Sitting in my office on a Wednesday afternoon this spring, I heard a knock on the back door. I looked inquisitively at my coworker Cheryl. “Probably the Lindas,” she said. Sure enough, I opened the door to greet Linda Blake and Linda Huffman, AKA “the Lindas,” here to work on the library project. They both volunteered to help organize a number of books that had been donated to the WVBG over the years. For Linda Blake, it was a perfect fit. After all, she does have a Master’s degree in Library Science and currently works as a librarian at West Virginia University. Linda Huffman, retired from WVU and NIOSH as a research scientist, was happy to help out. Both Lindas were already volunteers with the Botanic Garden, serving as weekend greeters. In addition, they both have helped out at special events and Linda Huffman serves as a program assistant.

The library project involved developing a classification system, searching in libib, an online book catalog, and making “call number” labels for each book based on topic and author. Summer Intern Sarah Weaver also pitched in by searching for and adding photos of the books to the libib catalog. The library to date contains a scholarly collection of books on rhododendrons, a number of field guides and books covering plants and other natural history related topics, garden design, and more. The library has two sections, one for adults and one for children. Currently, the adult books are located upstairs in the Education and Event Center, and the children’s books are downstairs. In the future, the library will be housed in the WVBG Visitor Center (not yet built). Visitors can search the collection at Currently, if you want to read a book in the WVBG library, you must call for an appointment. As this is not a lending library, books cannot leave the WVBG. The WVBG does also have a “Little Lending Library,” which was donated by the Lions Club and is located in the lower parking area. Visitors are free to take or leave books there. If you are interested in donating to our library, please contact us for a donation form.

We thank the Lindas for helping us with this project. When I asked them what they enjoy about volunteering at the Botanic Garden, Linda Huffman replied “I believe in the concept and want to support the Garden. I feel a real sense of community here.” Linda Blake said she enjoys talking with the wide variety of people who visit the WVBG. She also is happy to be part of the WVBG team. “Everyone is working in support of the mission. I just love it.”

by Erin Smaldone, Education Director

originally published in our Fall 2018 newsletter

Linda Huffman (left) and Linda Blake with some of the WVBG library collection.

Photo by Erin Smaldone.

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