Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre

We are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 10.00am – 3.00pm

Saturday: 11.00am – 2.00pm

Search our library catalogue here!

  • +About the Library

    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 research collection complements the living resources of VanDusen Botanical Garden. In addition to our collection, you can enjoy regular community events hosted at the library.

    Library Open hours:

    Monday 10.00am – 3.00pm
    Tuesday 10.00am – 3.00pm
    Wednesday 10.00am – 3.00pm
    Saturday 11.00am – 2.00pm
    Thurs / Fri / Sun Closed

    If you would like to connect with us before your visit please contact: library@vandusen.org

  • +Rae Warner Speaker Series

    January 23, 2024: 6.30pm – 7.30pm – Online

    Topic: The Overlooked Medicine Cabinet – Medicinal Plants in Horticulture (Online)
    Presenter: Christiaan Spangenberg

    Register now!

    Medicinal plants are everywhere in our lives, but we don’t often realize it: dandelions grow by the roadside, we drink peppermint tea in cafés, and buy bouquets with safflower and sweet Annie. Ornamental horticulture is similar: a wide variety of medicinal plants can be found as aesthetic specimens in gardens and nurseries, but their traditional medical uses and curative properties are unadvertised, and often unknown.

    In this presentation, Christiaan Spangenberg will provide an introduction to medicinal plants in ornamental horticulture (with a focus on plants in traditional Chinese herbal medicine). He will cover context and history, and present a number of fascinating and uncommon medicinal plants found in nurseries and gardens. He will end by considering approaches to gardening with medicinal plants.

    About the speaker: 

    Christiaan is a conservation researcher and medicinal herb gardener specializing in the conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants featured in the Chinese materia medica. He did his undergraduate degree in the Global Resource Systems program at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he studied ethnobotany and the cultivation of Asian medicinal plants, and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in the faculty of Botany at UBC.

    Christiaan is interested in promoting herbal medicine, and sustainability in the herb trade, through gardening and local small-scale cultivation of medicinal plants. His twofold passion for medicinal plants and ornamental horticulture has led him to explore opportunities for dialogue and community-building, such as starting two learning gardens for traditional Chinese medicinal herbs in Vancouver, writing a gardening column for the Canadian-based traditional Chinese medicine magazine ‘Medicinal Roots’, and connecting with agronomists and nursery-owners in Europe. He is currently working on a research project at UBC creating a database platform for traditional Chinese medicinal herbs in Canadian botanical gardens.

    Register now!

  • +Roberta Mickelson Gallery Exhibitions

    Current Exhibition:

    An Explosion of Colour
    by; The Vancouver En Plein air Painters Group

    An Explosion of Colour by the Vancouver Plein Air Group Exhibition extended to Dec. 12!

    Admission: FREE

    This exhibition of the works of twelve painters is a sample reflecting different visions and expressions of “place.” VanDusen Botanical Garden is a place that continues to move each one of these painters in different ways, and one they discover anew all year long.

    “VanDusen Botanical Garden continues to be one of our favourite locations during all seasons. In this garden, we experience a peacefulness, worldliness, an enchantment, a delightful explosion of colour, a variety of textures, and a myriad of forms to paint.”

    The Vancouver en plein air painters group formed on April 18, 2011, when they first gathered in Stanley Park. Their love of outdoor painting, the joy of companionship, and the exchange of ideas has kept them together every week despite the often-inclement weather.

    Images include watercolour, acrylic and oil medium inspired by such places as the Autumn Stroll, Black Garden, Rose Garden, Heron Lake, Laburnum Walk and Rhododendron Walk.

    The painters’ different artistic backgrounds and life journeys are compiled in an album with biographies, images and contact information. This album is available for viewing during the show.

    See these artworks at Roberta Mickelson Gallery in the Yosef Wosk Library (in the VanDusen Visitor Centre) 10.00am -3.00pm Monday – Wednesday and Saturdays 11.am – 2.00pm from September 6 – November 28.

    All art works are for sale.
    Admission: Free


    Upcoming Exhibition:
    Feathers and Fur by artist and photographer Francine Drouin.
    January 8-April 26, 2024

    Admission: FREE

    Francine grew up in a serene part of the Ottawa Valley. Supported by a father who loved art, she was encouraged to pursue dance, music and painting at an early age. An unexpected relocation to Vancouver over two decades ago fostered her desire to ‘capture a moment in time’.

    Many of her works explore the use of photography as a means to create rather than to document, thus fusing reality with the imagined. Francine has developed a technique often described as evocative and intriguing. Best known for her painterly style, her images have a minimalistic quality that is displayed in her composition, use of colour, as well as subject matter.

    As sources of inspiration, and in her quest to create unique works, she continues to incorporate other art forms.

    See these artworks at Roberta Mickelson Gallery in the Yosef Wosk Library (in the VanDusen Visitor Centre) 10.00am -2.00pm Monday – Wednesday and Saturdays 11.am – 2.00pm from January 8 – April 26.

  • +VanDusen Book Club

    Our 2024 Reading List is hot off the press!

    Download the NEW 2024 reading list here.

    Please note date changes for our club – in 2024 all our meetings will be in-person in the Visitor Centre Volunteer Lounge.

    We purposely choose general topics to allow members to find materials that interest them and so that there is less demand on a limited number of copies of a particular book. Members are asked to read one, or as many of the suggested books as they like.

    To prepare for Book Club meetings, check out the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre at the VanDusen Garden Visitor Center, your local library and bookstore for books, ebooks and audiobooks. You are also welcome to conduct your own research online.


    2024 Dates Theme Register
    February 12, 1pm – 2pm A Bug’s Life and Why It Matters See reading list and register here!
    April 8, 1pm – 2pm For Peat’s Sake, Don’t Drain That Swamp! See reading list and register here!
    June 10, 1pm – 2pm Planting Roses and Politics See reading list and register here!
    September 9, 1pm – 2pm Ahead of Their Time See reading list and register here!
    November 11, 1pm – 2pm How Not to Save the Planet See reading list and register here!
  • +Preschool Storytime

    3 to 5 year olds and their families are invited to join us for Preschool Storytime!

    Preschool Storytime will take a winter pause and see you back in the Library in January!

    To register for Preschool Storytime and to view more Family Programs, click here!

  • +F.A.Q.

    Are you open to the general public?
    Yes! Anyone can use our library although only VanDusen Botanical Garden Association (VBGA) members are able to borrow books.

    As a Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) member, can I check out materials?
    VBGA members can borrow 3 books for 3 weeks at a time from our lending collection (all books with a green or orange label on their spines). Your VBGA membership card functions as your library card. 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. All other materials are for library use only.

    Do you answer questions over the telephone? By email?
    Both! Contact us through library@vandusen.org or at 604-257-8668. The library staff and volunteers will be happy to let you know what information we have in the library on your topic and give answers and referrals whenever possible.

    Are you part of the Vancouver Public Library system?
    No, we are not.

    Do you accept donations of books and magazines?
    The Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre accepts donations of books. All donated material is reviewed according to the selection criteria applied to purchased material. If your donation is not needed for the library collection, it will be sold in a used book sale with the proceeds going to the library’s book acquisition budget. However, due to limited storage space, we may not be able to accept larger donations and out-of-date material.

    Can I donate a book in memory of someone?
    Yes. All gift books that are accepted into our collection will be processed with a memorial bookplate, if desired. You may contact us at 604-257-8668 for more information.

    My plant is sick. If I bring it into the library, can you tell me what’s wrong?
    We recommend you contact the Vancouver Master Gardeners Association of BC (Vancouver chapter) here. However, the library staff will help you find and use books from our reference collection on pests and diseases.

    Can I make a cash donation to the Library?
    If you wish to direct a financial donation to support the Library, to enhance the collection or donate to our Adopt-a-Shelf program please contact fundraising@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8677.

    Do I need to wear a mask in the library?
    Masks are no longer mandatory in all indoor public spaces in alignment with updates to the public health orders issued by the Provincial government. You are welcome to keep wearing masks, depending on your level of comfort.

    Contact Information:
    Marina Princz: Librarian
    Tel. 604-257-8668
    Email: library@vandusen.org
    Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre
    5151 Oak Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    V6M 4H1

    We are a member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (www.cbhl.net).