Olbrich Home Bolz Conservatory 30th Anniversary Campaign

Schumacher Library

Welcome to the

Schumacher Library

Open Wednesday - Friday

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

(and on weekends as staffing allows)

Olbrich's Schumacher Library houses approximately 3,500 volumes with an emphasis on home gardening in the Midwest, landscape design, rainforests, tropical plants, herbs, trees and shrubs, individual plant species and more. All visitors are welcome to explore the many resources available.

Open hours are Wednesday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on weekends as staffing allows. Visit the library during open hours, call (608) 246-5805, or email olbrichplantinfo@cityofmadison.com.


Browse and Hold Books Online

Books in the Schumacher Library

Everyone can browse the Schumacher Library collection online. Just visit our online catalog and search.

Olbrich members can also put books on hold from home. To place a hold just click Hold and enter your Olbrich member number when asked for your Patron ID. Books will be held for up to 7 days. Pick up and return your items during library hours or arrange to pick up your books at the Olbrich lobby greeter desk.

Questions? Call (608) 246-5805 or email olbrichplantinfo@cityofmadison.com.



Plant and gardening Information Service

The Plant and Gardening Information Service at Olbrich's Schumacher Library is available to answer your questions from plant identification to gardening techniques and more. Email questions (with a photograph, if available) and your phone number to olbrichplantinfo@cityofmadison.com or return a completed Plant Info Request Form to the Schumacher Library or the Olbrich greeter desk.

Schumacher Library does not accept outside plant material or insects and does not provide diagnostic services. For help with plant diseases or pest infestations, explore the online resources of the University of Wisconsin Extension Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic, or contact the clinic directly at (608) 262-2863 or bdh@plantpath.wisc.edu.


Garden & Nature Community Reading Group

Join other garden, plant, and wildlife enthusiasts to discuss books and ideas about gardening, plants, nature, and the environment in the Garden & Nature Community Reading Group. This group is a partnership between Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Steenbock Library, the UW Arboretum and Schumacher Farm Park.

All discussions are free and participants are encouraged to read the selected book prior to participating in the discussion. Books are not supplied but are available at Schumacher Library, partner libraries, and the Madison Public Library system.

A stack of multi-colored books sits on a wooden table

May Discussion: Best Reads

Get ready for summer and join us for an open discussion of favorite gardening and nature books! We will swap ideas, talk gardening plans, and share favorite titles. Each participant will receive a curated reading list for the summer ahead. There is no assigned book for this discussion - just come and enjoy!

Meeting Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
Location: Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

To sign up for the May discussion, call (608) 246-5805 or email olbrichplantinfo@cityofmadison.com.



Bicycling with Butterflies book cover

September Read: Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman

Winner of the 2021 National Outdoor Book Award in Outdoor Literature

In Bicycling with Butterflies, Dykman recounts her incredible journey becoming the first person to bicycle alongside monarch butterflies on their annual migration - a round-trip adventure that included three countries and more than 10,000 miles alone on a bicycle made of recycled parts. Join us to discuss this remarkable story and the wonders of migrating butterflies.

Meeting Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Location: Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Register here: Bicycling with Butterflies


Diary of a Young Naturalist book cover

November Read: Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles a year in the life of sixteen-year-old climate activist Dara McAnulty. He shares all the joys and challenges of a life filled with family, friendships, a passion for nature, and the complexities of living with autism. Join us to discuss this remarkable new voice in nature writing and explore the role of the naturalist in modern society.

Meeting Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Location: Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Register here: Diary of a Young Naturalist


Garden Adventure Packs - family drop in activity

Child wearing backpack walking through gardensGarden Adventure Packs may be checked out (first-come, first-served) from the Schumacher Library by all families while visiting Olbrich. Packs provide hands-on tools and resources for you and your little learner to explore the gardens and feel the excitement of discovery.

They include a scavenger hunt, pair of binoculars, handheld kaleidoscope, magnifying glass, identification guide, book to read, and tips on how to use the items to observe nature together.




Plant and Gardening Online Resources

Consider using these online plant and garden resources:


Contact Information

Horticulture Librarian
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: (608) 246-5805
Fax: (608) 246-4719

Plant & Gardening Info Service: olbrichplantinfo@cityofmadison.com


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719