Blog: Author: Dora St. Martin

Stay well, Stay Inspired: Coloring Kits for Adults

When you are staying at home, we hope you can take some time out for yourself.  We are giving away color pencils and coloring pages for you to put colors on papers and to uplift your days.  Each package contains 5 color pencils and 5 coloring pages.  De-stress and unleash your creativity.  Adults only and while supplies last.  To reserve your package and pick it up curbside, please call the library at 781-324-0218.

Malden Reads Selects Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” for 11th Year Book

In Born a Crime, Trevor Noah, the popular comedian and host of the cable TV show “The Daily Show,” recounts his childhood growing up in South Africa, the son of a white father and a Black mother. At the time, such a union was punishable by five years in prison in apartheid South Africa, so Noah’s very existence was  “crime.”

Noah tells his story, which ranges from the humorous to the traumatic, with his cutting wit and incisive perspective. At times both poignant and outrageous, Noah deals with the intersection of his life and the history of a country reckoning with deep-seated racism and finds a parallel here to the United States.

His memoir does not shy away from exposing deeply ingrained racism, sexism, violence, economic inequity, and domestic violence. And yet, his personal story reminds us that even in the deepest tragedy and among the most menacing of fears, there is hope and strength within ourselves and those around us to set us on a better path.
The Malden Reads team wanted to select a book that would resonate across cultures and communities, especially one as deeply diverse as our own beloved city, and that would spark dialogue grounded in the relevant events of today. More than ever, books and media have an opportunity to galvanize thought and action to address and contest racism and effect change.

Born a Crime reminds us that racism is deeply embedded in how we live, behave, speak, and think, and it challenges us to recognize our unconscious (and conscious) biases and to question how we can do better. Through the moving power of storytelling and the universally resonant instrument of humor, Noah sheds a light on all that continues to be dark in our lives and communities and compels us to act. Whether that is through being more involved with the community, being a voice and power in policy, or leveraging the power of pen and might of creativity, we are each responsible for realizing a better, more equal, and gentler world.

The book is a New York Times #1 bestseller and recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author, among other commendations, including awards for the audio version. We also understand that a movie is in the works, so perhaps more awards will come.

Our programing this year will focus on encouraging dialogue about racism, the impacts of white privilege, and the harsh realities of domestic violence. While the book faces difficult topics and challenges head on, we will also be examining the power of words and humor to encourage change. What Noah asks us to remember through his telling is that dialogue, community, and perseverance toward equity are the keys to unlocking a better future, and this will be a cornerstone of our engagement as we forge ahead.

Programming will also include a focus on storytelling and listening to everyone’s unique story and experiences. Resources, suggested additional readings for adults, and companion books and suggested curricula and activities will be provided for children and educators. Stay tuned for the companion books announcement and a list of related resources.

The Malden Reads committee is exploring all possible ways to continue to provide programs and events that create meaningful connections and dialogue in our community. We are currently planning online book discussions of Born a Crime and companion books, an anti-racism workshop series, workshops on storytelling and writing memoir, co-creative “filmbuilding” experiences, a community stand-up comedy special, film screenings (online), and other arts, cultural, creative, and educational opportunities that bring people of all backgrounds together in a meaningful way.

Those looking to get a head start with reading the book or purchasing it for a holiday gift will be able to do so after Thanksgiving at The Gallery @ 57 on Pleasant Street in Malden. By January, library copies will be available in English and other languages, along with the e-book and audio versions (available only on CD).

The Malden Reads committee looks forward to deepening connections in the Malden community. To contact the committee with questions about the book, to collaborate on a program, to volunteer, or to be added to the email newsletter list, please email or use the “contact” form on our website,

Article by Natash Eslami, a member of the Malden Reads committee.

The Last Comrade’s Final Tribute

Malden artists Darius Cobb and his twin brother, Cyrus, were born in 1834. In 1862 the brothers enlisted together in the 44th Massachusetts Infantry. In 1870, the two brothers co-authored a book titled The Veteran of the Grand Army, based on their war experiences. The brothers were known for the Cambridge Civil War Memorial Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1870. Darius Cobb’s painting “The Last Comrade’s Final Tribute” (produced on an eight foot canvas) depicts a Memorial Day scene in which the last survivor of the Union Army is shown placing flowers for the last time on a comrade’s grave. A rainbow of peace spans the heavens.  Darius also painted “Spring Blossoms” in the Malden Public Library Art Collection.


Industrial Eden: The Legacy of Haywardville on Spot Pond Brook

Industrial Eden: The Legacy of Haywardville on Spot Pond Brook: A joint presentation by Architectural Historian Ryan D. Hayward and Social Historian Dee Morris on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:30 PM via Zoom.

The Middlesex Fells Reservation is one of Metropolitan Boston’s most beautiful and treasured parks. Its natural landscape is well known and celebrated but, did you know it once had a more industrial past?  For three centuries, this rocky woodland region was part of the evolving New England landscape. Generations worked farms in fields, pastures, and woodlots. Businesses were established and industry took a foothold in various forms. It quickly spread to Malden and surrounding communities and although the little village on Spot Pond Brook flourished, it vanished in the blink of an eye. It was absorbed into the Middlesex Fells, which was created for the general public to enjoy, forever. Come for an evening to revisit the thriving enterprises and the entrepreneurs that changed this place, Malden, Medford, Stoneham, the Commonwealth, and beyond. This digital event is offered by the Malden Public Library and is free to all.

This program is funded as part of Converse 2020: Exploring the Industrial History of Malden, a two-year program brought to you with federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, with additional funds from the Malden Public Library.

Malden Library is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Industrial Eden: The Legacy of Haywardville on Spot Pond Brook
Time: Sep 29, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Massachusetts Information for Voters

Wondering about the two upcoming Massachusetts statewide ballot questions?  Need information on voter registration?  Pick up a copy of “Massachusetts Information for Voters – 2020 Ballot Questions for State Election Tuesday, November 3, 2020.” Published by William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.  Free copies area available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Large Print – available curbside during regular library hours, whiles supplies last.  For information online, visit the state website at

The Group Chat with the Improbable Players

Join us on Friday, September 18th at 4:00 p.m.  The Improbable Players is a theater troupe made up of young people in recovery. Their performances, based on real-life, include a talk back session in which audience members can ask questions of the actors about the play and about their struggles with addiction.  “The Group Chat” follows four friends during their first year out of high school. As one friend begins to use alcohol to deal with stress, the other friends in the group struggle to understand the true nature of addiction and how they can help. This play explores how addiction can affect relationships, how to talk to someone you love when you feel concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol, and ultimately, the different pathways to recovery.  Ideal for teens and the adults who care about them, the audience will be able to log on to the performance through Zoom to watch and then interact with the members of Improbable Players.  The performance is free and supported by the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sep 18, 2020 4:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: “The Group Chat”  Malden Public Library 9/18/20 4:00 pm

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A Capacity for Joy: The Social Life of Malden’s Rubber Workers

A Capacity for Joy: The Social Life of Malden’s Rubber Workers, a lecture by historian Dee Morris will be presented via zoom on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Fancy balls in the Opera House along with baseball games at Cradock Park brightened workers’ lives. The Converse Club hosted excursions in Boston harbor. Irish and Armenian immigrants joined social activities in their churches. Romances blossomed.  And audiences applauded traveling performers such as the Jubilee Singers, a Black troupe from Fisk College in Tennessee. Such a robust social life helped build a dynamic workers’ community.  Dee Morris is an independent scholar and educational consultant specializing in 19th-century history of greater Boston.  She presents walking tours at Forest Hills Cemetery (Jamaica Plain) and programs at libraries, schools, and historical societies.  Her goal is to connect people with their civic ancestors.

The program is free and part of Go Local: Converse 2020, an ongoing series celebrating the life and philanthropic contributions of Malden’s first Mayor Elisha Slade Converse and the industrial history of Malden. Go Local is brought to Malden with federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Malden Library is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: A Capacity for Joy!: The Lively Social World of Malden’s Rubber Work
Time: Sep 23, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Coming to Malden: Immigrants Past and Present: A Celebration of National Welcoming Week

Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. states, “if you scratch an American family, sooner or later, you’ll find an immigrant ancestor.”  Throughout our city’s history, Malden has been strengthened and shaped by the contributions made by immigrants: from the variety of main street businesses to our cultural parades and traditions.  Each immigrant has a unique story to share, born of their experiences in their country of origin and their motivation to risk all to come to the United States. This program will explore some of Malden’s most fascinating immigrant stories of struggle and resilience that helped create one of the most culturally diverse communities in the Northeast.  The program will be held on Monday, September 14 at 2 p.m. followed by Q & A and time to share your own personal or family’s journey.

Speakers include Malden Historical Society President John Tramondozzi, Mai Du of the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy and founder of the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC), Diane Portnoy, founder and CEO of The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (The ILC), and hosted by The ILC Public Education Institute Director Denzil Mohammed  and Malden Library Director Dora St. Martin.

Through Welcoming Week, organizations and communities bring together immigrants, refugees, and long-time residents to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.  At a time when political rhetoric has deepened divisions, and the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed anti-immigrant sentiment, Welcoming Week reminds us to double down on our inclusive vision and find new ways to bring together people across lines of difference to develop greater understanding and mutual support.

The program is co-sponsored by The Immigrant Learning Center and the Malden Public Library:

Please register to join us via Zoom at :