Pilipinx American Library: Telling the stories of Filipinos in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO — Books on Filipino and Filipino American poetry, history and other writings that embody the struggle, resistance, joy, and promise of Filipino-American life in the Bay Area are now available at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

The Pilipinx American Library will run until the end of the month.

With the community having been historically critical of Asian Art Museum for lack of Filipino representation — curators say the library is a welcomed addition to the museum.

“The project itself started 2 years ago in Queens, New York,” says PJ Policarpio. “But this project here, this induration at the Asian Art Museum, the conversation started about roughly a year ago, around November.”

Visitors are welcomed to visit and read in the library; however, they cannot check out any of the books.

For Filipino authors — like Barbara Jane Reyes — she hopes the Pilipinx library can serve as an inspiration to young Filipino writers.

“It means everything for them to be able to put the book in their hands and look at an author who is somebody who looks very much like them. When I was 19 and looking for mentors, I turned to books and found a community here.”

In an age of the internet — curators say that an actual library serves as a way for people to actively and physically search for information.

“I’m hoping that by putting it all together and bringing here, in a place like a museum, that it could spark some new encounters and some new ways of reading, and seeing, and experiencing.”

For the entire month of August — the Asian Art Museum, along with members from the Filipino community, will host a series of programs which include readings, workshops, and performances that relate to Filipino literacy and history.

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