Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre

December Library hours

Monday to Friday – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Saturdays – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Sundays – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
(Note: Regular hours will resume in January)

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

    Exhibition of Paintings by Denise Gasser

    October 2nd to December 19th

    Denise Gasser is a mixed media artist, born and raised near the mountains of Utah. After receiving her BFA in Art Education, she lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a time, before moving to her current home in Vancouver, BC. The farther she ventured north, the deeper her work was permeated by the natural wonders of the Northwest Coast. Denise shares her home studio with her architect husband and their three young and very busy sons.

    Whether taking inspiration from coastal forests, driftwood, or rollerbladers in neon spandex, tension is a consistent theme in Denise’s work. Tension between flowing, organic forms and rigid, geometric patterns. Tension between foreground and background, order and chaos, reality and dreams. Her work has exhibited in Canada and the U.S., and is owned in private collections in several countries around the world. See more at www.denisegasser.com or www.instagram.com/denisegasserart


    Upcoming Exhibition: Inspired by Nature, works by Beverly Grice

    Beverly is a self-taught artist who continues to be inspired by the diverse beauty of the nature that surrounds us. 

    Her artistic development began early, but as a retiree from the Nutrition sector of the BC Health Care field, she now has the freedom to pursue painting more vigorously. Whether with others or alone, outside or in the studio, painting provides her with a joyful experience that brings her much tranquility.

    The Inspired by Nature exhibit at the Roberta Mickelson Gallery at the Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre includes images of flowers, trees and landscapes that reflect the enthusiasm that Beverly draws from the nature that is so abundant in the gardens of Vancouver, in its surrounding areas, as well as in her own garden.

    E-mail: bgrice@alumni.sfu.ca
    Website: www.BeverlyGrice.com

  • +2018 Speaker Series

    The Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre is proud to present its

    2018 Speaker Series

    No registration is required, however, arrive early as seating is limited to 35 participants and available on a first come, first served basis. Free admission.

    Doors open a half hour before start time.

    Beatrix Potter: Illustrations of this World

    Saturday, November 10th, 2018

    2 pm in the Visitor Centre Volunteer Lounge

    Beatrix Potter was a woman of many interests and ambitions. However, we often come to know only one of these, her children’s books. Renowned for her fabulous Peter Rabbit storybook illustrations at the turn of the Century, during this period Potter was also involved in the study of fungi (mycology) and, later in life, land conservancy efforts in Britain.

    Join returning lecturer Spencer W. Stuart as he explores three facets of Potter’s life. Beginning with her extraordinarily successful children’s tales, of which she published twenty-three, he will delve into Potter’s lesser-known involvement with the study of mycology through scientific illustration as well as writing. Now housed in the Armitt Museum in England and Perth Museum in Scotland, these beautifully executed and famously accurate water colours continue to serve as reference to both amateur and expert mycologists alike. Finally, he will discuss her enduring legacy to the conservation of the historic Lake District of North West England, revealing not only the familiar figure we have all come to know of imagination and fairy tale but also an enthusiastic, down-to-earth Naturalist caught up in the debates of the day.


    Spencer W Stuart holds a Masters in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, UK, receiving the Director’s Award upon its completion. He then went on to work with Bonhams Auctioneers, focusing on Rare Books and Manuscripts in both their Toronto and New York offices. Spencer currently resides in Vancouver where he operates a collection management practice.

    The presentation will be followed by a library tour, with a focus on the library’s collection of books on botanical illustration.

  • +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!

    View upcoming dates and themes >>

    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