“So, you’re writing a blog post about a library…that’s not very sexy” my husband stated blandly as he turned and left the room, unimpressed. Clearly, he has not been to the Southfield Public Library for if he had, he’d know that if any facility could bring some “sexiness” to books and research – Southfield is it!
I’d driven by the facility off of Evergreen Road numerous times throughout the years, yet never taken the time to stop in. However this week was different, as an associate had suggested the spot as a location for an important meeting.
At first I felt resistant to the idea. After all, I had cultivated quite a liking for business meetings at my favorite overpriced coffee shop on the corner. For years I’ve been conducting business to the soft muted jazz, the scent of freshly roasted columbian beans, and the hum of busy fingers tapping on laptops throughout.
However, one individual on our team had voiced concern that a noisy coffee shop may not be conducive to the thoughtful work we were trying to accomplish. We needed to pour over volumes of materials and were anticipating a spirited dialogue along with the review. Competing with the hustle and bustle of daily commuters overdue on their java fix could make this task challenging, and even the most focused on our team would likely become distracted.
When I pulled up to the Southfield Library I was struck by its beauty and its state of the art architecture which has not a drop of “institutional” feel to it. When you walk through the doors you see shiny tile, slick furnishings, and fresh lighting which feels more like an upscale office building than a public facility.
Our meeting was held in one of the group study rooms, a number of which are found on all three levels of the library. Available on a first come, first-served basis, these rooms are well appointed with modern furniture, comfortable chairs, room to spread out, and free wireless internet. Glass walls let in plenty of natural lighting, yet the solid construction enabled us to have a spirited discussion that was effective for us while not being disruptive to others. A white board allowed us to do some creative strategy work, and we all left feeling it was our most productive meeting to date.
On my way out I walked the impressive spiral staircase and took a self- led tour of the art exhibits, the computer labs, meeting spaces, café, and a children’s area I can only describe as sublime. I discovered the staff to be friendly and helpful, the programming to be diverse and rich with opportunity. They even have great java (cheaper than the corner coffee shop) and a drive-through book return – how cool is that? I left with a plan to return for a host of special events and activities.
So if you’re looking for a quiet place to hold an informal meeting or a place for just you alone to think, create, and be inspired, then visit this gem of a facility – you’ll certainly be glad you did!
Susan Dooley is an author and training consultant with Dale Carnegie/Ralph Nichols Group, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT. Photo courtesy of the Southfield Public Library – please visit them here: http://www.southfieldlibrary.org/