Blog: Month: April 2021

Black Lives in the Founding Era

The Malden Public Library, in collaboration with the Royall House & Slave Quarters in Medford, will present a series of programs that explore the role of slavery in America’s Founding Era and in our modern world. American slavery and the slave trade were central to the development of the United States and American prosperity in the North and South. As Americans in the 18th and 19th century defined liberty and freedom, enslaved and free Black people were central to abolishing slavery and imagining a freer and more just world.

On Wednesday, May 26th at 6:30 p.m., Malden Public Library Director Dora St. Martin will present a talk “Black Lives (enslaved and free) in Colonial Malden.”  The talk will share results from an ongoing research project to restore a view into the lives and work of enslaved and free Blacks in Malden’s early history.  As part Malden Declaration Day (May 27), the talk will also highlight the lives of Black colonial soldiers from Malden and their contribution to the American War of Independence.

Register for Black Lives (enslaved and free) in Colonial Malden

The project is funded in part by Revisiting the Founding Era, a four-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented in partnership with the American Library Association, and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

 Image: Videographer Shun Liang tapes guide Lee LaFleur’s tour of the Marble Chamber in the Royall House mansion.

Malden Reads Movie Night: Wed., May 5th: 7:00pm

Join us on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7:00pm for a virtual screening (via Zoom) of “Long Night’s Journey Into Day.” This film screening is part of Malden Reads’ 2021 season for the book, “Born a Crime,” by Trevor Noah.

“Following the end of apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to pursue social justice, and this acclaimed documentary focuses on some of the stories that emerged from the organization’s cases. Although renowned leader Bishop Desmond Tutu appears, the film focuses primarily on everyday people, both white and black, who committed appalling crimes during apartheid and came to the commission seeking forgiveness.”—Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes gives “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” a 94% approval rating. The Los Angeles Times writes of the film, “Not merely affecting and illuminating; it concludes on a note of hope.”

This documentary examines the outcome of apartheid in South Africa and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Authorized by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, the TRC was established to provide public hearings to examine human-rights violations. This film is highly relevant in today’s climate of examining human rights violations, violence, and racism and in the United States. Some members of Congress believe the United States should form a “nationwide truth commission,” to have public hearings to address, reconcile, and begin to understand the “root causes of violence…accountability, healing, and reconciliation.” (Foreign Policy, July 2020).

A short discussion of the film and this year’s Malden Reads book selection, Born a Crime, will follow the movie. Please call the Malden Public Library at 781-324-0218 for more information.  Not Rated (95 min.) (2000) Co-sponsored by the Malden Public Library.

Register for Long Night’s Journey Into Day:

If you are unable to attend the Zoom film screening and discussion, you can stream the film on Kanopy by using your Malden Public Library card:




“The Regulars are Coming”

Born in Malden about 1750, Aaron Oliver, a free black farmer, answered the revolutionary alarm and marched to Cambridge on April 19, 1775. Officially enlisted on April 23, Private Oliver fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill attached to Captain Ezra Towne’s Company of the 3rd New Hampshire, alongside Nathan Hale. In July 1777, Oliver was taken prisoner at Battle of Hubbardton (Vermont) and held on a British prison ship anchored in Wallabout Bay in New York. Some 11,000 prisoners died aboard these prison ships over the course of the war, many from disease or malnutrition. Private Oliver was released from captivity in April 1778, but died less than a month later, at the age of 28.
Aaron and Abigale Oliver had three surviving children Luther (1772), Ezra (1774) and Aaron (1776). In 2017, an exhibit at the Hubbardton Battlefield displayed Aaron Oliver’s possessions including a priming horn, cartridge pouch, shaving mirror, and a small wooden object used as a canteen.
Private Oliver is one of five enslaved and free Black soldiers listed in Deloraine Corey’s History of Malden.…/historymaldenm…/page/n180/mode/2up

Museum Passes are Back!

We have added back six passes to area institutions. Procedures have changed for most passes. Please see below for special instructions.

Book all passes online through library website, then follow the institution-specific instructions below:

Zoo New England (Stone & Franklin Park) (paper pass): $9 adult, $6 child (up to 6 people).

  1. Pick up paper pass from library up to three weeks in advance. We recommend at least 1 week in advance.
  2. Purchase timed tickets through (Zoo charges $2 additional fee per ticket).
  3. Bring pass and Zoo confirmation to the Zoo for your visit.

New England Aquarium (paper pass): 50% off (up to 4 people).

  1. Pick up paper pass from library up to three weeks in advance. We recommend at least 1 week in advance.
  2. Call the Aquarium at 617-973-5200 (Reservations) to purchase timed tickets by phone. You must call. Promo code is not eligible for online booking.
  3. Bring pass and Aquarium confirmation to the Aquarium for your visit.

Museum of Science (e-pass): 50% off (up to 4 people)

  1. Call the Museum of Science at 617-723-2500 to reserve a time slot on the day you selected. You must call. Promo code is not eligible for online booking.
  2. Bring library e-pass confirmation and Museum of Science ticket confirmation to the Museum for your visit.

Museum of Fine Arts (e-pass): $10 (up to 2 adults, children are free)

  1. Visit, click Tickets, select the date and type of ticket, and enter the promo code you received when booking the discount pass on the top right corner of the next page, which will activate the reduced admission rate. 
  2. Bring library e-pass confirmation and Museum of Science ticket confirmation to the Museum for your visit.

USS Constitution Museum (paper pass): Free (up to 9 people)

  1. Pick up paper pass at the library up to three weeks in advance and bring it to the USS Constitution (no timed ticket needed: first come, first served).

Massachusetts State Parks (pass needs to be returned): Free Parking (1 vehicle)

  1. Pick up pass day before or morning of reserved date. If not picked up by noon the day of reservation, the pass is forfeited).
  2. Return by morning of the next day (for Saturday & Sunday reservations, return the pass by Monday morning).

If you have any questions about passes, please call the library at 781-324-0218.

YA Craft: Duct Tape Bracelets

Craft bags with instructions and two rolls of patterned Duct Tape are available in to-go bags at the Malden Public Library starting today.

In order to secure yours while supplies last please call 781-324-0218 and place a reservation under your name today. There is a limit of one bag per household, but feel free to supplement this with Duct Tape you have lying around the house as well!

Celebrate National Library Week

April 4-10, 2021 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to your library,” which promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services. Whether people visit virtually or in person, libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community through learning, discovery and exploration.

This National Library Week, the public can show their appreciation and support for libraries by visiting their library’s website, following them on social media and using the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.

Celebrate Arab American Poets!

Celebrate Arab American Poets in honor of Arab American Heritage Month and Poetry Month! Check out these wonderful collections from our catalog:

MPL TO GO: New Extended Curbside Pickup Hours

The Malden Public Library offers curbside pickup: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10-6, Wednesday from 10-7, and Saturday from 10-2.  Curbside hold pickup means you will be asking for items either from our website or over the phone.  We are looking forward to helping you.

Library staff will collect materials, contact patrons when holds are ready, and check out materials when the pickup time has been scheduled.

Follow these simple steps to pick up items:

  • Place an item on hold through the library’s catalog (  or by calling the library (781.324.0218).
  • When your items are ready, you will  be notified by email, phone or text (whichever method you chose when you signed up for a card).
  • Call 781.324.0218 to arrange a pickup, once you have received notification that your hold(s) are ready. Make sure you have your library card number handy! Calling ahead cuts down on your wait time.
  • Drive or walk to the library and wait in the designated curbside area.
  • Call 781.324.0218 to let library staff know you are now at the library to pick up your items.
  • We will place your items on a cart for pickup.  Please wait until the staff has re-entered the Library before taking materials. Enjoy your books!
  • When you’re done with your items, please return them in the book drop.

Materials can only be returned using the library’s book drops to ensure patrons and staff safety. Returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours before check-in, as recommended by the CDC. During the quarantine period, books will remain on the borrower’s card. For further safety, concerned patrons can avoid opening checked out materials for 24 to 72 hours after retrieving them from the library.

The Library continues to recommend the many online resources available at our website at, including 24/7 access to the digital library,

The library has a reopening plan in place, but no date has yet been set for the various stages in the plan.

For more information about the Malden Public Library’s programs and services, please call the library at 781-324-0218.