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July 04, 2003 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-07-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

INSIDE:

Community
Calendar

Maze!
Toy!

• • • •

30

. • • ......3 1

State-of-the-art library planned

with figure growth in mind.

read to it.
The library was officially dedicat-
Special to the Jewish News
ed June 15 with a ribbon-cutting
ceremony and open house. Earlier,
he new Southfield Public
Southfield Mayor Brenda L.
Library building,
Lawrence checked out the first book
described by some as the

Profiles in Leadership by Alan
"Taj Mahal" of city
Axelrod.
libraries, has opened its 185,000
Her mayoral victory in 2001 has
books to the public.
been attributed partially to her sup-
When proposed, the library's size
port of the final version of the
divided the city politically. It took
library. While all city officials
three millage votes before the struc-
ture was approved in 1999, but once favored construction of a new
library, some opposed the size and
the architect and builder got the
scope of it — hence the opponents'
OK, they came up with a stunning
"Taj Mahal" tag.
piece of architecture on Evergreen
Lawrence said the "new library
Road in Southfield's civic center.
provides
the community with a
The $36.8 million, state-of-the-art
world-class
facility that will encour-
building has 127,000 square feet of
age
reading
and a lifelong love of
space, featuring a 65-foot glass
books.
The
library
embraces progress
tower with a meeting room inside of
in
the
city,
and
embraces
our chil-
it — giving the appearance that the
dren because it starts them reading
room is floating. It also boasts three
at a young age."
outdoor terraces; a wide winding
Eunice Rose, vice president of the
stairway; three Pewabic tile fire-
Southfield
library board and the
places; terrazzo floors; 250 public-
only
Jewish
member of the five-per-
use computers; a cafe; drive-through
son
appointed
board, countered crit-
book pickup and return service; and
ics
by
asserting
that the building is
a huge children's book and play area,
perfect
the
way
it is now, and is just
complete with a sleeping dragon
right for the future needs of the city.
that comes to life when children

BILL CARROLL

T

7/ 4
2003

24

"Our daytime population increases
to about 150,000 people because of
the many offices and high-tech com-
panies along Northwestern Highway
and other parts of the city and vari-
ous schools," she said. "They will
put it to good use. The old library
was too crowded and outdated. This
building provides users with 21st-
century technology.
"Our Jewish people especially love
learning and love culture," she said.
"All of the features at the new
library will give them plenty of that.
We envision much greater use of the
facility by all segments of the com-
munity. The library board sees it as
becoming a true community center.
"The new library already is put-
ting Southfield on the map," she
added. "Calls are coming in from
around the United States and even
other countries from librarians who
have heard about this beautiful new
place and want to know more about
it.''
There is no separate Judaica sec-
tion in the library, but City
Librarian Douglas A. Zyskowski
pointed out that books on many
Jewish topics are spread out

throughout the
Sculpture of
building.
children's books
"The new library
greets library
has a certain magic
visitors.
to it," he said,
"like the magic you
feel when you open
a new book and a story unfolds. The
books will satisfy the curious and
aid those who are learning new sub-
jects."
The library has about 1,000 data
ports, voice and video connections,
two 14-seat computer labs, advanced
audio-visual equipment with satellite
downlink and broadcast capability,
public study rooms equipped with
computer and cable TV connections,
a Southfield History Room, an audi-
torium and conference room and
several statues and sculptures.
The children's area includes a
space station room, storybook castle
with book throne and dragon, read-
ers' tree house and "Imaginarium”
garden.
The eye-opening architecture is
the work of Phillips Swager
Associates of Dallas. The firm has
designed about 60 libraries around
the country. E

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