Apr 8th, 2014

Shhh, the Librarians are Coming!

by Janet Woody, Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Sweet Bay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana

council on botanical libraries logo

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries celebrates Moonlight and Magnolias at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is hosting 50 librarians from all over the United States and Canada for the annual meeting of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. The conference dates are April 29-May 3 and our theme is Moonlight and Magnolias: A Celebration of Southern Gardens. Highlights include an entire day spent at Lewis Ginter on Wednesday, plus tours of Maymont, the State Capitol, and the Kent-Valentine House. If time allows we will drop in at the Lewis Ginter-built grand Jefferson Hotel Richmond, and we hope to see the Gillette Garden at the Governor’s Mansion. Topics for discussion and learning include the Biodiversity Heritage Library, with presenter Bianca Crowley, and the collections of the Archives of American Gardens (part of the Smithsonian Institution) with Cindy Brown. Members will present on a variety of topics pertaining to current events in their own libraries. While at Maymont, Director of Horticulture Peggy Singlemann will tell us how Major and Mrs. Dooley created one of the most popular destinations in Richmond. At the Library of Virginia we will view the Flora of Virginia exhibit and explore a tiny portion their vast collections. There is time for fun too as we will get dropped off in Carytown with a restaurant map so everyone can seek out his or her food of choice. Our keynote speaker on Wednesday morning is Frank Robinson, our own CEO and chief Garden storyteller, and our banquet speaker on Friday night is Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Some members will elect to take a tour of Colonial Williamsburg on Saturday, or stay in town for a tour of Richmond historic locations.

Fifty attendees will come to Richmond from gardens and academic institutions all over the country. Starting on the west coast, we will have visitors from the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, University of California Berkeley Jepson Flora Project, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, University of California Santa Barbara Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, University of California Davis Shields Library, and the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Moving east, we have visitors from the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and the University of Colorado Denver Auraria Library. From the center of the country, we have representatives from Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa, the University of Minnesota Anderson Horticulture Library, Michigan State University Library, Missouri Botanical Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. Our southernmost representative hails from the University of Southern Mississippi Library. Guests from a little closer to home include the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University, and from Ohio we have visitors from Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Holden Arboretum, and the Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati. From eastern PA we have a representative from the award winning Longwood Gardens Library, and from Delaware, Mt. Cuba Center. Massachusetts is sending representatives from Harvard’s Botany Library, the Arnold Arboretum, and the Tower Hill Botanical Garden. New York is sending neighbors from the New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Very close to home we have attendees from the Smithsonian’s Botany Horticulture Library and the Archives of American Gardens and from the US National Arboretum. And from Canada, we are excited to have a representative from Montreal Botanic Garden.
We will have learning opportunities, time to network and conduct business meetings and do committee work, and we will have fun seeing all the beautiful sights of a Richmond spring. And contrary to popular myth, librarians aren’t quiet and hardly ever shush anyone. So be on the lookout for a rowdy bunch of librarians painting the town tasteful and subdued shades of red during Historic Garden Week.

About Janet Woody

I am the librarian at Lewis Ginter and like to talk and read about plants. I also enjoying researching Lewis Ginter and our founder Grace Arents. Visit me in the library and we'll talk about plants, or history, or some other fun topic.

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