Blog: Author: Cait Quinn

5 in 5: Horror

Here is the next video in our 5 in 5 series. Cait provides today’s list of recommendations . She is recommending horror titles to get you in the mood for Halloween. You can request these items for pick up or download from our Bibliocommons list or call us to place a hold. And you can watch the video premiere at 12:15 pm on our YouTube channel below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our social media to get the latest updates, events, and recommendations.

Campfire Ghost Stories are Back!

How could we possibly miss out on the spookiest month of the year to tell campfire stories?! We here at MPL Campfire Ghost Stories are most definitely October people in the Bradbury sense. And with the sun setting earlier, the leaves falling on the shady paths, and the early morning chill that frosts the grass has reinvigorated that Halloween spirit. So we are back with weekly readings of the spooky, the scary, the disturbing and the sometimes weird.

So if you are looking to reconnect with your Halloween spirit, or just need a good playlist while you decorate your cobwebs listen to our YouTube playlist and be sure to tune in each Thursday at 7pm for new haunting tales.

Panel recap: Mythmaking and upcoming creative events!

If you missed our first ever panel discussion about myth, fairy tales, film, and storytelling you can watch the whole event on YouTube.

You should also check out our upcoming 10th Annual Public Reading by The Malden Writers’ Collaborative. Celebrate writing! Join Malden’s own creative writing group, the Malden Writers’ Collaborative, for their 10th Annual Public Reading on Thursday, August 20th 7-8:30PM online.

Members of the 2019-2020 season will read original works:

Jason Rubin – “Little Red Pool of Blood”
Felicia Ryan – Blue – “Blue is the color of the year”, “Drift Away” and “Trapped in my Yoga Top”
Rebekah Brooks – Ceaseless Faith
Jason Kenney – “No Sign of the Morning”
Heather Angell – an unnamed selection
Jeff Taylor – poems “Wall Dogs”, “Catfish” and “WAKEY, WAKEY”
Christopher Hickey – “Fall Guise”

Please help support our wonderful creative communities and join us for our panels, public readings, and other library events. We are hoping to bring you more of these unique events in the Fall while highlighting the rich creative traditions of our Malden community.

Also subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on our latest videos and events!

Friday Folk and Fairy Tales for Adults Complete Schedule!

Spend your Friday afternoons with the staff at the Malden Public Library reading you grown up folk and fairy tales. Listen to heros, heroines, tragic lovers, transformed travelers, and dancers with the devil as they meet challenges and overcome them. Let us tell you a story and while we are at it inspire you to take another look at your own challenges with fresh eyes and renewed purpose. Books and stories are our road maps to the struggles that always face human kind. And fairy tales take those struggles and distill them down to their essential matter, hide them in a bit of the fantastic, and then give us the strength and inspiration to push on no matter how big the dragon or how large our pile of straw becomes.

We’ll post new readings every Friday at 1215pm, you can catch the link on our calendar or Facebook event listing. You can also listen and watch on our Youtube channel or find our playlist and catch up on the stories you missed.

Complete list of events:

June 26th @ 1215 pm

July 3rd @ 1215 pm

July 17th @ 1215 pm

July 24th @ 1215 pm

July 31st @ 1215 pm

August 7th @ 1215 pm

August 21st @ 1215 pm

August 28th @ 1215 pm

And check out our Fall offerings when they arrive. As with most adventures things may change and new challenges may come so check back with us to see where we’ve gotten to on our journey.


Virtual Book Hangouts with the Staff

Looking for your next summer read? Or do you have a book you are dying to share with people? Spend an hour with some book lovers and librarians to talk about the books you loved, books you hated, or get some first hand recommendations for new books to try. There are multiple upcoming dates so check here to see when you can drop by on Zoom for a chat with some fellow readers.

Upcoming dates:

Tuesday 7/28 @12:15 pm

Thursday 8/13 @ 12:15 pm

Tuesday 8/18 @ 7:30 pm

Thursday 8/27 @ 12:15 pm

Tuesday 9/1 @ 7:30 pm

Links to this Zoom program are typically posted 5-15 minutes prior to the event and can be reached by clicking on the event on our calendar or by following the Zoom link posted on the FB event page. If you have trouble accessing Zoom or this program you can call the library during our hours of operation and a librarian will be happy to help you.

Check back for more dates in September. And look for our updated book recommendations from each session posted to our social media.

Campfire Ghost Stories (New recurring event!)

Horror fans, podcast ghouls, and people who love a good scare before bedtime join us for virtual campfire ghost stories. If you were a fan of Are You Afraid of the Dark? or are missing the feeling of a chilly night with a good fire under the stars then these are the tales for you! Haunted tales told with a virtual fire crackling in the background; we will scare you, delight you, and hopefully lull you into a night of uneasy dreams. Muhahaha.

After each creepy episode you can come back here to relive the stories or catch up on stories you might have missed. In fact here comes one right now!

Schedule of haunts:

Thursday 7/23 @730 pm 


Thursday 7/30 @ 730pm

Tuesday 8/4 @ 730pm

Friday 8/21 @ 730 pm

Thursday 8/27 @ 730 pm

More dates to follow us into the Fall.

Bookmark this page and check back for new stories or watch a whole playlist and let us scare you into your eternal rest…

We Are One Global Film Festival Available Free!

Looking for something to do on a Saturday night? The We Are One Global Film Festival is posting new films hourly. See the latest selections from over 20 national and international film festivals including: Cannes, Tribeca, the New York Film Festival, the Tokyo Film Festival, Annecy International Animation Film Festival and more! These films are free but they are using the festival to raise money for Covid 19 relief organizations. Available now through June 7th. Stay in this weekend and watch something new!

Creativity in Challenging Times: Museums at Home

A lot of creation comes from consumption of some kind; seeing, reading, listening to something inspiring primes the brain with energy for new ideas. But with everything closed and movement restricted some of the places that inspire the most are out of reach. Many museums have tried to fill that gap by making some or all of their collections available online. They are also hosting webinars, posting pictures, and even producing coloring books. Here too, the Malden Public Library is making our art collection available with a new piece of artwork every week with Monday at the Museum on Facebook. To help inspire and uplift, included below, are some links to museums offering art, culture, history and science add some richness to the stay at home creative life.

For Families

All the Library’s museum passes are locked up safe inside our building and all the local museums, zoos, and kid places are still closed down. But many our favorite family destinations available through our pass program are still available in some way online. Some of the museums also have daily offerings, live streams, and educational resources and not just virtual tours. So make sure to check out their web offerings to see what new events are available.

  • Museum of Science: MOSatHome has daily offerings, virtual tours, science activities, webinars, and even events for adults.
  • New England Aquarium: Virtual Visits to the Aquarium offer live webcams, daily updates, presentations, activities, and resources.
  • The Boston Children’s Museum: Offers a virtual tour of the museum, and the website has a number of activities and resources.
  • The Dr. Seuss Museum: The website has some online Seuss related activities and lots of history of Seuss and Springfield.
  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: Virtual tour of the museum and art and book posts and activities with videos and inspirational suggestions for a variety of ages.
  • The Franklin Park Zoo: Daily Facebook live offerings of content about the Zoo and its animals. Look for posts about #Zootoyou.
  • The Smithsonian Museums: The Smithsonian in Washington DC has loads of offerings for every type of kid. Whether live zoo cams, history activities, science and aerospace, art, coloring, music. Their virtual programming has weeks of fun online and available for free.

For Art Lovers

Before the shutdown many museums had begun making their collections available online. Quarantine has helped those virtual collections to grow in number and variety. For art lovers and people looking for inspiration for their next creative project here is a selection of both local, national, and international art museums that offer virtual access.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Adding to an already existing online selection the MFA has expanded access by including online programs, tours, curator’s posts, and access to a virtual tour via Google Arts and Culture.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: With a number of online offerings about the art and the history of the Gardner the museum has also included blog posts and ongoing updates to things to come at the museum. And they have taken advantage of Google Arts and Culture to add their own virtual tour of the museum. Touring the gardens is especially inspiring.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art: There are a number of selections from the museum’s current exhibitions posted on their website. As well as their detailed plan for Covid-19 response and the work the museum is doing as a food hub for East Boston. But for regular curated content the best place to follow the ICA is on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Harvard Art Museum: Online content via blog posts and art discussions. Also follow them on social media to get even more content.
  • Google Arts and Culture: Access to over 2500 museum tours from around the world. Famous institutions like the Guggenheim, MOMA in New York, Versailles, The Global Street Art Foundation (UK), Museo Botero (Colombia), The Hong Kong Museum of Art, and too many more to list. These tours are not just for art lovers. There are historical sites and natural history museums too.

History, Culture, Nature and Unique Museums

In addition to all of the museums listed with Google Arts and Culture there are a number of niche institutions, historical sites, natural history museums and cultural institutions that have gone online with content for interested browsers. Here are a few but if there is an institution or type of museum missing from this list head to their website and look for their online options.

Fun with Online Art

As more collections have come online, and more people have time to really appreciate them, a movement to replicate some great historical works has started. The instagram @covidclassics posts photos of classic painting recreations by four bored art lovers. The Getty Art Museum has also issued a challenge to replicate classic works of art with household objects.

You can follow the submissions on their Twitter account.

In response to the Getty challenge and the spirit of art and culture online. Here is Iggy Pup trying his very hardest to be a good boy like William Wegman’s wonderful Weimaraners.

Pretty good, right? Try it at home with some found objects and a camera. Feel free to tag the Malden Public Library on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the final result. #Creativityinchallengingtimes.

One more with Iggy the failed dog model.

Creativity in Challenging Times: Baking Bread

The wartime edition of the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book was dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur and the war effort. In it are recipes that made the best of scarce ingredients and provided tips for making a lot from a little. In that dedication to MacArthur the editors wrote:

“His heroic leadership and gallant fight against overwhelming odds should inspire every American woman  to make the most of daily opportunities to support the war effort in her home and in every sphere of worthwhile war activity. there must be thousands of little ways to do a job better–thousands of opportunities to help–to create, to conserve and to serve. If every woman, every day, in everything she does, will do her utmost of accomplish the aims of our Government, then that combined effort will soon become a gigantic and valuable aid toward winning this war.”

While a pandemic is not quite a war and our kitchens have become a lot more gender inclusive the message of creativity, conservation, and contribution of collective effort is very applicable to our current circumstances. With social distancing and stay at home orders being the new war effort many of us find ourselves looking for ways to make do and fill our time with new and useful skills. And bread baking is both a necessary skill and one that has become emblematic of current social efforts to use our time to make and create something useful and delightful.

Library Resources

The Malden Library has a number of resources to help people learning to bake, or for those wishing to improve their baking skills. We have an extensive cookbook collection both in print and online. But while the library is currently closed there are still cookbooks available to download. And here is a handy list of bread baking books to get you through the challenging times and spark a little baking creativity.

The library also has many cookbooks in Local History that might inspire some classic baking. Included here are a few select recipes using various ingredients to offer an historical perspective on a new hobby.

Selections from the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book. ©1942 pages 104, 107, 116,121
Better Homes Recipe Book ©1933 pages 13, 14.  Page 13 here. 
New England Cook Book ©1936 page 32
99 Potato Recipes Tested by 33 Famous Cooking Experts ©1938 page 16
100 Standard Recipes Each One Tested ©1927 pages 12-13 
Aunt Jenny’s Favorite Recipes ©1938 page 39

And if that is not historical enough you can read a Smithsonian article about an ancient yeast starter created from 4,500 year old Egyptian pottery and ancient grains thanks to the work of amateur baker: Seamus Blackley. It is probably a level of bread most of us will only dream of baking.

Online Inspiration

For those looking for quick inspiration or in need of recipes that fit a narrowing list of available ingredients included are a few online suggestions for different types of bread.  A quick search with ingredients on hand may yield suggestions for suitable recipes. It is also a good idea to check for tips and tricks for typical ingredient substitutions in recipes. What’s Cooking America has a chart that offers the most common substitutions for flours, and eggs other ingredients; it is a useful resource for more than just baking.


Firstly, the most popular bread baking tool right now is a good sourdough starter. With the surge in consumer demand yeast is in short supply so many bakers are making breads with different types of leavening. And while the library has books to borrow on the topic, sourdough starters are trending on most news sites and social media. First, read Sudeep Agarwala’s Washington Post article about catching your own wild yeast and building a sourdough starter. It will give you the science and the know how to bake some very delicious bread. After that check out the hashtag #quarantinystarter on instagram and twitter and the work of Andrew Janjigian. He has a simple sourdough starter published at Cooks Illustrated. This is the sort of creative baking that is backed and encouraged by biology!

Soda Bread

The next bread that new bakers may want to try is baking soda bread. Made famous by Irish Soda Bread there are a number of soda based breads that use the effervescent qualities of a baking soda based chemical reaction to make bread rise. There are several baking soda and baking powder based recipes in the historic recipes above. But there are also a few updated versions. Irish soda bread is the iconic soda bread and Forbes has a selection of recipes from Irish chef, Darina Allen. Beer bread is another variation like this recipe from New York Times. Here is another soda base recipe from Bon Appetit magazine that includes whole wheat and seeds to make a hearty dense loaf.


Flatbreads are also a good alternative for those with limited ingredients and for those who are looking for quick and tasty option. And Saveur has a list of 16 recipes to try at home that will use a variety of ingredients and are easy to prepare. Fry bread is also a related and straightforward option this recipe is from the Smithsonian and includes a little historical context for the recipe and the people who created it.

Creative Distancing

As quarantine continues, and even when Massachusetts begins to open back up, it will still be important to limit contact between people for the foreseeable future. Shortages may still continue and we will have to creatively fill them. As citizens we are not being asked to buy government bonds or to enlist to help a war effort but we are making other sacrifices. We are being asked to close down, stay home, to wait to keep each other safe.  And that waiting can be anxious and overwhelming. Filling the time and space that this situation creates requires a new set of skills. We have guides, fortunately, there are historical examples of how previous generations have endured creatively. There are online outlets ready to teach and guide people in need of distraction and information. And there are library resources set up and ready to inspire.

So if you need to bake some bread while you are waiting to go back to normal. If you need to learn to sew a mask for your daily walks.  Or you want to start a digital paint night, poetry slam, or book discussion via video conference so you can express yourself. Or if you need to plant a Covid-19 victory garden in buckets on the the porch. Then do the things that help you endure and wait, let your creativity guide you through this challenging time.

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is Now Online!

Are you looking for a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Or maybe experience the work of more Latinx artists and support more independent cinema? For the month of May the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is available for free. This is the 19th year of the festival founded by Edward James Olmos, Marlene Dermer, Kirk Whisler and the George Hernandez. The festival features full length films, shorts, music, animation, and classes for people looking to expand their skills.

This is an international film festival that focuses on the works of Latinx creators telling stories that impact Latinx communities both here in the United States and abroad. It is an opportunity to see some interesting perspectives and new voices in cinema and music. The festival is available to stream at the LALIFF website and is free and open to all.

Additionally, the festival is promoting the work of the Youth Cinema Project. They will be hosting live reading events by student participants on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10 am EST. The live readings feature the work of the students in the Youth Cinema Project program paired with a panel discussion. These are great events to inspire teens and young adult filmmakers to tell their own stories and get more involved in filmmaking. More information and past events are available on their website and on their Youtube channel.