RCGC Library

The Rochester Civic Garden Center Library contains over 4,500 volumes devoted exclusively to all aspects of horticulture and gardening (including its history and art). As well as books, the library contains current and back issues of magazines, garden catalogs, photographs and prints of garden subjects, and article clippings. Experienced librarians are here to assist you!

To search out library catalog, click on the Library Search button on the left side-bar near the top of any page to use the online catalog.

Reserving a Book:  If you locate a book you would like the library to hold for you, tick the box at the top of that item on the search page, and fill in your name and phone number and/or email address, then click on "Request to borrow checked item(s)". Your request will be emailed to the library, and we will contact you to arrange for pickup, or for you to use it in our library. See below for our policies on borrowing and renewing books.

Search Tips:  You may enter a word or phrase for any of the criteria displayed on the search page, such as Title, Author, or Subjects and you can search on multiple fields.

The system will search for any item CONTAINING the term you entered.

  • Example 1: Enter "ferns" in the Subjects field and the system will find all items with ferns in the subject.
  • Example 2: Enter "lil" in the Title field (to find books with lily or lilies in the title) and the system will retrieve all titles with the words lily or lilies, but also will find daylily, daylilies, lilac, lilacs, Lilliput, etc.; therefore, limiting your search may be desirable.

When searching by Author, it is usually better to use the surname only unless it is a very common name.  To limit the search, enter last name, comma, space, first initial (or entire first name).

  • Example: Enter "cullina, w" (not case sensitive) in the Author field to find books by William Cullina.

When entering terms in multiple fields, Web Search uses the AND operator to link fields.

  • Example: Enter "ferns" in Subjects AND "199" in Publication Date to find all items containing the subject ferns that were published in the 1990s.


It's now more convenient than ever to borrow books from our library:

Borrow books from RCGC and pick them up at any Monroe County public library
Thanks to a partnership with the Monroe County Library System (MCLS), we are now able to send our books through the MCLS delivery service.
Find the book(s) you want to borrow using the RCGC Online Library Catalog Search (search box is on the left hand side of every page on our website) and then use the form on the search page to send us your hold request. Or phone (585-473-5130) or email us (rcgclib@frontiernet.net) with your request.
We will contact you to confirm your hold request and let you know when your book(s) will be available at the MCLS library of your choice.
Pick up your book(s) at the library you have chosen. No MCLS library card needed. No fees. No hassles. Simply give them your name and tell them you have RCGC book(s) on hold.

Return the book(s) to ANY Monroe County Public Library or directly to RCGC.



Open to the public for reading and reference. Members may check out books; see below for details.

Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. We are also open occasional Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm - the next scheduled Saturdays are May 21 and June 18. Call to ask us about possible Saturday open hours. (On Saturdays the front door may be locked; if so please ring the doorbell and wait for a library volunteer to let you in.)



Borrowing and Renewing Library Books

RCGC members have book-borrowing privileges.  They may borrow several books at a time, for a three-week period.  A "Library-Only" membership is available for a $5 annual fee.  With this type of limited membership, two books at a time may be borrowed, for a three-week period.

RCGC members may renew books for additional three-week periods.  Library-Only members are allowed one renewal.  Renewals may be made in person, by phone (585-473-5130), and by email.  To renew via email, send a message to rcgclib@frontiernet.net containing (1) your name, (2) the author’s name, and (3) the title of the book(s) you would like to renew.  Library volunteers are in the library during limited hours, so it may take a few days to get an acknowledgement of your renewal.


Magazines and Periodicals

From the Library tab drop-down menu, click on the appropriate selection to see a list of RCGC’s current magazine subscriptions, or the complete listing of our holdings of periodicals, including dates and volume numbers.



The RCGC Library welcomes monetary donations to support the purchase of books, periodicals, and supplies.  Also, the library badly needs a new computer to replace one that is nearing the end of its useful life.  We also welcome donations of books, magazines,and seed catalogs.

From Carolyn Van Ness, Library Director
Looking for ideas or planning another garden? Stop by our sale of gently used books on the first floor. You’re likely to find some helpful ideas.