The Library at the Gardens
Use your library card here!
About The Library
The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is part of the Public Libraries in Jefferson County, making it the only public horticultural library in the United States. Simply present your blue or black library card to check out one of over 8,000 books, DVDs, audio books and magazines from our circulating collection. As a full-service public library, we can access all of the vast resources of the entire Public Library System in Jefferson County. Stop by today and dig into our collection—your knowledge is sure to grow!
Hours of Operation
As of July 6, 2021the Library at the Gardens is officially operating at full service once again! Visit Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and browse our collection. We hope you'll pull up a chair and stay awhile!
The Library Offers:
Large selection of new gardening books
Children's section. Click here for the Kid's Catalog!
Over 65 different circulating gardening and horticulture magazines
Archives and Rare Book Room
A large collection of DVDs
Free internet access
Magic School Bus DVDs
Eyewitness books and DVDs
Resource material for Hands-on Activities Science Program (HASP) modules on Living Things, Organisms, Plant Growth and Development, Butterflies, Ecosystems and Earthworms
Multiple copies of Peterson's First Guides: Forests, Trees, Urban Wildlife, Butterflies & Moths and Caterpillars
The entire Discovering Alabama series on DVD
Teacher Resource Area with lesson plan materials
Used books & magazines for sale
Friendly staff and volunteers to help with all your gardening questions
205.414.3920 | phone
205.414.3922 | fax
Give a Cutting, Take a Cutting!
The Library at the Gardens has a new program that propagation enthusiasts are sure to dig! Simply bring us a cutting rooted in water or soil (well-established roots are a must!), then choose a cutting from our collection to take home. Lavender, pothos, Christmas cactus, jewel orchid, flame violet, Chinese evergreen, umbrella plant, rosemary, and peperomia are available!
Winter Family Geocaching Scavenger Hunt
December 1, 2021–February 28, 2022
All ages welcome (registration required)
Free and open to the public
This winter, the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens will partner once again with North Shelby Library for our popular community scavenger hunt program. Put on your sleuthing hats, and join in for some family fun with this virtually aided, seek-and-find scavenger-style hunt to explore what's hidden in plain sight at the Gardens! We provide the clues and Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates; you and your teammates try to spot your target using your GPS-enabled device. Then enter your team in a prize drawing for a chance to win a Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens gift basket or gift card. Registered teams of 1–6 members with adult supervision required.
Visit northshelbylibrary.evanced.info/signup/calendar or call 205.439.5504 to register or learn more.
Community Seed Swap
Saturday, January 29 | 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Strange Auditorium at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Free and open to the public
Join the Library at the Gardens as we celebrate National Seed Swap Day with our first-ever Community Seed Swap! Bring any open-pollinated, heirloom seed you would like to share: locally saved seeds, specialty seeds, or excess seeds you purchased.
Learn tips and tricks, take home books, and chat with others who share a love of seed saving. For more information, contact Library Director Hope Long at [email protected] or 205.588.4593.
If you would like to volunteer to help with the Community Seed Swap, contact Alice Thompson Moore at [email protected] or 205.533.7659.
Honey for Sale
Take advantage of the Library at the Gardens' curbside service to purchase locally sourced honey from Birmingham Botanical Gardens' hives or honey flavored in cinnamon, lemon, or jalapeño from Ivy Brook Apiary.
Cost: $10/bottle (Birmigham Botanical Gardens)
Cost: $7-12 (Ivy Brook Apiary)
Call 205.588.4593 or 205.533.6062 to schedule a pickup between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
2021 Thyme to Read Book Club
A monthly gathering hosted by the Library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join us virtually at 6 p.m. on select Tuesdays to discuss the month's reading selection. For more information contact Hope Long, library director, at 205.588.4593 or [email protected]
The Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, co-sponsors this project.
Explore our 2021 Book List:
February 2, 2021
The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree
By Susan Wittig Albert
March 2, 2021
Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard
By Douglas W. Tallamy
April 6, 2021
By Jeanine Cummins
May 4, 2021
Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking
By Bill Buford
June 1, 2021
The Body in the Castle Well
By Martin Walker
July 6, 2021
Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South
By Rick Bragg
August 3, 2021
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
September 7, 2021
The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South
By Michael W. Twitty
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual gathering.
October 5, 2021
Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey through Every National Park
By Conor Knighton
November 9, 2021
The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things
By Peter Wohlleben
December 7, 2021
Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes and Stories
By Fanny Singer
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Saving America’s Amazon: The Threat to our Nation’s Most Biodiverse River System
By Ben Raines
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
This Is Your Mind on Plants
By Michael Pollan
Don't see a book in the library that you think we should have? We welcome suggestions and donations. You can also choose to memorialize or honor a relative, friend, or colleague and help grow the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens at the same time. Be sure to note that your tribute gift is for the Library at the Gardens. Thank you for your support!