January 2011 - The Arboretum
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Library Spotlight - “Açaí”

The Arboretum Library has many journals and periodicals that cover a range of horticultural topics. These journals include articles about individual types of plants, including one that's been seen around a lot more recently – the açaí.  You've probably seen this ingredient in all sorts of products at the grocery store, but I didn't know much about the plant, or even how to pronounce it (it's AH-sigh-EE, apparently). This article touches on several interesting aspects of the açaí: the history and cultural significance (including traditional uses for this type of palm), modern research into possible health benefits and the impact and future of cultivation of the açaí palm.
Stop by the library and check out this article and look over some of the many others in the periodical collection.
Engels, Gayle. “Acai: Euterpe oleracea.” Herbalgram, no. 86 (May-July 2010): 1-2. Print.

Library Spotlight - “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill”

The Arboretum Library has many journals and periodicals that cover a range of horticultural topics. These journals include articles by members of the Arboretum staff.
The article “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill (Massachusetts)” by Richard Schulhof (CEO of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden) in the journal Ecological Restoration details the challenges faced by the Arnold Arboretum in Boston by an invasion of Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). This introduced pest has been decimating hemlocks in the south and east. It was detected at the Arboretum in Boston in 1997 and they spent the next decade trying to mitigate the effects of the infestation and save their important stand of hemlock trees in an era of rapidly changing information.  This article talks about what decisions they had to make and what were their main questions and concerns.
Stop by the library and check out this article and look over some of the many others in the periodical collection.
Schulhof, Richard. “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill (Massachusetts).” Ecological Restoration 28.2 (June 2010): 129-131. Print.

Raking Hay at Rancho Santa Anita

This image presents is a lovely pastoral scene at Rancho Santa Anita probably in the late 1880s or early 1890s. A man on a hay rake is gathering freshly cut hay, probably mown a day or two earlier and allowed to dry to feed the Ranch's animals.  
Closer examination reveals a number of other interesting aspects to this image. 

The man in the picture is African American. We know from photographs and newspaper stories from the time when this photograph was taken, that the owner of Rancho Santa Anita ,Elias J. Baldwin, needed laborers and recruited African American workers in North Carolina offering to pay their train fare to the San Gabriel Valley as part of the recruitment. The man in the photograph is the descendant of slaves and may in fact have been born into slavery in the South prior to the Civil War.
Employees at the ranch went on to become the founders of the African American community in the San Gabriel Valley and some of their descendants still live in the area today.
This type of hay rake is a type known as a Sulky Hay Rake because it is a light two wheeled cart known as a Sulky which would be drawn by one horse or mule. It is also noteworthy that these animals were introduced to North America by Europeans as well as the grasses that are being mown to feed these introduced domesticated animals. These grasses and the horses prospered and proliferated changing the landscape and the culture of Native Americans who quickly learned to ride. 
We can go further, the buildings on the right are undoubtedly built of wood imported from the Pacific Northwest and brought to the location by horse drawn wagon and train. It appears that the buildings were designed by Albert Austin Bennett, who also designed the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco for Mr. Baldwin as well as the Coach Barn and Queen Anne Cottage still present on the Arboretum grounds. 
In the center middle ground of the image we can also see young trees which are probably Eucalyptus trees brought from Australia. In all likelihood Eucalyptus globulus,which were introduced for timber and stove wood since they were fast growing and wood was scarce in Southern California and local sources were quickly exhausted. Some specimens of these trees survive today on the Arboretum's grounds. Practices of plant tending and controlled burning by Native Americans in the area had shaped the landscape of Southern California into one of oak woodland and meadows which encouraged game and edible plants. Irrigation was applied to soils that had built up over millions of years with remarkable agricultural results. The underground aquifer and Baldwin Lake, fed by artesian springs from the Raymond Hill fault as well as local streams provided the water. 

After the Second World War, agriculture gave way to housing developments paving over some of the best agricultural land in the country as part of the urbanization of Los Angeles County. The water table sunk drying the springs feeding Baldwin Lake. 
In this photograph we can see the story of a region, the African diaspora, the introduction of new exotic species of plants and animals to Southern California and the displacement of Native Americans as well as the drastic changes caused by the influx of Euro-Americans with their accompanying agricultural practices, technology and culture. A process which continues to impact Southern California today with results and consequences that remain to be seen. The Arboretum property survives as rare open space and a remnant of what was once widespread. 
Mitchell Hearns Bishop
Curator, Historic Collections

Library Spotlight - Plant Related Fiction

Now is a great time to just snuggle up with a good novel.  And the perfect place to find find modern and classic plant-related fiction is at the Arboretum Library. So come and explore the Arboretum Library and don't forget that members of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden can borrow books for three weeks and renew them twice!
Check out some of our fiction books in the Arboretum Library's online catalog here.
“Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire” by Margot Berwin

Library Spotlight - Houseplants

If the weather makes it hard to work on your outside garden, it's the perfect chance to focus on the plants you have indoors.  So come and check out the Arboretum Library's collection of books on indoor gardening where you can find guides on how to help your houseplants thrive and be a beautiful and vibrant part of your decor.
Find books about houseplants in the Arboretum Library catalog here.
“The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual” by Barbara Pleasant. [Storey Publishing, 2005]

About the project

This project has been made possible with help from Sara Lind, an intern from Sweden, and master's student in Digital Services: Culture, Information and Communication (Library and Information Science, Boras Hogskola, Sweden). The text is written by volunteer Laura Scott Sellers. The main goal is to show glimpses of the Arboretum Library Rare Book Collection. Instead of digitizing entire books, images have been selected from different sources. Plant images are native to Mediterranean Climate Areas. You can find many of the plants in the garden. If you want to know the source of the image, click on the image or imageslider on the webpage and you will be transferred to Flickr where all necessary metadata (information about the image) can be found.

Main goal
The idea of presenting images in this way is to show that the Arboretum Library is connected to the Arboretum and the specific plants in it. Botanical illustrators have captured the essence of the plants over a hundred years ago. We can see the same plants in the Arboretum. Visitors of the Arboretum will now have the opportunity to look at rare botanical illustrations as they walk in the garden, while viewing the same plant in real time. To view the images you can use the Google Maps-tour. This project showcases the Arboretum Library collections and makes the public more aware of the library as a public place, where the bulk of the collections are in publicly available stacks. 
Technical specifications
The images are digitally captured with as much authenticity as possible, but corrections can have been made (removing dots or dirt) afterwards. The images have been cropped. There are also different capturing methods due to technical challenges at certain times, but most images have been scanned with Canon CanoScan 8800F. On the About the books page, you will see links to entire works.
Plant names
The plant's names are mostly, directly copied from the source. If the name has changed over time it will usually be noted in the metadata. For those plants also found in the Arboretum, see the Plants in the garden page. All the plants portrayed in the images are from plant families that can be found in the Arboretum. Please note that the plant location in the Arboretum could change. 
Usage and copyright
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden scanned these images.  If you would like to use a scanned image, please contact Arboretum Librarian, Susan Eubank at Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org. 

Library Services

Arboretum Library Information
View the online catalog.
Check out recent Library posts on the Arboretum Blog.
Library E-News
Current citations to a selected group of articles relevant to southern California gardeners and plant lovers as well as lists of new library acquisitions and a selected list of subject appropriate websites are available on the Arboretum Blog. You may also receive the newsletter by send a request to subscribe to the librarian at susan.eubank@arboretum.org.
Library Access
General Public
The Library is open to everyone, free of charge. Any member of the general public may use library materials on-site, but only Arboretum Foundation Members may check out books. To visit the Arboretum Library, come to the entrance rotunda and tell the cashiers you are here to use the library.
Arboretum Library Circulation Policy
Circulation Privileges
Books may be checked out by Arboretum members for three weeks at a time, plus an additional two renewals if needed. Items may be renewed in person, by phone, or by email. Current magazines may be checked out for three days, with no renewals. Please be sure to have your Membership Card with you.  Learn more about becoming a member of the Arboretum.
Overdue Items
The Library does not charge overdue fines. The Librarian is happy to accept donations for the Arboretum Library’s new acquisitions fund.
Interlibrary Loans
The Arboretum Library can arrange to borrow almost any item not in their collection through interlibrary loans with other libraries.

Library Location
The Arboretum Library is located within The Arboretum. Go straight through the double doors on the left (east) of the entrance rotunda.
Library Hours
Tuesday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pmSaturday 8:30 am to 5:00 pmSunday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
During Moonlight Forest lantern festival the Library will close at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays-Saturdays. All other hours as normal.
Susan Eubank, Librarian
Phone: (626)821-3213Fax: (626)445-1217Email: Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org

Library Collections

Explore the online catalog or circulation policies.
Subjects include, but are not limited to:
•  Plants grown in Mediterranean and semi-tropical climates•  All aspects of gardens and gardening•  Garden design•  Plant lore•  Medical botany•  Specific kinds of plants; both native and non-native•  Horticultural history•  Ethnobotany and economic plants•  Botanical art, illustration and nature crafts

The Arboretum Library houses more than 30,000 books with a particular emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and semi-tropical climates.
•  More than 25,000 books in open stacks, accessible through the online catalog•  Children’s books are housed separately in the Children’s Room towards the back of the library on the right•  Fiction – explore mysteries and more with plant related themes•  Oversized books, reference works and some other groups housed separately•  Rare book collection housed separately – books retreived for viewing on request•  New books on display racks on the front of the book stacks.  Check out our new books and articles here.
The collection includes nearly 100 current magazine subscriptions, as well as 500 non-current or out-of-print titles, covering botany, popular gardening, plant society magazines, green industry magazines and magazines from other botanic gardens.
Nursery Catalogs
Visitors interested in locating sources of garden plants have access to more than 50 current retail, wholesale and equipment catalogs.  The collection also includes extensive archival catalog holdings useful to researchers in horticultural history.
Additional Collections
•  Pamplets – A variety of pamphlets are integrated into the books stacks with bibliographic entries in the card catalog•  Slides – The William Aplin slide collection contains 15,000 images of plants, landscapes and the Arboretum taken from the 1940s to the 1980s. The plant slides are searchable in electronic format in BG-BASE•  Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden Plant Collection Lists – lists are arranged by genus, family, accession number and Arboretum location•  CDs, videos and DVDs•  Historical photograph collection – Over 1000 historical photographs of the Arboretum and environs including “Lucky” Baldwin ranch pictures as well as movies and television programs filmed here.
Library History
“One of the nine objectives put forth in 1948 by the California Arboretum Foundation Board administrator for the newly founded Los Angeles State County Arboretum, was library service. A reference library for staff members only was the original intent in planning for a library, but since Arboretum objectives included both research and public information, it was soon apparent that the library must eventually become both a staff and a public resource.”
From: What’s in an Arboretum Library by Lydia S. Bowen, LASCA Leaves Summer 1966 Vol. XVI No. 3

Get Involved with the Library

Give to The Arboretum Library

Book Donations
New or used books and other reading materials are always welcome. Donations that do not fit into our collection or duplicate items we already own are sold at the Library’s Book Sales to raise funds for new purchases. When a book is donated to the library a special arboretum bookplate with the donor’s name will be included within the book. If you are wondering how you can help expand the library, please check out our Wish List. We also have a special Children's Wishlist that lists the Children's books the Arboretum Library needs most to support The Arboretum Bookworms Story Time.
Magazine Subscriptions 
The Arboretum Library has subscriptions to three hundred current periodical titles on subjects ranging from gardening, horticulture, botany, California native plant life, environmental issues, and agriculture. As a donation you might consider renewing a subscription or soliciting a magazine subscription for us.
Historical Garden Photos
We would like to gather pictures of historical Southern Californian gardens. If you own any, and would like to donate, we would love to have a photograph quality copy of the print or the actual print itself. We are willing to accept photographs, slides, and any form of visual media. If you are interested in donating your photographs please contact Susan Eubank.
Library Pledges
In order to better service the Los Angeles area community, we are in the process of converting our card catalog from a manual format to an easy accessible digital resource. This means greater accessibility to our library for the general public. If you, your family, your friends, or your neighbors are interested in participating in a botanical or garden related project it will be easier to access the wealth of information we have available at The Arboretum Library. Converting the library to digital format is an extensive and all-inclusive project. If you have experience fundraising for a non-profit organization and would like to donate your time or you would like to make a monetary pledge to the Library please contact Susan Eubank.
Other Ways to Support the Library
Become a member
Donate to the Arboretum
Volunteer at the Library
There are a number of things you can do while volunteering at the Arboretum Library such as cover and shelve books, price books for sale or help with updating the website.  Volunteer times are flexible throughout the week.
Learn more about volunteering at the Arboretum or contact Susan Eubank, the librarian, to find out more about how you can help.

Library Programs

Bookworms StoryTime

“Bookworms” is a free storytelling program.
Come explore The Library and our great story trees!
Enjoy plant & nature stories and a take home craft. 
This program will go rain or shine.
It is an indoor/ outdoor program; please dress appropriately.  
Recommended for children ages 3-8.
Bookworm Themes
The Bookworms story time themes and dates are below:This is a free program for members and free with admission for non-members.
Love those Ladybugs
Wednesdays, October 2 & 16,2013,  10:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 12, 2:00 p.m.
Cluck, Cluck, Cheep, Cheep, Peep, Peep, Pio, Pio, Buc, Buc, the Chickens Say
Wednesdays, November 6 & 20, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, November 9,  2:00 p.m.
In December We Plant
Wednesdays, December 4 & 18, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, December 21, 2013  (Winter Solstice), 2:00 p.m.
Tropical Paradise with Orchids and a Chocolate Tree
Wednesdays, January 8 & 15, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:30 a.m.
Barn Storming: Yee-Haw!
Wednesdays, February 5 & 19, 2014, 10:30 a.m. 
Sunday, February 9, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
What Happened to the Cat in the Hat in the Garden?
Wednesdays, March 5 & 19, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Flowers, Flowers, Flowers Everywhere! 
Wednesdays, April 2 & 16, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Ssssssnakes in the Trees
Wednesdays, May 7 & 21, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, May 24, 10:30 a.m.
Buzzing through the Arboretum 
Wednesdays, June 4 & 18, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Meet your bookworm guide at The Arboretum Main Entrance

Reading the Western Landscape Book Group
The Book Group explores the portrayal of western North American landscape in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The group meets the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Arboretum Library. The group uses the Shared Inquiry™ method developed by the Great Books Foundation. The chosen book of the month must be read in order to participate. New members welcome.
Check out our current and future book selections and past selections.
Arboretum Library Orientations
Contact Susan Eubank (Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org or 626-821-3213), the librarian, to arrange a free Library Orientation. Choose between two different orientations and individuals and groups are welcome.
Knowing the Plant World: Exploring the Arboretum Library
Get an overview of the Arboretum Library, it collections and services. This class is for anyone who is curious about what wonderful resources in this valuable and unique library. You will learn about using the materials, Library catalog and internet resources to find information on gardening and plants.
Do Plant and Garden Research Like a Professional: an In-depth Exploration of the Arboretum Library
Learn how to use the library to do research as well as find other information sources about plants. This class is for anyone who has a general understanding of the Arboretum Library collection and who would like to know how to use horticultural and botanical resources in more detail. Bring your questions as an example for research.
If you are interested in arranging an exhibit of your or your group's botanically related works, please contact the Librarian, Susan Eubank.
There is always a small selection of blooming orchids from the Arboretum's extensive orchid collection on display in the library.

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© 2024 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

© 2023 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007