After a year that saw a disturbing rise in hate crimes directed at the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community, a new collaborative online speaker series is set to celebrate AAPI books, voices, cultures, and experiences. The series, AAPI Communities in Conversation, is a joint effort between the University of South Carolina's Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and Penguin Random House Library Marketing, with additional media support from Publishers Weekly.

The AAPI Communities in Conversation series will highlight notable books by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors and creators, as well as increase the appreciation and understanding of the Asian and Pacific diasporic cultures, stories, and experiences.

The Penguin Random House Library Marketing team is coordinating the series with Nicole A. Cooke, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and associate professor at the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science (and a PW contributor). Program moderators are public and academic librarians of Asian/Pacific descent and include adult and youth specialists, ALA emerging leaders, and active members of the Chinese American Librarians Association and Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.

The series will feature a live talk every month in 2022, and the talks will also be promoted and available for later viewing via PW’s weekly Preview for Librarians newsletter.

“The series will highlight books written for adults, teens, and children across all genres from literary fiction, cookbooks, and graphic novels to mysteries and memoirs,” says Miriam Tuliao, senior library marketing manager at Penguin Random House, adding that the series is designed to help librarians and readers connect with a range of AAPI voices. “Librarians are committed to promoting diverse books in readers' advisory conversations, supporting diverse collection development, and hosting book-centered programs that meet the reading interests of diverse communities."

Register here for the next episode, featuring Gina Apostol, author of Bibliolepsy, in conversation with librarian Jaena Rae Cabrera from the San Francisco Public Library.

Past Episodes

AAPI Communities in Conversation #1: Sujata Massey and Naomi Hirahara

In the inaugural discussion, which streamed live on January 4, 2022, Adrienne Cruz of the Azusa City (California) Library spoke with Naomi Hirahara, author of Clark & Division, and Sujata Massey, author of The Bombay Prince.