Blog: Library Events

English Conversation Class: Wednesdays 1-2 pm

Join us for a free English Conversation Class for adult students every Wednesday from 1:00-2:00pm via Zoom. We will discuss daily life, learn new vocabulary, and have general conversation in English. Learn English at home on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

You must register for the class. Please e-mail Stacy (English Conversation Librarian) at: mplenglishclass@gmail.com

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.

“A Squash and a Squeeze” StoryWalk®

It’s a new year, and we have a new StoryWalk®!  You are invited to walk around the library building and enjoy this fun rhyming tale on the following dates (weather permitting, of course–precipitation and wind can be a challenge):
Friday, February 26 – 10:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday, March 3 – 10:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday, March 11 – 10:30am – 5:30pm
Friday, March 12 – 10:30am – 5:30pm
More dates to come!
StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children—and adults!—to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s book are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll along the walkway, you’re directed to the next page in the story.
StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and was developed with the help of Rachel Senechal, Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Pushout: Film Screening: Fri., Dec. 4th (6:00-7:30pm) & Panel Discussion: Sat., Dec. 5th (2:30-4:00pm)

Pushout Documentary Livestream and Panel Discussion

Hosted by MaldenCORE with Malden Public Library

On Friday, December 4th from 6:00-7:30pm the Malden Public Library and MaldenCORE will host a livestream of the documentary film, “Pushout.” The public is invited to view the documentary together (79 min.). Register online at Eventbrite for the film screening at: https://bit.ly/PushoutScreening

On Saturday, Dec. 5th from 2:30-4:00pm, join us for a discussion with panelists from the Malden community. Register online, at Eventbrite for the panel discussion: https://bit.ly/PushoutDiscussion

The award-winning film, based on the book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris, examines the disproportionate discipline Black girls face beginning in preschool, as compared to white girls. National statistics show that suspensions and arrests happen much more frequently to Black girls in school and that even very young Black girls are punished more severely than white girls for age-appropriate behaviors that a teacher may dislike. The unjust system helps to create a pipeline to prison for Black girls. Through the stories of Black girls and their families, the film illustrates how being unjustly criminalized attacks a Black girl’s self-esteem, mental health, and social relationships, pushing girls out of school and all too often, into self-harm and prison. The film explores both the depth of the impact and the possibilities for solutions.

After the film, panelists will take the issue of the criminalization of Black girls to a local level. The panelists include educators and students from the Malden community. Sharing their personal experiences and perspectives, the panelists will reflect: Are Black girls over-disciplined in Malden schools? What is the impact on girls and their families? Why is this happening, and what must we do to change minds, hearts, and the system, so that Black girls in Malden schools will no longer suffer disproportionate punishments?

Panelists include Jennifer Hedrington, Malden middle school teacher and 2020  Massachusetts Teacher of the Year; Bwann Gwann, a Malden resident and a Lesley University administrator; and Shataeya Smith, a 2019 Malden High School graduate, sophomore at UMass Lowell, and racial justice activist. By hosting this event, MaldenCORE hopes to not only lift up this aspect of the school-to-prison pipeline but also to energize Malden’s people, school district, and community to work toward change.

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 maldenreads@gmail.com or use the “contact” form on our website, www.maldenreads.org.

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