Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Celebrate with your library with online events, in-person programs, and recommended books and films from the Library’s Asian Pacific Heritage Team.

Book and film lists

Dial-a-Story for Adults

Dial 612-543-8851 and listen to "The Icebox Stay Coming" by Jeffrey Higa, available May 10-16.

Film Screenings

Join us for a double feature of two documentary films that celebrate transgender identity in Pacific Islander communities. Screenings are occurring at Edina Library (May 6), Hopkins Library (May 21), and Hosmer Library (May 25).

  • Kumu Hina shows the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of a Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader.
  • Leitis in Waiting tells the story of Joleen Mataele and the Tonga leitis, a group of transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joleen as she organizes a beauty pageant, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that would criminalize the leitis' lives.

Each film runs approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Come watch one or both films; then join us on June 1 for a virtual discussion with the subjects of the films, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Joleen Mataele.

The films will also be available to stream on-demand from May 27-June 30. Watch Kumu Hina. Watch Leitis in Waiting