Cultural Resource Centers



The American Indian Resource Center



The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) was established in 1979 through the federal Library Services and Technology Act to meet the informational, cultural and educational needs of Native Americans in Los Angeles County and to provide cultural information to all communities in the County.


The AIRC collection is the largest public library collection in the U.S. focusing on American Indians. It includes audiocassettes, books, compact discs, film, magazines, microfilm, newsletters, newspapers and videocassettes. Most of these materials can be checked out.


The collection attempts to cover the full spectrum of American Indian experience in the continental United States, from pre-Columbian times to the present. Subjects covered include art, architecture, bibliographies, biographies, education, fiction, history, languages, literature, government relations, federal Indian law, tribal law (individual tribes) and geographic area studies.


Asian Pacific Resource Center


The Asian Pacific Resource Center also was established in 1979 through the Library Services and Technology Act. It was designed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing East and Southeast Asian immigrant community. The center includes resources in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese.


The emphasis of the collection’s English-language materials is on the Asian Pacific Islander American experience, with a core collection on the culture, art and history of China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and smaller holdings on Hawaii and American Samoa. The microfilm collection holds more than 100 titles of historical Asian American newspapers, including documents and newspapers from the Japanese American Internment. The center holds programs and book discussions that celebrate and explore the rich history and cultural heritage of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.


The center provides reference service to researchers and the general public. It also offers information and referral services to assist in locating agencies that address the needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander community. It strives to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the County's diverse cultures.


African American Resource Center




The African American Resource Center was established in 1978 to meet the needs of African Americans and the larger population by supporting research and study on social, historical and cultural aspects unique to the African American experience. This resource collection consists of scholarly books, dissertations, microform records of diaries and letters, government publications, 16 mm films, videocassettes and recordings. The center also serves as an information and referral agency to other libraries, government agencies and the general public. It is an important link in the survival and preservation of the heritage of African Americans.


The center provides a range of services and activities, including:


  • In-depth reference service to specialized researchers and the general public;

  • Cultural awareness programs such as Juneteenth, Kwanzaa and Black History Month celebrations;

  • Promotional materials and displays for programs and activities in support of African American heritage and multiculturalism; and

  • Community outreach to and networking with other organizations and institutions.


Chicano Resource Center


The Chicano Resource Center was established in 1976 to serve the Mexican-American (Chicano) community and to make information about Chicano history and culture available to the general public and academic researchers.


Subjects covered by this multimedia collection include immigration, the Chicano Movement, mural art, biographies, folklore and the history of Mexico. Many of the materials are available for checkout.


The collection is composed of books, journals, online databases, subject notebooks, videos, audio CDs and microforms. It includes:


  • Microfilm of Southwestern periodicals and newspapers from as early as the 1600s;

  • Periodicals from the Chicano Movement, including La Raza, Con Safos, and Aztlan;

  • Subject notebooks with articles covering the major events in the Chicano Movement;

  • Pamphlet files on over 750 subjects, with topics that cover Chicano Movement events, Latino leaders and East Los Angeles history; and

  • Political posters from the Chicano Movement.




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