The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) invites the community to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, learn about children’s mental health awareness, and explore the history of the civil rights movement this May. The rich and varied contributions of Asian and Pacific cultures on American culture will be recognized in special programs featuring poet Kirun Kapur (“Women in the Waiting Room”), author Eric Nguyen (“Things We Lost to the Water”), and chef and interior designer Lyna Vuong. Civil rights programs feature Steve Fiffer, co-author of the late civil rights icon C.T. Vivian’s memoir “It’s in the Action,” and Steve Suitts who will discuss the impact of the Brown v. Board ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kirun Kapur on “Women in the Waiting Room”
Tuesday, May 11 at 7 pm | Adults
Poet Kirun Kapur discusses her new collection of poetry, “Women in the Waiting Room,” that explores the twin forces of silence and speech. It sketches a room full of women returning from the far edges of experience to find a voice.
Eric Nguyen on “Things We Lost to the Water”
Monday, May 24 at 7 pm | Adults
Join Eric Nguyen for a reading and discussion on his debut novel ‘Things We Lost to the Water.’ An Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Millions, We Are Bookish, and Nerd Daily Most Anticipated Book of the Year.
Independent Film Series: Soul of a Banquet — The Modern Matriarch of Chinese Cooking
Monday, May 10 at 7 pm | Adults
This documentary film discussion is about the “Soul of a Banquet — The Modern Matriarch of Chinese Cooking” directed by Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”). The documentary profiles Cecilia Chiang, the woman who introduced America to authentic Chinese food. The film features interviews with Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Cecilia Chiang herself. This month’s guest is Cecilia Chien, who has taught courses on pre-modern and modern China, East Asia in film, and the Asian American experience.
Career Chat with Lyna Vuong, Chef and Interior Designer
Wednesday, May 26 at 3 pm | Adults
Discover the professional journey of Lyna Vuong during a career chat with a chef and interior designer with a passion for design, food justice, and advocacy.
Additional Asian Pacific American Heritage Events
Community Conversation: How to Stop Anti-Asian Bias Thursday, April 29 at 4 pm | Adults
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Children’s Reader’s Advisory
Wednesday, May 5 at 7 pm | Ages 5-12
- Cooking Demo: East Asian Noodles
Thursday, May 13 at 7 pm | Teens & Adults
- How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang Book Discussion
Tuesday, May 18 at 7 pm| Adults
- Instagram Live: #StopAsianHate
Wednesday, May 19 at 4 pm | Adults
Discover the many contributions of generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched and contributed to American history, society, and culture by visiting the library’s Asian Pacific American Heritage webpage year round. PGCMLS fervently condemns the recent violence and hatred directed at Asian Pacific Americans. The library stands in solidarity with our Asian Pacific American relatives, neighbors, friends and colleagues.
In reflecting on the struggle for civil rights, Steve Fiffer, co-author of the late C.T. Vivian’s “It’s In The Action,” on May 4 at 7 pm shares Vivian’s activism, his strength, and his commitment to equity. The heart-wrenching and inspiring stories from C.T. Vivian’s lifetime of nonviolent activism come just in time for a new generation of activists, similarly responding to systems of injustice, voter suppression, violence, and oppression.
This May commemorates the 67th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. PGCMLS is hosting Steve Suitts on “Overturning Brown” on May 17 at 7 pm. In “Overturning Brown: The Segregationist Legacy of the Modern School Choice Movement,” Suitts examines the parallels between de facto segregationist practices and the modern school choice movement.
During Mental Health Awareness Month, PGCMLS will shine a spotlight on the ways that all community members can support their own wellness. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is May 2-8 and National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is May 7. On Thursday, May 6 at 4 p.m., the guest on Community Conversation will be Tiffany Thomas, the Program Coordinator for the Maryland Children’s Mental Health Matters Campaign. Additional programs include Up and Out with PGCMLS (May 12 at 4 p.m.), a conversation about LGBTQ+ mental health. On May 20 at 4 p.m., Christine and Clay Gregory will discuss their work with Mettle Works Behavioral Health. Discover more May events related to health and wellness at pgcmls.info.
Washington Nationals announce book club
After the success of last year’s Summer @ Your Library program, the Washington Nationals selected Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) as a preferred library partner for one of their new signature community engagement programs, Josh Bell’s Book Club, which launches on May 23 at 7 pm. This baseball season-long, virtual book club’s tagline is “Books. Betterment. Progress.” Readers and baseball fans are invited to participate in the hour-long webinar discussions with Josh Bell that focus on becoming a better you through reading. The books selected for the club are ones Bell wishes he had read sooner, as they have the potential to inspire personal growth.
Josh Bell and featured guests, such as PGCMLS staff, will guide the discussions and viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions. The book selection for May 23 is the “Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance” by H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl. The book teaches how to master your inner game to take your performance to another level in baseball and in life. Copies of the book are available for borrowing through PGCMLS at pgcmls.info or on the PGCMLS mobile app. DMV residents from outside of Prince George’s County may register for a free virtual card at pgcmls.info to borrow the book through PGCMLS.
“The library is thrilled to be selected along with the Fairfax County Public Library System to showcase this first ever Washington Nationals – Josh Bell’s Book Club,” said CEO Roberta Phillips. “PGCMLS’ growing partnership with the Nationals is a testament to the team’s strong contributions to helping our local community thrive by helping us foster a love of reading.”
Registration details for Josh Bell’s Book Club will be announced in early May at nationals.com/bookclub. Stay tuned for an announcement about the 2021 Summer @ Your Library program.