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Filipino American Center at the San Francisco Library

Posted by lecrowder in Back To Our Roots on 10 1st, 2006

Filipino American Center in San Francisco Library


* Photo courtesy of FAC .

After doing some research about services offered to the Filipino American community, I discovered the Filipino American Center (FAC), part  of San Francisco Library and was eager to make a visit. I was excited to learn that there was a reading room and resource center with an impressive collection of Filipino/Filipino American literature and other related educational material. Books were donated by community members and supporters who were compelled to encourage cultural exchange while also providing a link for Filipinos who call San Francisco their home.

In 1996 the San Francisco Public Library opened the doors of FAC to the public. The International Center funded by the Kresge Foundation launched a multilingual center for people who wanted to learn their native language. Reading material can be found in 40 various languages.

The room contained a long rectangular table in the center and on the opposite side stood the Philippine flag. Being in the presence of all the books was a proud moment for me because I recall all the visits to my hometown library when I was little and never could find anything on the Philippines. I pulled a book from one of the shelves and although it was written in Filipino I flipped through the pages looking at the foreign words and in that moment felt a sense of connection even if the words were foreign to me.

“The Filipino American Center, a part of thInternational Center, is designed to highlight the FilipinoAmerican experience. The Center contains material in English, Filipino and other dialects such as Cebuano and Illocano. Filipino fiction, literature and history are a significant part of the collection.”

FAC hosts various events such as book readings and film screenings and are sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Library.

Current event at the San Francisco Library:

*Life Around the Town of Pakil, Laguna, Philippines – An exhibition of photographs taken by the artist, Reggie Macabasco, on his recent visit to the Philippines.
Exhibition:  From September 2 through October 31, 2006,
Main Library, Third Floor, Filipino American Center  100 Larkin Street (at Grove)San Francisco, CA 94102

Other libraries around the country have made it a point to diversify their library collection. The Boston Public Library has a decent Filipino collection in their international section of both children’s books and other educational literature.

The Filipino Young Professionals and the Philippine Consulate of New York City initiated in 2002, a drive to donate Filipino books to libraries in the tri-state. Through fundraising, collecting donated books and fundraising events, they have been successful in providing over 500 books, cds and videos to numerous libraries in the area.

Fore more information about donating books or money please view the ReadPhilippines brochure, which also includes the TOP50 recommended books and how to ensure that your local library has a book or two about the Philippines for your children.

Other libraries:

Filipino American Library (Los Angeles)

135 N. Park View St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026


The Filipino and Filipino American Cyber Library

Internet based library with select listings of Fiction, Poetry, Fiction/Poetry Anthology, History/Social Ethnic Studies, Martial Arts, Children/Young Readers.

Filipino/Asian Book Stores:

Arkipelago Books

1010 Mission Street
@ the Bayanihan Community Center
San Francisco, CA 94103

Online Filipino Bookstores:

Filipinas Magazine

Includes CDs and DVDs although book section is limited. Ships only in the States.

Kababayan Central (Phils)

Has been providing services since 1998 and has reasonable shipping fees from Phils.

Reflections of Asia

Impressive list of books on Filipino art, history, poetry, cooking, children’s etc. along with  some rare historical books.