Brenner Crossing residents gather for unveiling of newest Little Free Library

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2018

SALISBURY — A collective “aah” fell over the group of children crowded around a colorfully painted Little Free Library erected at the Brenner Crossing apartment complex Thursday.

The newest library is one among dozens throughout Rowan County, but it’s the first at Brenner Crossing. It was a community collaboration to get the Little Free Library in place. The library, which was painted by graffiti artist Shane Pierce, was donated by Salisbury resident Greg Dunn.

Brad Gorman with the city installed the library, and South Main Book Co. provided 18 books as part of a giveaway. Brenner Crossing provided the ice cream, and Salisbury Police Department officers brought their Neighborhood Ice Cream Express (NICE) truck to distribute the treats.

The library was unveiled Thursday amid a large gathering of residents from Brenner Crossing and the surrounding area. The idea behind the library is that children can pick out a book and, once they’ve read it, return it or replace it with another.

Makita Price, a native of Salisbury, lived at the complex when it was Civic Apartments. She was on Standish Street to pick up her children from A Mother’s Choice Childcare Center when she heard the ice cream truck and flagged down the officer driving it.

She brought twins Kymarah and Kamari, 9, to the library unveiling.

“I think it’s great. It’s amazing and giving them something to look forward to,” Price said.

She said the West End neighborhood has a lot to offer, including being home to Livingstone College.

She’s seen the good and the bad in West End and says she appreciates both.

“It’s wonderful. It’s good to show my kids there is good,” she said.

Rodney Chambers lives in the area and brought his children and grandchildren.

“I think it’s great,” he said.

He said the kids will benefit from the books they can “check out.”

Yasmine Sherrill lives across from the complex and came with her son, Ayden.

“I think it’s sweet and nice of them to do this for the little kids,” Sherrill said.

Pierce said he was approached about painting the library and immediately agreed. Pierce came up with a Victorian house theme.

While living in Cleveland, Ohio, he used to remodel homes, so he thought about those homes while creating the design for the Little Free Library. He has worked with the Marine Corps and nonprofit groups in Cleveland, so this was a good chance to give back.

Working with nonprofit organizations is what got Pierce back into art. He has upcoming projects this year throughout the city, including a mural on the train bridge at Military Avenue that will feature a military/veteran theme, the Interstate 85 bridge at East Innes Street and the YMCA.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.