Library courses and events




Upcoming Classes in the Sterling Morton Library


Fake News, Real Science: How to Make Sense of the Information Landscape with Carissa Dougherty, Head of Knowledge Management

We are confronted with a vast amount of information every day, and it can be difficult to find trusted and credible sources of expertise. This hands-on workshop will teach you how to identify the “symptoms” of a less-than-credible source and what questions to ask yourself as you’re looking for good advice on the internet (and beyond) to answer questions about trees, plants, and the environment.
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.



The Plant Hunters with Cindy Crosby, naturalist and author
History is full of exciting tales of the plant hunters who traveled the globe to discover and obtain new types of trees, orchids, wildflowers, fruits and vegetables, tea, and more! Join us for an exciting afternoon hearing tales of these brave men and women from years ago and the new plants they discovered that give us pleasure today. Marvel as these botanical explorers are arrested, threatened by pirates, encounter vampire bats and jungle animals, and overcome illness and daunting travel conditions! Their efforts to bring back plant specimens give us beauty for our gardens, tea and improved beer, and enchanting new fruits and vegetables like kale and avocados for our dinner table today.
Course number: N180
Schedule and location:
Saturday, November 3, 2018, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Sterling Morton Library

Fees and Admission:
Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum.
$16.00 - member
$20.00 - nonmember



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.
Schedule and location:
Wednesdays and Fridays, November 2018 through March 2019
(Except November 23)
11:00 to 11:45 a.m.
Sterling Morton Library
Notes: Weather permitting.
Recommended ages: Best for ages 2-6 with adult.

Fees and Admission:
Fee is per child. Fee does not include admission to the Arboretum.
$4.00 - member child
$5.00 - nonmember child
Registration Information:
IN PERSON:  Stop by the Arboretum Visitor Center on day of program



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 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 or 630-719-2430.

2018 Reading and Viewing List

  • January 11, 2018 – Egan, Dan. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, 2017.
  • February 8, 2018 – Crosby, Cindy. The Tallgrass Prairie : an introduction, 2017.
  • March 8, 2018 – Duncan, Dayton and Ken Burns. The National Parks: America's best idea, 2009.
  • April 12, 2018 – Before the Flood, 2017. (Viewing of this documentary will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the discussion to follow.)
  • May 10, 2018 – Wohlleben, Peter. The Hidden Life of Trees : what they feel, how they communicate, discoveries from the secret world, 2016.
  • June 14, 2018 – Pearson, Arthur. Force of Nature : George Fell, founder of the Natural Areas Movement, 2017.
  • July 12, 2018 – Adams, Mark. Turn Right at Machu Picchu : rediscovering the lost city one step at a time, 2011.
  • August 9, 2018 – Jans, Nick. A Wolf Called Romeo, 2014.
  • September 13, 2018 – Tyson, Neil deGrasse. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, 2017.
  • October 11, 2018 – Croke, Vicki. The Lady and the Panda : the true adventures of the first American explorer to bring back China's most exotic animal, 2005.
  • November 8, 2018 – Owen, David. Where the Water Goes : life and death along the Colorado River, 2017.
  • December 13, 2018 – Poetry – At this gathering, each participant is invited to bring a nature-related poem/s to share and discuss.

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.

PDF iconLeafing Through The Pages, Reading and Viewing History, 2003-2019.pdf