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STANFORD -- When a Stanford alumni group took on the challenge of putting together a resource library for students, it decided on an adopt-a-book program.

The result is the Asian American Resource Library, which is housed in the Asian American Activities Center in the Old Union Clubhouse. The library collection includes fiction, biographies, histories, anthologies, course readers , periodicals and videos.

Emory Lee of Palo Alto, Stanford Class of 1959 and founding president of the Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni/ae Club, said that when the club received its charter in 1989, members discussed possible activities and agreed that they would focus on doing something for students.

After talking to students, club members decided to establish a resource center where Asian American materials would be available in a comfortable and casual setting.

In compiling a list of books that might form a core collection, the club sought the help of Richard Yuen, assistant dean of students and director of the Asian American Activities Center, and the adopt-a-book program was born.

Yuen, in turn, used a guide developed by librarian Wei Chi Poon at the University of California-Berkeley and consulted several members of the Stanford Libraries' staff, including Rose Adams, multicultural librarian.

Club members also raised money for bookshelves for the library, which was formally dedicated in April. The "adopted" books bear specially designed bookplates indicating the donor.

The library is in the process of increasing its collection. Cindy Ng, program coordinator at the Asian American Activities Center, said the library is seeking more material from southeast Asia, especially Vietnam and Thailand, and from India.

In addition to the usual books, magazines and videos, the library contains more unusual material, such as the minutes of the Chinese Students Club in three volumes covering the years 1916 to 1964.

In the course of gathering material for the library, Ng said, the staff found boxes of files and materials dating back to the late 1960s dealing with Asian American students at Stanford. A student intern is now putting the mate rial in order, Ng said, and once that is done, the files will be sent to the University Archives.

The Asian American Resource Library, with a part-time student librarian, does not circulate materials. Students come in to peruse the collection and get ideas for term papers and research projects, Yuen said. The library also w ill collect theses and research papers dealing with Asian American topics.

And, Lee said, there is still a list of books sought by the library and waiting for "adoption" by prospective donors.

For more information, call Yuen at 723-3681.


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