VISIT & explore

Library courses and events




Upcoming Events 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.

Wednesdays and Fridays (November-March), 11:00-11:45 a.m.

(no class November 28, December 24 and December 31)



The Echo of their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon

Explore the passenger pigeon’s natural history and extinction from author and naturalist Joel Greenberg. This unique bird was once the most abundant bird in North America, with populations probably numbering in billions. John James Audubon described a flight of passenger pigeons that darkened the sky for three days, and a nesting in 1871 spread across 850 square miles of Wisconsin. Despite that abundance, the species is extinct; the last surviving passenger died in captivity in 1914. On the centennial of the extinction we’ll explore the amazing story of the bird and highlight the important lessons for conservation today. Coffee and cookies will be served and a book signing will follow the program. Presented as part of Project Passenger Pigeon.

Instructor: Joel Greenberg, author, A Feathered River Across the Sky, and A Natural History of the Chicago Region

Wednesday, November 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.



The Meaning of Wilderness

Explore the meaning of the word “wilderness” in literature and in our use today. We use the word “wilderness” in conversation, but what does it really mean? From wasteland to iconic symbol, the word “wilderness” is loaded with different perceptions. Is there true wilderness left? And can “wilderness” or “wildness” be found in our own backyards? Enjoy readings from literature about the meaning of wilderness and then participate in some lively discussion about what wilderness means to you. Bring your own favorite readings to share with the class.

Instructor: Cindy Crosby, steward, writer, and former National Parks Ranger

Saturday, December 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.



The History of Botanical Art and Illustration

Spend winter afternoons learning about the history and uses of botanical and scientific art from early herbals to old masters. Enjoy a hot cup of tea and goodies as Arlene introduces the week’s focus. Then, benefit from an exceptional close-up view of artwork from the extensive art collection of the Sterling Morton Library.

Instructor: Arlene Widrevitz, Art Collection Assistant, The Morton Arboretum

2 Saturdays, January 10 and 17, 1:00-4:00 p.m.


Leafing Through the Pages - Members' Book Club

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 rhassert@mortonarb.org or 630-719-2430.

2014 Reading and Viewing List

  • January 9 – Caputo, Philip. The Longest Road : overland in search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, 2013.
  • February 13 – Mowat, Farley. Never Cry Wolf, 1963.
  • March 13 – Katz, Jon. The Dogs of Bedlam Farm : an Adventure with Sixteen sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me, 2005.
  • April 10 – A Man Named Pearl, 2008. – Viewing of this film to begin at 10 a.m.
  • May 8 – Crane, Peter. Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot, 2013.
  • June 12 – Heinrich, Bernd. Mind of the Raven, 2009.
  • July 10 – Gilbert, Elizabeth. The Signature of All Things, 2013.
  • August 14 – Gould, James and Carol. Nature's Compass: the mystery of animal migration, 2012.
  • September 11 – Greenberg, Joel. A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction, 2014.
  • October 9 – Ehrlich, Gretel. The Solace of Open Spaces, 1985.
  • November 13 – Stegner, Wallace. Wolf Willow : a history, a story, and a memory of the last plains frontier, 1962.
  • December 11 – Holden, Edith. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, originally published in 1906.