author Visit: Patti Kim - I’m OK and It’s Girls Like You, Mickey
    Tuesday, May 17, 6 - 7 pm
    Location: Laurel Branch Library Ages 10+
    Critics have called her characters gritty, inimitable, and bursting with personality, and her book an “important novel.” Meet Patti and hear her talk about her stories.
  • Luau at the Library
    Tuesday, May 24, 6 - 7 pm
    Location: Spauldings Branch Library All Ages
    Experience Polynesian culture with a spectacular luau show! Check out Hawaiian Hula, fascinating Maori poi twirling, and exciting Tahitian dance. Presented by Melelana Polynesian Dance.
  • Vishwas Pethe on “Gay Crow: A Memoir”
    Tuesday, May 31, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
    Location: Greenbelt Branch Library Teens & Adults
    Author Vishwas Pethe discusses his memoir. One of the original Grindr developers and the first Indian American to survive an HIV infection, Pethe describes the technique he uses to stay alive in his memoir.

Families will be able to participate in person during our series of events such as Asian Pacific American Heritage Ready 2 Read Storytime, where parents can bring their preschoolers for an outdoor storytime to enjoy books, songs, and more. Library staff will also lead hands-on, fun science experiments using basic scientific principles for those who love science with the STEM-tastic! series.

Other events include a discussion with filmmaker Robin Lung who will examine her journey documenting the work of Li Ling-Ai, who was never credited for his role as a producer on the Academy Award-winning color documentary KUKAN.

All events are free, but may require registration. Please visit pgcmls.info/events for more information. Face masks are required at in-person events for ages 2 and up.

The Prince George County Memorial Library System celebrates Asian Pacific American (APA) heritage in May and throughout the year. The community can learn about APA's contributions to American history, society, and culture by visiting the Library's Asian Pacific American Heritage webpage. The community can access a wide variety of resources related to this celebration on the web page, one of them is Kanopy which offers an extensive range of movies and documentaries. Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development is another essential resource that supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth with educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities

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About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of the 2021 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award for Workforce and Economic Development. Learn more at pgcmls.info/about-us.