Take a book, leave a book

Little Library unveiled in Brandon’s Kennedy Park


BRANDON — It took a year due to the pandemic, but a Little Library opened in Brandon’s Kennedy Park on Monday.

The project was the brainchild of David Allan Rose and two French exchange students who came to town last year.

Rose is a well-known local swing dance instructor who also works as a contractor renovating historic homes. He also regularly hosts exchange students in his Leicester home. All of those seemingly unrelated interests converged last year when Ines’ Maillard and Laurena Delmarle came to stay in Brandon as exchange students.

David Allan Rose, left, with Brandon Librarian Molly Kennedy at the new Little Library installed in Kennedy Park this week. The structure was built by two French exchange students as a gift to the Town of Brandon.
Photo by Lee Kahrs

Rose said  he got the idea for a Little Library when he was in Atlanta last year and  saw Little Libraries being put up in front of historic homes there.

“I thought it was a wonderful idea, and I was just amazed at how much people loved them,” he said. “I thought of Kennedy Park and thought it was the perfect location for this.”

Inés Maillard and Laurena Delmarle, both now 19, building the Little Library last year. The two girls were exchange students from France who wanted to do a community project for the Town of Brandon.
Photo provided

When the girls wanted to do a community project, Rose suggested they build a Little Library. With no previous carpentry skills, they did, and their work now graces the park in front of Neshobe Falls.

Enter Brandon Librarian Molly Kennedy. She and her husband have been taking Swing dance lessons from Rose for years, and he mentioned the project to her.

“I was already thinking about it,” she said with a laugh. “A year late, we’ve finally arrived. We got permission from the town this week to put it up. So, now, you can leave a book, and take a book.”

The Little Library features three bookshelves filled with an array of offerings handpicked by Kennedy. On the top shelf is a sign in book and a photo book done by Maillard and Delmarle chronicling the building of the library. Glass doors on the front and cedar shake roof complete the look. At the very top of the Little Library is a plaque that reads, “A Gift to the Town of Brandon, handcrafted by Ines’ Maillard, 19, and Laurena Delmarle, 19, visiting from France.”

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