Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library

“More than a library, the Asian Branch can be thought of as the "living room" of Chinatown, a local gathering space where hundreds of seniors, youth, and families congregate each day to read their ethnic newspaper, participate in culturally relevant story-time, do homework together, learn about job opportunities/training, use the computer/internet, and build community. Through these captured stories, we hope to present not only the library's traditional functions, but as a place of vital cultural and social exchange that is critical to a diverse immigrant community” – Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project

The Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library is located in Chinatown. The library was founded in 1975. According to the Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project, the Asian Branch is the busiest branch of the Oakland Public Library system. It houses 8 Asian language collections Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, Tagalog, and Thai. It also has a collection in English focusing on Asia, Asian heritage, cultural, and history, as well as an Asian American Experience collection, and Asian Immigrant history. The Asian Branch of the Oakland Public library is a perfect example of how a community archive can bring people together throw the sharing of knowledge. It offers community programs such as bilingual story times for children in both English and Mandarin, game and craft days, computer basics classes in Cantonese and Mandarin, and a food stamp program.


Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library

Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library

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Emma Wilson, “Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library,” Street Stories: Oakland, accessed October 16, 2018,
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