Southfield Public Library turns 20

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published September 8, 2023

 The library embraces the role of the heart of Southfield, staff said.

The library embraces the role of the heart of Southfield, staff said.

Photo provided


SOUTHFIELD — This month, the Southfield Public Library is celebrating 20 years at its current location.

“The library is kind of the heart of Southfield, and we gladly embrace that role,” said outreach librarian Kelly Rembert, who started just a few months after the library moved to its new building.

Rembert is eager to broaden the public’s understanding of what the library has to offer at an upcoming 20th Anniversary Celebration 1-4:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road. The event will start off with the announcement of the library card design contest winners, followed by a 1:10 p.m. performance by the Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology marching band, and remarks at 1:30 p.m. by the library board, the Friends of the Southfield Public Library and city officials.

Other activities include music by Dreams Deferred and the Chamberlin Petting Zoo at 2 p.m. The library will have an open house to showcase all that they have to offer, including new technology demonstrations, library tours, music, special story times and events, a selfie station and the Kona Ice Truck.

Rembert recalls that the library was once housed in City Hall, but they began to outgrow the space, which led to the relocation to the modern building lined with glass windows, allowing readers a sunlit reading experience and the library to further its services.

During her time with the library, one of her favorite aspects of the job is the community atmosphere that lends to lifelong connections and helping others, she said.

Rembert stated that the library wouldn’t be able to offer the community the same quality experience if not for its nonprofit arm, the Friends of the Southfield Public Library. The Friends are a group of volunteers who are passionate about library services and fundraise on behalf of the library to provide the community with more opportunities.

Yolanda Haynes, the chair of the Friends, has been a bookworm her entire life and remembers that during her childhood in New Orleans, the library was always her safe place.

She stated that when she’d take her children out of town, rather than visiting malls, she’d take them to the local library. Haynes joined the Friends in 2005, when she was homeschooling her children and spending more time at the library. During her time on the board, Haynes has loved watching the library grow and become a “community hub” with the installation of the Boy and Bear sculpture by Marshall M. Fredericks from Northland Center and the architecture awards that the library has won.

Haynes emphasized the important role that the library plays in the community.

“Just the idea of having something for the family in Southfield that we can do in our city that supports our families and supports our community. That’s the biggest thing,” she said.

The library’s upcoming celebration of its 20th anniversary is free and open to the public. For more information, visit