Adult Services Featured Programs
"Strengthening Pontiac Through Literacy Partnerships"
Me Too Support Group
Thursdays, 01/09, 02/13, 03/12, 04/09, 05/14, 07/09, 8/13, 6-7:30pm, Recreation Room: Led by survivor and Library Director Devan Green and supported by the Pontiac Chapter of the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, this group is for women and girls who have been victims of molestation, sexual assault, and/or domestic violence. This group will be a safe space to support one another and to learn how to cope and how to deal with issues that develop from trauma such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The group will also have means to communicate between meetings. The meeting location will shift around but will remain in downtown Pontiac.
07/09 (Special Event): Metro Michigan Shotokan Karate presents: Self-Defense Seminar: Gain Confidence and Discover Your Inner Warrior. Women’s only class focuses on a
variety of self-defense techniques against different types of attacks. This is a safe environment for women to practice multiple evasion techniques and gain improved awareness of their surroundings to help avoid being
a victim. Students should wear loose fitting clothes. Jewelry should be removed, hair tied back, and bare feet. Participants receive written hand-outs reviewing the techniques covered during the seminar for further practice.
Instructor: Andrea Moon, third degree Black Belt: Shotokan Japanese Karate.
Registration is required-Maximum 20 participants-Ages 13 and older.
Cooking Matters For Adults
Wednesdays, 01/15-02/19, 5:30-7:30pm, Auditorium: Free cooking and nutrition classes featuring Healthy cooking on a budget, smart shopping ideas, culinary secrets, free cookbook, and free groceries.
Commitment to all classes is mandatory! To register, go to the library calendar, (https://pontiac.lib.mi.us/eventscalendar.html), program page, (https://pontiac.lib.mi.us/adultservices2.html), or call the adult reference desk at 248-758-3943!
Saturdays, 02/01, 02/15, 03/21, 04/18, 4-5pm, Auditorium: Whether you are trying yoga for the first time or are a regular practitioner, join Yaktown Yoga at the Pontiac Library for free classes this fall and winter.
02/01, 4-5pm: Yaktown Yoga Basic Yoga: This is a yoga class for everyone. This class introduces foundational yoga postures that will open,
stretch, and restore your body. You will learn how to breathe and feel comfortable on your mat. It is suitable for all and wheelchair accessible. Please wear comfortable clothing. We are asking
participants to bring yoga mats. A few mats will be available to use in the class. No experience is required, and the class is free.
02/15, 4-5pm: Yaktown Yoga Chair Yoga: This is a therapeutic class. Participants will perform yoga postures and breathing exercises with the aid of a chair. Students can experience the benefits of yoga without having to be on the floor. Benefits include increased flexibility, strength, balance, range of motion, and stress reduction. The class is suitable for all ages and is wheelchair accessible. This class is also beneficial for people with limited mobility and can benefit those with MS, Parkinson's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases, as well as those recuperating from surgery.
03/21, 4-5pm: Yaktown Yoga Deep Stretch: Relax - Release and Restore; In this Yaktown Yoga deep stretch yoga class, we will focus on breathing during long-supported poses that stretch and lengthen muscles and connective tissue. This class is perfect for all levels and ages looking to release the stress of everyday life. Dress in comfortable clothing. Invite your friends. We are asking participants to bring yoga mats. A few mats will be available to use in the class. No experience is required, and the class is free.
04/18, 4-5pm: Yaktown Yoga Gentle Yoga: Need to relax, stretch, and re-center? Join Yaktown Yoga for a gentle yoga class that includes breath work, yoga postures and relaxation techniques to calm your mind and your body this holiday season. Invite a friend. Everybody is welcome. Dress in comfortable clothing. We are asking participants to bring yoga mats. A few mats will be available to use in the class. No experience is required, and the class is free.
Bullish Institute Stock Market Workshop Series
Saturdays, 01/18, 02/15, 03/21, 04/18, 11am-12pm, Auditorium: Come to our library to attend the Bullish Institute Stock Market Workshop Series, taught by Ken “Blanks” Harrell Each class will run approximately 2 hours. Classes may be taken independently or in sequence. Students may ask as many questions as they like. The Bullish Institute will provide enough materials for 25 people per class. Refreshments will be provided by the library.
01/18, Stock Market 101: The Basics: Explore multiple ways to make money in the stock market! Discover how to analyze a stock quote!
Find out when is a good time to buy and sell stocks! Learn the risks and rewards involved with stocks!
02/15, Stock Market 201: Fundamental Analysis: Learn how to analyze a company's Fundamentals! Discover where to find a ton of FREE information! Get familiar with identifying solid stocks to buy!
03/21, Stock Market 301: Technical Analysis: Learn how to analyze a stock chart! Discover where to find a ton of FREE information! Identify key technical indicators of price action! Find out when stocks are about to make a move!
04/18, Stock Market 401: Your First Portfolio: Learn how to setup your brokerage account! Discover best practices for buying and selling stocks! Setup your first self-managed investment portfolio! Develop a conservative, yet aggressive strategy!
Saturdays, 01/25, 02/22, 03/28, 04/25, 1-3pm, Computer Lab: Learn how to do your genealogy and meet other people who enjoy discovering their family history. This club will also include instruction on how to use Ancestry.com which is available to use for free through the library.
Pontiac PSA Premiere And Contest Awards Ceremony
Airey B and Trio-Jazz Concert
Saturday, 02/08, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: Come to our library for an afternoon with live Jazz music.
Airey B is bold, impressive, and admirable, a bodacious singer/songwriter, guitar player and
piano player. Her voice is captivating, expressive, and emotional. She invokes the spirit of the first ladies of the blues like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and
Lizzie Miles. A breath of fresh air, she helps to revive the true spirit of the blues for other generations to come.
James O'Donnell (trumpet) is a native Detroiter. He lived in Mexico City playing at a jazz club for several years & has traveled the world as a bandleader on cruise ships. James studied with Carlos Rivera of the DSO as well as trumpet masters Russell Green (Jimmy Lunceford band), Marcus Belgrave & Herbie Williams, and also Uan Racey (MGM Studios). His playing style encompasses the use of the various techniques using the plunger/growl and other muted effects that were handed down to him to carry on a tradition of this music. He has performed with Jerry Gonzales, Sir Mack Rice, Pinetop Perkins, Lou Reed, Hubert Sumlin, and the Regal Brass Band of New Orleans. Currently he plays with RJ’s Kansas City Six, King Sweat, Motor City Street band and the Coachmen Orchestra. James leads his own groups the Nickyboy Street band and The Motown Mariachi Band. Co-leading the Planet D Nonet with RJ Spangler has been a long term dream project come true. James teaches privately at Anderson Music in Troy. James is on every PD9 recording since the very beginning.
Jeff Cuny (string bass) recently completed work on his Graduate degree in jazz studies at WSU and is a fine young string bassist. He is also the chief arranger for the Planet D Nonet and appears around the city with Tbone Paxton and also the Rhythm Society Orchestra.
Jake Matthews, Metro-Detroit drummer, percussionist, and educator, has been professionally performing since the age of sixteen years old. Receiving the degree of Bachelor of Music, concentrating in jazz drum set, from Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts, Jake has studied as well as worked with some of Detroit’s finest musicians, including Russ Miller, Edward Gooch, and David Taylor, among others. Over the past few years, Jake has been frequently performing throughout the greater metro-Detroit area, playing in all genres as well as various venues such as Cliff Bell’s, Meadowbrook Theatre, The Dirty Dog Jazz Café, The Cube at Orchestra Hall, and Royal Oak’s Arts, Beats, and Eats, just to name a few. Additionally, Jake is also a freelance recording session drummer and has played on multiple local artists’ albums.
Renovate Your Resume
Mondays, 02/10 and 04/06, 5-7pm, Computer Lab: Take your career to the next level with the recruiting team from United Shore! Revamp your resume with the assistance of the United Shore Talent team. This is an opportunity to meet with recruiting professionals and receive help with developing or improving a resume you currently have.
Oakland County in 1877
Saturday, 02/22, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: The first history of Oakland County was produced in 1877 by L.H. Everts Publishing of Philadelphia. The immediate catalyst for writing this book seems to have been the 1876 centennial celebration of American independence.
This 1877 History of Oakland County is well-known to local historians and original versions are available in a number of libraries in the County. They are, however, fragile and access is limited in order to prevent further damage.
As a part of the 2020 Oakland County Bicentennial commemoration, the Oakland County Historical Commission is donating reprints of the Everts book in sturdy library-quality binding to libraries and in the county. Such a version will not require special care and can, therefore, be made more accessible to patrons.
In addition to the formal presentation of the book, Jim Craft of the Oakland County Historical Commission will deliver a talk on its background, content and value as historical literature. In addition, he will address a problem inherent with local histories: such books provide detailed information about local people, conditions and events but often fail to place them in the proper context. Mr. Craft will bring greater understanding to the Everts book and life in 19th Century Oakland County by making connections to the broader sweep of American history that could easily be overlooked by most readers.
The Farm of Erasmus Brown
Meet the Author: KeanaMonique
Saturday, 03/07, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: Come to our library to meet author presenting her books: "Pieces of me Volumes 1 and 2", and "Thot Chronicles: The Tale of Isis Carrington". You will be able to purchase a signed copy of her books.
Bio: Keana Monique is a Pontiac Michigan native that is usually found performing manicuring services for clients at her home-based salon called N'Chanted Nails. She enjoys spending time with her family. Becoming a published author had never been on her bucket list, but the moment she became one, the possibilities became endless. She has written and published two books titled Pieces of Me: Volumes 1 and 2. She also has currently released her first novelette titled, Thot Chronicles: The Tale of Isis Carrington. To contact her, you can send an email toor go to:
Book Description: Thot Chronicles: The Tale of Isis Carrington: The Tale of Isis Carrington is an urban fiction story about a woman named Isis Carrington who is a mother of two boys and one of the top realtors at Keys real estate agency. She is a no nonsense type of woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. But Isis is hiding a hurt from the past that has never been properly dealt with. During her life, she encounters a cluster of diverse people who technically don’t know one another; yet they all have one person in common, and that is Isis. They will later find out that all of them are connected one way or the other. The minute she thinks she has her life together and everything is how she wants it, the past comes to revisit her, forcing her to go back and uncover the old wound that she tried so hard to forget about.
Book Description: Pieces of me Volumes 1 and 2: KeanaMonique details exactly how she reassembled her life with mental, emotional, and physical sacrifice that led to wounds being uncovered so that they could properly and productively heal, enabling her to positively progress on her peaceful journey as she expresses herself though poetic thoughts.
The Great Michigan Read: What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha
Thursday, 03/12, 5-6:30pm, Auditorium: Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water—and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. Paced like a scientific thriller, "What the Eyes Don’t See" reveals how misguided austerity policies, broken democracy, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. And at the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice. What the Eyes Don’t See is a riveting account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for their—and all of our—children.
The Library has copies to give away for this program. Sign up at the Reference Desk and receive a book while supplies last. The program sponsored through the Michigan Humanities Council.
Becoming Michelle Obama Book Chat and Chew
Saturday, 03/28, 11am-1pm, Auditorium: MICHELLE OBAMA, First Lady to our 44th President, Barack Obama. Who is she? What has she accomplished? What does her life and legacy mean to American women today? What does it mean to me? Come find out about this wonderful First Lady, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Executive, Smart, Beautiful, Fun, Empowering. Learn what Michelle Obama has to say about herself, in her own words, in her book, Becoming. Learn about her childhood on the South Side of Chicago, how she balanced the demands of motherhood and working, and how she brought positive change as First Lady. Learn how she has changed our lives, how she will continue to change our lives, and how we, by following her example, can change lives for the better, too. We will have a discussion, activities, and light refreshments.
This program is in partnership with the Oakland Literacy Council.
Meet the Author: Martha Bloomfield
Saturday, 05/02, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: Come to our library to meet author Martha Bloomfield presenting her books: "Hmong Americans in Michigan", "My Eyes Feel They Need to Cry", "Romanies in Michigan", and "The Sweetness of Freedom". You will be able to purchase a signed copy of her books.
Bio: Martha Bloomfield is an author, oral historian, and photographer who specializes in stories of marginalized peoples—immigrants, migrants and the homeless, in an effort to dissipate prejudice and stereotyping and foster civic engagement and social justice. Her motto, is "Peoples’ Stories Defy Stereotypes!” Her most recent book, Romanies in Michigan, (Michigan State University Press, 2019), is a groundbreaking book that shares for the first time, oral histories of Romanies in the United States and specifically in Michigan. She also wrote Hmong Americans in Michigan (2014), the first and only book about Hmong Americans in Michigan. She authored My Eyes Feel They Need to Cry, Stories from the Formerly Homeless, (2013) and coauthored with Steve Ostrander The Sweetness of Freedom, Stories of Immigrants (2010), winner of an IPPY/Independent Publish Book Award, Silver Medal for Multicultural Adult Non-Fiction, and a Michigan Notable Book Award. (All are published by Michigan State University Press.) She gives workshops on oral histories and marginalized peoples and adapts her programs to all ages and venues to inspire people to discover their own and others' stories through their voices, artifacts, historical documents, and family photographs. She is a member of the Michigan Humanities Council Arts and Humanities Touring Directory. She has organized symposia on homelessness, civic engagement, and social justice sponsored by the American Embassies in conjunction with Czech colleagues in The Czech Republic (2010) and with Bulgarian colleagues in Bulgaria (2013). She has given talks at the International Oral History Association meeting in Prague, the national Oral History Association meetings, and the Michigan Oral History Association meetings.
Hmong Americans in Michigan introduces their experience in Michigan, discusses Hmong American history, culture, and more specifically how they left homelands filled with brutality and warfare to come to the United States since the mid-1970s. More than five thousand Hmong Americans live in Michigan. This book documents via personal interviews and extensive research how despite the tremendous losses the Hmong have suffered for many years, they continue to demonstrate courage and profound resilience.
My Eyes Feel They Need to Cry, Stories from the Formerly Homeless: As intimate as they are inspiring, these stories of transformation, drawn from the oral histories of formerly homeless adults, testify to the determination of the human spirit and the healing power of sharing one’s journey. This gripping collection gives voice to the traditionally voiceless, inviting men and women from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds to share their experiences of what it was like to live on the streets, in cars, under bridges, and of how they discovered the inner motivation to change the course of their lives in a positive direction.
Romanies in Michigan is a ground-breaking book that shares oral histories of Romanies in the United States. It focuses on the Hungarian-Slovak Romani musical community originally from Delray, Michigan, as well as others from outlying areas in and near Michigan. It introduces Romanies’ diverse, rich, resilient history in Michigan which provides a different voice from the stereotypical, bigoted newspaper articles from Michigan newspapers that reflect law enforcement agencies’ prejudices or racial profiling.
The Sweetness of Freedom, Stories of Immigrants presents an eclectic grouping of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigrants' narratives and the personal artifacts, historical documents, and photographs these travelers brought on their journeys to Michigan. Some of the immigrants hoped to gain better education and jobs. Others—refugees—fled their homelands because of war, poverty, repression, religious persecution, or ethnic discrimination.
Eat Smart, Live Strong
Wednesdays, 05/06, 05/13, 05/20, 05/27, 1-2pm, Auditorium: Enjoy fun and lively activities with other older adults! Eat Smart, Live Strong is a 4-week series for adults age 60-74 where participants talk about easy way to make smart food choices and exercise more.
"A Multicultural Song that I Sing Alone" with Bo Kyung Kim
Saturday, 01/25 (cancelled due to injury), 05/16, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: Come see the poet and dancer Bo Kyung Kim presenting her poetry book, "A Multicultural Song that I Sing Alone", reading excerpts, and performing her peace dance. You will be able to purchase a signed copy of her book.
Bio: Bo Kyung Kim is a poet, dancer, and former music teacher. Her original name is Soon Sil Kim. She was born in Jeju, South Korea, graduated from the Jeju National University’s music department, and taught music at a junior high school. She taught a Korean traditional women’s group dance, called Gahng Gahng Suwollae, to people trying to prevent divorce, multi-racial harmony, and unification, in Michigan, Ohio, and California. She performed many solo dances dedicated to war victims, such as for The U.S. Civil War victims. She composed many peace songs. She graduated from the West Los Angeles College, and Cal State Los Angeles majoring Political Science, published five poetry books, including one English poetry book titled, “A Multicultural Song That I Sing Alone”, an essay book, and the “Gahng Gahng Suwollae” dance. She created 6 short stage art works, her own genre “Poetrysongdance.” She is currently a member of IWOSC, and the Korean American poet association.
Book description: U.S.is a Multiculturalist country. When the country was settling in early history, it built its own culture, from a mix of European cultures such as England, France, Netherland, Spain, Germany, and absorbed Native American and African culture. Later, Asian immigrants were added, the American culture became more colorful, and diversity was formed. Democracy was developed after the Second World War and the U.S. became a prosperous country. Multiculturalism bloomed in the country. However, in order to keep our freedom and human rights, we needed to possess guns. This book describes the brilliant beauty and also the dark side of the background of multiculturalism. It is a song that is brewing new cultures and the adjusting main culture sang by an immigrant from South Korea. U.S. multiculturalism is a melting pot in which all kinds of cultures gathered to make a new culture like a salad is using many materials. Also there are some love songs, the yearning of and patriotic songs about the author’s motherland, South Korea. The author’s loving environmental songs also express her upset about destroying mountains and rivers. This coincides with the author’s own thought, that “one body thought”, that human and natural environment such as mountains and rivers are one. Such environment is part of a human body. This means that the author loves the natural environment like her body. And author insist one body thought could solve the problem. Peace songs are also included. The author is a pure peace dancer, especially doing peace dance dedicated for the war victims such as the U.S. Independence War, the Civil War, and the Korean War Also while the author is writing peace poems and performs dance and music, creates the spirit of America or the world spirit though her works. For example, as we see in her poetry, she compares herself to her poem “white migratory bird.” She is a pure peace artist, differing from other poets who express individual stories. Also, poems about gun violence are included and the author suggests a solution that is her opinion, through these poems. Consequently, “A Multicultural Song that I Sing Alone ” is not only about multiculturalism in the U.S., but is also adding the author’s individual, natural environment, and peace songs, about pursuing peace and security for the society, the nation, and the environment. Everybody, young and old, should read this book and consider our society’s problems.
Vital Mix-Jazz, R&B, and Blues Concert
Saturday, 06/13, 3:30-5pm, Auditorium: Come to our library for an afternoon with live music. Vital Mix is a band of seasoned musicians who perform a variety of music genres which includes Jazz, R&B, Blues and gospel. The core members of the band consist of three brothers, Ray, Solomon, and Mark Green, who are all natives of Pontiac, MI. Each member received their early development as musicians in church and school and they have perform in various venues across the country. The brothers have mentored and assisted in the development of many young musicians throughout the country. Some of these young musicians occasionally perform with the band, including their sons, nephews and friends, thus the name "Vital Mix".
Guitarist Ray Green is the co-founder of Vital Mix, he began performing at age six in church and occasionally performed with local Bands. After graduating high school in 1977, he moved to Minneapolis, MN where the music scene was just beginning to explode. The Minneapolis music scene provided him the opportunity to sit in on jams sessions with the late iconic artist Prince before he became famous, and exposed him to other rising artist of Minneapolis. His musical influences are George Benson, Al McKay, and Tony Maiden just to name a few.
Bassist Solomon Green who is also one of the founding members, began his musical journey at age nine playing in church, then in the school orchestra. Some of his musical influences as a bassist are Stanley Clark, Jaco Pastorius, and Bootsy Collins to name a few. Yet he often stresses the importance of originality by stating "No one can beat you at being you".
Guitarist/Pianist Mark Green began his musical career at age five playing in church and the school band. He has played throughout the country in various venues and is also the founder of "America Let's Exercise", a non-profit organization established in Auburn Hills, MI that utilizes music to help promote physical fitness.
Saxophonist/Keyboardist Aaron Green began his musical career in the school band and then the church. He has performed with The Four Tops led by Pontiac native and professional artist Ronnie McNeir, as well as a variety of musicians and artist around the country.
Drummer William Green began his musical career playing in the school band and then the church. He has gained a great deal of professional experience during his young life by performing with a variety of musicians and bands around the country. He is often referred to as "the metronome" because of his ability to lock in on the beat.
Cooking with Kids
Tuesdays, 06/16, 06/23, 06/30, 07/07, 07/14, 07/21, 1-3pm, Auditorium: Cooking with kids as a free 6-week cooking program for kids grades K-5. Food samples, activity booklets, and more will be provided!
Tuesdays, 07/21, 07/28, 08/04, 08/11, 6-7:30pm, Auditorium: The Heartfulness Meditation Program offers a simple set of relaxation and meditation exercises, which when practiced daily, help restore balance in life, manage stress, better your health, and most of all will lead you to inner calm and peace. The relaxation and meditation techniques are taught over free courses: Each class covers both the conceptual framework as well as practical meditation and relaxation sessions (classes last for 1.5 hours). As classes progress, we add other techniques to help you go into a deep meditative state, faster. Ideally, all participants may register for all six sessions. Participants will be meditating in chairs. Those wishing to meditate while sitting on the floor may bring their own floor cushions. The entire program will be conducted by certified Heartfulness trainers, who have been meditating and training for several years.
RJ Spangler Quartet-Jazz Concert
Saturday, 07/25, 3:30-4:30pm, Auditorium: Come to our library for an afternoon with live jazz music. The RJ Spangler Quartet is featuring Detroit jazz sax great Larry Smith.
RJ speaks about the history of Detroit's jazz & blues roots and performs musical examples with an all-star band.
About Larry: Born near Pittsburgh in 1947, he got his start playing jazz, showing the ropes to his friend, jazz guitar great George Benson. Smith moved to New York where he played with big names such as Shirley Scott and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Larry had a special relationship with one the all-time great sax players - Sonny Stitt. Sonny knew and encouraged Larry going back to his teenage years. This lead to Larry touring with Sonny as a regular member of his group. Quite an honor for a man that plays the same instrument as the leader! As Charles Latimer said in the Metro Time: "His specialty is ballads. He shuts his eyes, hunches his shoulders, and holds his saxophone like a prom date. The ballads are so touching they'd make the devil cry." Larry appears as a special guest on James Carter's 1996 ‘Conversin' with the Elders’ and Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge. He has also toured with the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.
Drummer RJ Spangler has appeared on over 60 recordings and has toured the US, Canada, and Europe quite a few times. He lectures on Detroit jazz & blues history and beyond his trio, he leads the Planet D Nonet swing band as well as a blues band.
Guitarist Oliver Nevels is another veteran player whom has recorded & toured nationally with organist Charles Earland. He has also toured with organist Richard "Groove" Holmes and "Brother" Jack McDuff.
Bassist Greg Cook is a Detroit main stay, having proven himself playing with the top of Detroit's jazz scene: Geri Allen, Roy Brooks, Marcus Belgrave, and many others. He toured Europe with soul great Bettye LeVette and held down the bass chair in Rat Pack show for countless performances in addition to performances with international stars like Mose Allison and Johnny Hartman.
PHOTO/VIDEO USE - The Pontiac Public Library reserves the right, under federal, state and local law, to use photographs and video taken at library events for reproduction on the library's website or in other official library publications and displays, including but not limited to print or online, without consideration or compensation. The Library reserves the right to crop or treat the photographs/video at its discretion. Full names will not be used unless participants express their desire to be identified.