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Library courses and events




Upcoming Courses in the Sterling Morton Library


Arbor Reading Adventures

Join us in the Sterling Morton Library for this popular and interactive story time! We’ll read stories, make a craft and then head out on the grounds for an adventure walk. Themes change weekly.
Notes: Weather permitting.
Recommended ages: Best for ages 2-6 with adult.

Schedule and Location
Wednesdays and Fridays November 2019 through March 2020
(except November 29, December 25, and January 1)
11:00 to 11:45 a.m.
Sterling Morton Library

Fees and Admission
Fee is per child. Fee does not include admission to the Arboretum.
$4.00 member child
$5.00 nonmember child
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Emily Dickinson: Poet and Gardener with Author Marta McDowell

Discover another side of poet Emily Dickinson, who was also an avid gardener. Emily Dickinson is one of the most beloved American poets. But at the Homestead, her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, she also spent time in the garden. She grew flowers on the grounds and exotic plants in a glass conservatory that her father added for her.

Join author Marta McDowell as she explores Dickinson's gardens through excerpts of her letters and poems, and historic and modern images of her garden.

Schedule and Location
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Sterling Morton Library, Administration Building

Fees and Registration
$16.00 member
$20.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

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Sterling Stories from The Arboretum Stacks

Uncover hidden treasures and learn secrets found in the stacks in this special program at the Sterling Morton Library. Sip a warm beverage as author Cindy Crosby and Library Collections Manager Rita Hassert will trade off stories of  the rich collection hidden in the archives of the Sterling Morton Library.

Schedule and Location
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Sterling Morton Library, Administration Building

Fees and Registration
$16.00 member
$20.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

Learn More


Upcoming Events in the Sterling Morton Library


Leafing Through the Pages - Members' Book Discussion Group

For a morning of community, connectivity, and spirited discussion, join Leafing Through the Pages, the Sterling Morton Library's book discussion group. Meeting on the second Thursday of every month from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the Library, this group explores works of fiction and non-fiction relating to natural history, ecology, and gardens. Participants need to obtain books and read each month's selection prior to the gathering to fully share in the discussion.
Not a member of the Arboretum? Join today If you are an Arboretum member and would like more information about Leafing Through the Pages, contact Rita Hassert at rhassert@mortonarb.org or 630-719-2430.

2019 Reading and Viewing List

  • January 10, 2019 - Agrawal, Anurag. Monarchs and Milkweed : a migrating butterfly, a poisonous plant, and their remarkable story of coevolution, 2017.
  • February 14, 2019 - Jones, Lucy. The Big Ones : how natural disasters have shaped us (and what we can do about them), 2018.
  • March 14, 2019 - Shifting Sands : on the path to sustainability, 2016. (Viewing of this film begins at 10:00 a.m. with discussion to follow.)
  • April 11, 2019 - Mapes, Lynda V. Witness Tree : seasons of change with a century-old oak, 2017.
  • May 9, 2019 - Stone, Daniel. The Food Explorer : the true adventures of the globe-trotting botanist who transformed what America eats, 2018.
  • June 13, 2019 - Johnson, Kirk W. The Feather Thief : beauty, obsession, and the natural history heist of the century, 2018.
  • July 11, 2019 - Connors, Philip. Fire Season : field notes from a wilderness lookout, 2012.
  • August 8, 2019 - Heinrich, Bernd. Life Everlasting : the animal way of death, 2012.
  • September 12, 2019 - Spinney, Laura. Pale Rider: the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it changed the world, 2017.
  • October 10, 2019 - Preston, Douglas. The Lost City of the Monkey God : a true story, 2017.
  • November 14, 2019 - McDowell, Marta. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder : the frontier landscapes that inspired the Little House books, 2017.
  • December 12, 2019 - Matthiessen, Peter. The Snow Leopard, 1978.


2020 Reading and Viewing List

  • January 9, 2020 – Goldfarb, Ben. Eager : the surprising, secret life of beavers and why they matter, 2018.
  • February 13, 2020 – Jonnes, Jill. Urban Forests : a natural history of trees in the American cityscape, 2016.
  • March 12, 2020 – Crosby, Cindy. Tallgrass Conversations : in search of the prairie spirit, 2019.
  • April 9, 2020 – Blum, Andrew. The Weather Machine : a journey inside the forecast, 2019.
  • May 14, 2020 – More Than Honey, 2013. [Viewing of the documentary will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the discussion to follow.]
  • June 11, 2020 – Powers, Richard. The Overstory, 2018.
  • July 9, 2020 – Egan, Thomas. The Big Burn : Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America, 2009. [LTTP redux – first discussed on February 11, 2011]
  • August 13, 2020 – Dunn, Robert. Never Home Alone : from microbes to millipedes, camel crickets, and honeybees, the natural history of where we live, 2018.
  • September 10, 2020 – Maclean, Norman. A River Runs Through It, and other stories, 1976.
  • October 8, 2020 – Wohlleben, Peter. The Secret Wisdom of Nature: trees, animals, and the extraordinary balance of all living things, 2019.
  • November 12, 2020 – George, Rose. Ninety Percent of Everything : inside shipping, the invisible industry that puts clothes on your back, gas in your car, and food on your plate, 2013.
  • December 10, 2020 – Fraser, Caroline. Prairie Fires : the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 2017.


PDF iconLeafing Through The Pages, Reading and Viewing History, 2003-2020