Welcome to the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre!

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.

Browse through our Library Photo Gallery

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  • +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.

    Library hours


    Tuesday                               9:00 am to 4:30 pm
    Wednesday to Friday     9:30 am to 4:00 pm
    Sunday                                 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm


    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 Gordon White, Development Director at 257-8190 or

    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

    Mailing Address

    Yosef Wosk Library and Reource Centre
    5251 Oak Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    V6M 4H1


    Marina Princz
    Tel. 604-257-8668


    Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (
    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 of the Month

    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.

  • +Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre 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 VanDusen 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.

    For a more detailed listing of the information below and to register, contact Marina Princz at or at 604-257-8668.

    Download 2017 Book Selections and Topics (PDF)>>

    Meeting dates:
    (No meetings in July, August or December)
    January 24
    February 28
    March 28
    April 25
    May 23
    June 27
    September 26
    October 24
    November 28


  • +Exhibitions in the Library

    UP-CLOSE presented by Vancouver en plein air Group

    March 30 – June 27, 2017
    Show opening April 1, 2 – 4 pm

    All the artists represented in this group exhibition find their inspiration while painting on location at VanDusen Garden. In this year’s exhibition entitled UP-CLOSE, the Vancouver en plein air Group, initiated in April 2011, zooms-in to the lush vegetation that provides a new dimension of foreground details. The subjects are varied, and so is the medium. The images are captured at a tightly framed range, with works in watercolour, acrylic, oil and mixed media. The different artistic backgrounds and life journeys of our members are compiled in an album with small biographies, images and contact information for each artist. It is available for viewing in the library.

    This exhibition will run from March 30th to June 27th, 2017

    All are welcome to our Opening on April 1, 2017, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

  • +New in the library

    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

    New at the Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre!

    Nature’s Stories for Young Children

    10:00 am to 10:40 am
    On the 4th Wednesday of each month until June 2017

    • Wednesday April 26: Vegetable Gardening: Seed, Seed, Sprout!
    • Wednesday May 24: Birds: Our Fine Feathered Friends
    • Wednesday June 28: Butterflies: Fluttering through the Garden

    Appropriate for ages 3-5 years old. Younger children welcome if quiet and engaged.
    Free, although as space is limited to 15 preschoolers, we ask that you RSVP.

    If you have to cancel a reservation, let us know so we can offer the space to someone else.

    To RSVP or for more information, contact Marina Princz at 604-257-8668 or by email at