Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre

Library hours

Monday to Friday  9:30 am to 4:15 pm
Saturday 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Sunday  1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Founded in 1976, and relocated to the new Visitor Centre in 2011, the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre is the largest public access botanical and horticultural library in western Canada.

The library’s collection focuses on gardening in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, and covers a wide range of topics including gardening techniques, selecting and growing ornamental plants, native floras from around the world, vegetable and herb gardening, pruning and training, North American ethnobotany, butterfly gardening, native plant gardening, flower arrangement, plant hunters, garden history, pests and diseases, garden design, gardens to visit, horticulture in urban environments, botany and plant ecology, plant conservation, literature in the garden, garden art, organic gardening, environmental science and much more.

The Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre’s valuable research collection complements the living resources of VanDusen Botanical Garden. In addition to our collection, you can enjoy regular art exhibitions in the Roberta Mickelson Gallery, which is inside the library.

Browse through our Library Photo Gallery

Search our catalogue now!

  • +General Information

    Using our Collection

    The Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre is open for research purposes to the general public without charge. Borrowing privileges are restricted to VanDusen Garden members.

    Books at the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre are organized by subject – if you’re interested in roses, you will find all the books on roses in one place. Reference and lending books are shelved side-by-side. You can tell them apart because all circulating books have a green stripe on their spines, indicating that they can be borrowed (by Garden members). Books without a stripe are for reference only, and will always be available for research in the library.

    Note: the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre is not part of the Vancouver Public Library system.

    Borrowing our Books

    Borrowing privileges are restricted to members of VanDusen Botanical Garden.

    Members can borrow a maximum of 2 books at a time for a loan period of two weeks. Circulating items may be renewed once by e-mail or phone (if they are not already overdue, and if no hold has been placed on them).
    Fines are charged for materials returned after the due date, and damaged or lost materials must be replaced or paid for by the subscriber.
    Materials can be returned to the Library during regular Library hours or at the Information Desk when the Library is closed.



    If you wish to direct a cash donation to the Library, to enhance the collection or donate to our Adopt-a-Shelf program please contact us at fundraising@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8677

    The Yosef Wosk Library and Learning Centre gratefully accepts donations towards new and gently used books for our collection and our used book sales.

    Contact Information

    General Information: 604-257-8668
    Fax: 604-257-8679
    E-mail: library@vandusen.org

    Mailing Address

    Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre
    5151 Oak Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    V6M 4H1


    Marina Princz
    Tel. 604-257-8668
    Email: library@vandusen.org


    Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (http://www.cbhl.net/)
    An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.

  • +Book Feature

    The Weather-Resilient Garden: A Defensive Approach to Planning & Landscaping
    Smith, Charles W.G.
    Illustrations by Elayne Sears and Bobbi Angell. North Adams, MA : Storey Publishing, 2004.

    Call #: SB324.3 .D475 2010 | 1 copy circ.

    Drought, flood, hail, and wind, and lightening are just a few of the challenges that extreme weather can present as you’re trying to grow healthy plants. Charles W. G. Smith helps you tackle unforeseen weather changes using his ingenious defensive approach to gardening. With profiles of 100 hardy plants and tips on expertly dealing with broken tree limbs and uprooted plants, Smith provides all the information you need to plan and maintain a gorgeous, durable garden that will stand up to whatever nature throws at it.

  • +Book Club

    Are you a member? If so, come join our friendly group on the 4th Tuesday of month (except July, August and December) from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. in the Visitor Centre’s Volunteer Lounge.

    The Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre Book Club has been meeting since 2008. Discussions focus on an eclectic variety of topics related to botany, horticulture and the natural world including gardening, gardens and gardeners, plant exploration, gardens in literature and art, ecological and environmental issues, natural history and more.

    For the months when a topic (rather than a single book) has been selected, members are asked to choose from among the suggested books or to find their own if no particular suggestions have been made.

    Each of our meetings are facilitated by one of our members. People are encouraged to share in this process and volunteer to take on the occasional session. For a more information, contact Marina Princz at library@vandusen.org or at 604-257-8668.

    Download 2018 Book Selections and Topics (PDF)>>

    Meeting dates:
    (No meetings in July, August or December)
    January 23
    February 27
    March 27
    April 24
    May 22
    June 26
    September 25
    October 23
    November 27


  • +Roberta Mickelson Gallery Exhibitions

    New Exhibition by Marion-Lea Jamieson

    Vegetable Kingdom opens Wednesday January 4th at the Roberta Mickelson Gallery inside the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre.

    All are invited to the official opening Saturday, January 6th from 2-4 pm.

    This exhibition will run until Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

    Bio: Marion-Lea Jamieson

    Last year I completed a series of 12 painting called “Vegetable Kingdom” that is my homage to the fantastic array of fruits and vegetable that sustain us and add so much pleasure to our lives.

    I am an urban gardener and love the fruits and vegetables I grow. Every day I draw inspiration and joy from my garden and love to paint them. I try to capture their energy and the incredible life force that is a vegetable garden. I want viewers to share my wonder at the amazing variety of colours and forms in the plants we grow and eat.

    These paintings also explore transitions between states of being: present & past; conscious & unconscious; youth & age; vigour & weakness; innocence & experience. The paintings seek to express how matter is constantly changing into energy and the present is constantly becoming the past.

    I graduated with honours from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art & Design) and have exhibited and sold works in Canada, the US, France and China.

  • +Special Events

    The Great Book(s) of Nature: The Origins and Treasures of Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring Garden Library with Spencer W. Stuart

    Saturday, March 24th at 2 pm

    Rachel Lambert Mellon (1910-2014), often known as Bunny Mellon, was an American horticulturalistgardenerphilanthropist, and art collector. She designed and planted several significant gardens, including the White House Rose Garden and assembled, over 80 years, one of the most comprehensive botanical and horticultural book collections in private hands. In 1981, the Oak Springs Garden Library was founded on her estate in Virginia.

    Join Art and Collections Historian, Spencer W. Stuart, for a presentation and discussion of the earliest treasures from her collection. The lecture will focus on French and English publications from the late 17th century that offer early examples of horticulture during a period of dynamic learning, debate and public interest in the development and maintenance of gardens.

    Spencer W Stuart holds a Masters in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, UK, and received the Director’s Award upon his completion of the degree. He has worked with Bonhams Auctioneers, focusing on Rare Books and Manuscripts in both Toronto and New York. He now resides in Vancouver, where he operates a collection management practice.

    This event will be followed by a tour of the library’s collections, its current Roberta Mickelson Gallery art exhibition, and information about current and upcoming programs.

  • +What's New?

    The following is a selection of noteworthy books at our library on the topic of Sustainable Gardening:

    Tomorrow’s garden : design and inspiration for a new age of sustainable gardening by Stephen Orr. New York : Rodale, 2011.
    Call #: SB472.45 .O77 2011
    1 copy circ.


    Orr traveled the United States from coast to coast to find gardens both large and small that show how responsible gardeners are re-imaging the definition of a modern garden and addressing design, plant choice, water usage, materials, and more, in exciting, innovative, and often surprising ways.

    Bringing nature home : how native plants sustain wildlife in our gardens by Douglas W. Tallamy. Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2009.
    Call #: SB439 .T275 2009
    1 copy ref., 1 copy circ.


    The pressures on wildlife populations today are greater than they have ever been and many gardeners assume they can remedy this situation by simply planting a variety of flowering perennials, trees, and shrubs. As Douglas Tallamy points out in this revelatory book, that assumption is largely mistaken. Wild creatures exist in a complex web of interrelationships, and often require different kinds of food at different stages of their development. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. When native plant species disappear, the insects disappear, thus impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. Fortunately, there is still time to reverse this alarming trend, and gardeners have the power to make a significant contribution toward sustainable biodiversity. By favoring native plants, gardeners can provide a welcoming environment for wildlife of all kinds. Healthy local ecosystems are not only beautiful and fascinating, they are also essential to human well-being. By heeding Douglas Tallamy’s eloquent arguments and acting upon his recommendations, gardeners everywhere can make a difference.

    The new American landscape : leading voices on the future of sustainable gardening

    by Christopher, Thomas. Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2011.
    Call #: SB319.95 .N49 2011
    1 copy circ.


    Gardeners are the front line of defense in our struggle to tackle the problems of global warming, loss of habitat, water shortages, and shrinking biodiversity. In The New American Landscape, author and editor Thomas Christopher brings together the best thinkers on the topic of gardening sustainably, and asks them to describe the future of the sustainable landscape. The discussion unfolds from there, and what results is a collective vision as eloquent as it is diverse.

    The New American Landscape offers designers a roadmap to a beautiful garden that improves, not degrades the environment. It’s a provocative manifesto about the important role gardens play in creating a more sustainable future that no professional garden designer can afford to miss.

    Shamanic gardening : timeless techniques for the modern sustainable garden by Melinda Joy Miller. Port Townsend, WA : Process Media, 2012.
    Call #: QK99 .A1 M384 2012
    1 copy circ.


    A shaman is one who walks in two worlds, one seen easily by everyone, another seen with the senses of the heart, deep recesses of the mind, and within the collective spiritual consciousness.

    Shamanic Gardening integrates sustainable ancient and traditional gardening methods with shamanic principles and modern permaculture. The practices, history, myths, recipes, and philosophies inside this book will enhance your relationship with nature, sustain the earth, delight your senses, and nourish your soul.

    This book teaches both simple and advanced techniques to garden with more awareness and effectiveness, using your inner senses. Learn to design an elegant, edible, sustainable landscape, plant for nutrition and beauty, grow healing herbs and aphrodisiacs, work with earth energies and color, extract flower essences, and much more.

    Food grown right, in your backyard : a beginner’s guide to growing crops at home by Colin McCrate. Seattle, WA : Skipstone, 2012.
    Call #: S494.5 .U72 M43 2012
    1 copy circ.


    This book provides an easy, inspiring introduction for first-timers who want to grow their own food while saving money and time. Written by the founders of the nationally recognized Seattle Urban Farm Company, this full color, beautifully photographed guide, they prove that anyone can develop a “green thumb,” as they show readers how to build a garden from the ground up, explaining general gardening basics and discussing the best types of crops to try.

    Stand up and garden by Moss-Sprague, Mary. Woodstock, VT : Countryman Press, c2012.
    Call #: SB463.5 .M68 2012
    1 copy circ.


    Focusing on containers, trellises, and raised beds, this book shows how everyone can garden, including those with physical limitations like arthritis or location limitations like apartment-dwellers without backyards.

  • +Preschool Storytime

    Takes place on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 10:00 to 10:45 am and includes reading, action songs and a craft project. Ages 3 – 5

    Registration is required due to limited space, but program is free!

    • (FULL) January 24: The Winter Garden
    • February 28: Signs of Spring
    • March 28: Feathered Friends
    • April 25: Bees and other Pollinators
    • May 23: Living Ponds
    • June 27: Blooming June
    • July and August: No Storytime scheduled. Enjoy the summer!
    • September 26: Veggie Delights
    • October 24: Autumn Harvest
    • November 28: Putting the Garden to Sleep

    Younger siblings welcome if quiet and engaged.

    To register and for more information, contact Marina Princz at 604-257-8668 or by email at library@vandusen.org