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The broad term of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) is intended to capture the Asian continent and Southeast Asian islands, as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The month of May was selected in commemoration of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the US and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, completed by a majority Chinese immigrant demographic.

The term “Asian American” was developed by activists during the 1960s to create solidarity and foster political power. While the use of “AAPI” aims to unify, we acknowledge that many people within these communities believe this term erases cultures and fails to recognize health and economic disparities. There are many shared experiences, but also great differences within these communities. This year, the Library honors AAPI Heritage Month with celebrations, children’s crafts, and more.




Children sitting down with open books


Asian American Joy
Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 12:00 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. | North University Community Library

Following anti-Asian racism experienced during the pandemic, our communities move towards healing and celebrating the joy of Asian American identities and cultures. Join us for a celebration of Asian American heritage at the North University Community Library.  Carpooling is encouraged.

Event Schedule
12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Bilingual Filipino Storytime by Dr. Joy Francisco, Ph.D.
1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. | K-pop Dance Workshop by KOTX 
2:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. | Performance by Chinese Dance Association at UCSD
2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. | Performance by Onkur Bangla Language Academy
3:00 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. | Performance by Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center

AAPI Cultural Festival
Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Ocean Beach Library

Celebrate the unique culture and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) at the library on Saturday, May 20 from 2pm-5pm. This celebratory festival will include crafts, special story times, dance and music performances, educational activities, and a whole lot more!

Event Schedule
2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | SD Hula Academy
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Korean Pungmul Music  
3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Sunset Cliffs Aikido
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Kamishibai Storytime and Ikebana Flower Arrangements
4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Genbu Daiko of San Diego Drummers

Flapping Sarimanok Puppet Craft


Flapping Sarimanok Puppet Craft
Experience the wonders of Sarimanok: the legendary Filipino bird of good fortune. Culture and Art collide in the fun and educational workshop. Participants will learn all about the Sarimanok fable, and then create their very own extraordinary puppet with actual flapping wings. Recommended for ages 8+. Registration required.


Story Times & Crafts


General Interest

Koi fish next to plant

Qi Gong: Recharging Body & Mind
Wednesdays | 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. | La Jolla Library

Picture This! Everything Everywhere All at Once
Monday, May 1, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. | Neil Morgan Auditorium, Central Library

Perspective Film Series: An Elegy to Forgetting
Tuesday, May 2, 2023 | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Neil Morgan Auditorium, Central Library

 On May 2nd, in commemoration of the AAPI Heritage Month, join us for the film screening of Kristoffer Brugada's An Elegy to Forgetting, a poignant documentation on his own father's heartbreaking journey with Alzheimer's disease.

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion, "The Many Dimensions of Caregiving and Alzheimer's Disease" with guest panelists from community organizations. This event is presented by San Diego Filipino Cinema and AARP.

Teen Tuesday: All About Anime
Tuesdays, May 9th & May 23, 2023 | 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | City Heights Library

Ikebana: Japanese Art of Flower Arranging
Saturdays, May 13, 20, & 27th, 2023 | Advanced Class 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. & Intermediate & Beginner Class 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. | La Jolla Library

Free to observe. Participation: $25 per class to cover the cost of materials and $45 for two classes and $60 for three consecutive classes. Contact Jackie Zhang directly at (858) 337-5671 or to sign up.  Registration for the class is required at least three days in advance.

Picture This! Turning Red
Monday, May 15, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. | Neil Morgan Auditorium, Central Library

Beginner Chinese Knotting
Thursday, May 18, 2023  | 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Carmel Valley Library


Events Around the City