Books for Asian American Pacific Islander Month

Japanese Wave Pattern
Shisma, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Originally designated as a week by President Carter in 1978 and observed the following year, President George H. W. Bush designated it as a month in 1992.

The Ursula C. Schwerin Library has a book display to celebrate the month long observance. You can view the display in the coming weeks which features a variety of books from the library’s collection, including non-fiction, fiction, cookbooks, and more. Until then, the City Tech community may view the available books through this digital collection, which was curated by Prof. Junior Tidal and implemented by Jen Hoyer.

Additionally, the library has a streaming video collection that celebrates AAPI month, and the City Tech AAPI Faculty and Staff Association are hosting a number of events , including a film screening, a bystander intervention training to combat anti-Asian violence, and an art exhibit, to mark the occasion.

Streaming Films for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is AAPI month. City Tech students, staff, and faculty can celebrate with these streaming film selections:

Blue Bayou
As a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou works hard to make a life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.

Blue Bayou trailer


Alfred “Boogie” Chin is a talented high school basketball player from Queens, New York, who dreams of playing in the NBA. His parents, however, have a different plan for him: they want him to focus on getting a scholarship to an elite college instead. While already burdened with high expectations, he finds himself struggling more as he tries to navigate high school, a new girlfriend, and fierce on-court rivals.

Boogie trailer

Crazy Rich Asians

“Crazy Rich Asians” follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Grappling with the onset of middle age, a Chinese immigrant discovers that she can traverse across time and space. Teaming up with her alternate lives, the unlikely allies realize that they alone possess the power to protect the world from calamity, plunging them into the midst of an outlandish quest.

Everything Everywhere All At Once Trailer

Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March

Following the aftermath of the March 2021 mass shootings at three spas in Atlanta, this film chronicles how the Asian American community came together to fight back against hate. Offering a conversation about race, class and gender, the film takes a deep dive into this critical moment of racial reckoning, exploring the struggles, triumphs and achievements of AAPI communities.

Good Americans

This series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, and cultural innovation. It is a timely look at the role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation. During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority, and suspected as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office.

Need a laptop? Check one out in the library!

Coding Javascript by Christaan Colen is licensed under CC-BY SA.

The library offers laptop loans to all enrolled City Tech students! Stop by the library’s Multimedia Resource Center. It is located on the 4th floor, to the left of the library’s entrance.

Laptops can be borrowed for 1 week from the library. You can check one out with your City Tech ID.

For questions or concerns, contact Prof. Junior Tidal, Web Services & Multimedia Librarian.

Wakanda Forever! Tár! New Films in Swank for Spring 2023

There are numerous new films for the spring 2023 semester through the library’s electronic resource, Swank, including recent theatrical releases, Oscar nominees (like Everywhere, Everything, All At Once), and timely documentaries. City Tech students and faculty can access Swank on or off-campus using your CUNYfirst credentials.

Below are some highlights. For more information about these films, Swank, or other streaming films available to the City Tech community, reach out to Prof. Junior Tidal.

Continue reading “Wakanda Forever! Tár! New Films in Swank for Spring 2023”

Winter Holiday Cookbooks #2: Christmas

Picture of festive holiday drinks
Happy Holidays!

Many New Yorkers from different cultural backgrounds will soon celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas with big, multi-course feasts. One of the most elaborate is The Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration. It may include seven or more specific fish dishes, such as whiting in lemon, clams in spaghetti, or baccalĂ  (dried, salted cod). If you ever want to try to create your own feast, there are several pesci recipes in Canal House Cooking: Pronto! for you to try.

Filipinos celebrate Christmas from December 16 until the first Sunday of January and the Feast of the Three Kings. After Christmas Eve midnight mass, preparation begins for Noche Buena, when family, friends, and neighbors drop by for an open house celebration. Food is often served in buffet style. Among the typical foods prepared are lechon (roasted pig), queso de bola, ham, spaghetti, and fruit salad. Filipino Family Cookbook : A Treasury of Heirloom Recipes and Heartfelt Stories is a great resource if you’d like to learn more.

For many Latinos in the United States, the holiday season is synonymous with tamales. Mexican Americans often opt for corn-husk-wrapped tamales, while those from Central America typically wrap theirs in banana leaves. And while most Mexican and Central American tamales contain corn-based masa, Puerto Rican pasteles don’t use any, instead using a combination of ground yautía (yuca) and green plátanos (plantains). Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization is filled with family recipes and stories. It also celebrates tamaladas, large family gatherings to prepare the Christmas tamales.

There are many special desserts traditionally made at Christmas, such as German Stollen, Spanish Turrón, French Bûche de Noël, and Italian Panettone and Struffoli. The United States is best known for its varied Christmas cookies that reflect America’s immigrant heritages. City Tech Professor Michael Krondl is a culinary historian and the author of Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. You can listen to his interview on The Takeaway about the history of Christmas cookies. For your own holiday cookie baking, take a look at The Great Minnesota Cookie Book : Award-Winning Recipes from the Star Tribune’s Holiday Cookie Contest.

This post is an excerpt from this blog originally published in December 2021. It was co-authored by Monica Berger.

Winter Holiday Cookbooks #1: Hannukah

Traditionally, holidays are times when families, friends, and communities come together, with food playing an essential role in celebrations. In New York City, people from many different cultures celebrate the winter holidays with unique foods. This first of three posts covering Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, will help a “give a taste” of the diverse dishes being served this season. Here are just a few holiday highlights, as well as a selection of e-cookbooks available through the library.

The post below is an excerpt from this blog originally published in December 2021.

Potato Latkes on a white dish with a side of stewed apples or compote
Mark Mitchell, Potato Latkes, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


Hannukah 2022 starts at sunset on December 18. Hannukah is an eight-day festival of lights commemorating the miracle when—after the Second Temple was desecrated then rededicated—one day’s worth of sacred oil for the altar’s eternal lamp lasted eight days. The eight-night celebration of Hanukkah is therefore supposed to include fried foods at the festive meal that is preceded by lighting the menorah, a eight- or nine-branched candelabrum. In Central and Eastern Europe, latkes (potato pancakes) were fried in schmaltz (poultry fat) because potatoes were plentiful while December was the season for slaughtering goose and ducks. Today, many people choose to make their latkes with vegetable oil.

Other Hanukkah foods reflect the ethnic diversity of Judaism. For example, Sephardic Jews (Mediterranean Jews) prepare elaborate vegetarian dishes with cheese while many Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews eat roasted brisket as a main dish.

Jelly donuts, or sufganiyot, another food deep-fried in oil, are a Hanukkah tradition from Israel popular with Americans. Jalebi, a treat enjoyed by Iraqi Jews, is basically a funnel cake, made out of a flour-based dough then deep fried and soaked in a sugar syrup. One exception to fried desserts is rugelach, an Eastern European pastry, which are crescent-shaped dough cookies filled with fruit preserves, poppy seeds, or chocolate and nuts. Hanukkah Sweets and Treats is a kid-friendly introduction to making these and more. The Kosher Baker is an excellent resource for dairy-free desserts.

Happy Winter Holidays!

This post was co-authored by Rachel Jones.

Staff Recommended Picks from the Media Collection – Matthew

College Assistant Matthew recommends the following films from the library’s media collection. City Tech students and faculty can check them out for 1 week, or can watch them in the media lab.

A Streetcart Named Desire – NYAV DVD 3019

Inception – NYAV DVD 2944

The Hunger Games – NYAV DVD 2939

Spirited Away – NYAV DVD 3018

Wonder – NYAV DVD 3044

Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Month with these streaming films

May is Asian Pacific Islander American (AAPI) Month and the library has a number of streaming films that you can watch with your City Tech credentials. These are just a select few films that are available. In addition to these, the library also has a number of physical media that members of the City Tech community may borrow from the library’s media collection.

The City Tech community is also celebrating the release of the next issue of the City Tech Writer, which focuses on the experiences of Asian-American faculty and students’ experiences during the pandemic. Check out our recent podcast episode with Prof. Kwong, who is editing this year’s digital issue.

Another resource to check out is the American Pacific American Heritage site, a joint collaboration between the Library of Congress and National Archives and Records Administration.


Call Her Ganda

This documentary explores the murder of Jennifer Laude, a Filipino transwoman by a U.S. marine in the Philippines. It takes a hard look of the role of US imperialism.

Chinese Exclusion Act

This PBS produced documentary looks at the history of the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act, which made it illegal for Chinese nationals to enter the United States in the late 1800s.

Resistance at Tule Lake

This documentary looks at Japanese internment camps during World War II, where Japanese immigrant and Japanese-American were imprisoned, and where one incarcerated group who protested and resisted. A must watch for a little known and forgotten event in American history.


Asian Americans

Produced by PBS, this 5 part documentary series examines the rich history of Asian Americans. Produced in 2020, the series won a Peabody Award in 2021.


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

This documentary focuses on exiled Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. Wewei was critical of the Chinese government over the death of several students in a 2008 earthquake.

Crazy Rich Asians

This romantic comedy stars Constance Wu, Awkwafina, Ken, Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, and many others. Based on a book of the same name by Kevin Kwan, the film focuses on a New York professor meeting her boyfriend’s family in Singapore.

Eat Drink Man Woman

Eat Drink Man Woman is a dramedy directed by Ang Lee. It focuses on a Taiwanese family and the difficult transition from tradition to modernity.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This documentary focuses on Sukibayashi Jiro, a renown sushi chef known for his Michelin star restaurant set in a Tokyo subway station. It was placed on the 2014 American Libraries Association Notable Films for Adults list, described as “An aging sushi chef demonstrates that mastery comes from lifelong dedication to improving one’s craft.”

For other media resources, questions, or concerns, contact Prof. Junior Tidal

Streaming Video now available in Swank

The library is now able to provide access to streaming video through Swank Digital Campus. Swank partners with major Hollywood studios, documentary providers, independent filmmakers and international film companies to provide a diverse library of films and TV shows. You can explore what’s available for CityTech by visiting

We’ve selected a list of films to license through Swank based on what’s not available in our onsite Media Library, or through other video databases like Criterion or AVON. Looking for something that you don’t see? Let us know.

Below are some of the films accessible via Swank.

Clueless (1995)

COVID Diaries NYC (2021)

Us (2019)

More Black Foodways: Cookbooks and Memoirs

As a bookend to the library’s post on our Black foodways book collection, and this February’s African American Studies Department event on food justice with Tanya Denise Fields, we would like to highlight our books with a culinary focus. These books celebrate Black cuisines and chefs, explore the history and sociology of traditional dishes, and provide contemporary interpretations of classic recipes. Some of these books were purchased to support Emilie Boone’s interdisciplinary course, The Visual Culture & Art of African Diaspora Foodways.

As subject liaison for Hospitality Management, I keep an eye out for new books about and by Black chefs or related to Black food studies. Here’s a selection of some of our books in our collection (these are hard copy books, not ebooks). We look forward to preparing a future book display on this theme.