MALDEN — What if everyone in the community read the same book? What if that book’s message could reverberate throughout an entire city?
That sentiment was taken to heart eight years ago by some conscientious and passionate Malden citizens and formulated into one of the most popular and vibrant citywide programs in the city’s history.
All that work and effort culminated in the formation of Malden Reads: One City, One Book in 2010. Credit one of its co-founders, Anne D’Urso-Rose, Malden’s Person of the Year, and her associates, with choosing a book for this year that deals with many of the topics that are front-and-center in this year’s society.
“Malden Reads is so excited about this year’s book, the young adult book, ‘The Hate U Give,’ by Angie Thomas,” D’Urso-Rose said. “It’s such an engaging read, for both adults and teens, that deals with very topical issues — police brutality, racism, economic inequality, to name a few — in a way that is layered and complex.
“You care about the characters and so you come to understand their lives, and gain a new perspective if it’s not the world you are familiar with. And, if it is your world, it’s validating to have it expressed so authentically.”
D’Urso-Rose also has served as Associate Director of Malden’s highly visible and successful Malden Access Television (MATV).
The link between Malden Reads and MATV, which is a major partner in the enterprise, is even stronger through D’Urso-Rose’s longtime affiliation with the Malden Public Library as a member of the Board of Trustees
“When I became a Library Trustee, I thought it would be great way to bridge my two roles. The library is all about promoting reading and literacy, and MATV, at its core, is about building community,” D’Urso-Rose said. “Those two things make up the mission of Malden Reads. Thanks to our large, hard-working and very dedicated committee, I think we have the most expansive community reading program in the country, based on my internet research throughout the years.”
It has been a great ride since Malden Reads was founded, with lots of community participation D’Urso-Rose said. “I have co-facilitated the program with Jodie Zalk since the first year. We work with a dynamic team of volunteers, along with key staff members from both the library and MATV,” she said.
The Malden Reads co-founder said the relationship is also unique. “I’m pretty sure it’s the only one that is anchored by a community media center, as well as a library,” she said.