Tree Anthology Published!

The Tree Anthology is now available for purchase on Amazon for $16 per copy here.

We are ordering a limited number of copies to sell at our library branches for $10 per copy (we had to charge more for online orders). Those will likely be available in the next few weeks. Any funds raised will go towards our next Big Read in Dearborn.

We are also going to add copies to the collection for checkout, so with a Dearborn Library card, you will be able to check out a copy for free. Please visit and for updates.

So sorry for all the delays. We tried to publish the book in early January, but there were some issues that we had to fix. That’s why the book shows a publication date in January, but it was actually just made available. 

Thank you so much for your support and your patience!


Thank you!

Now that our NEA Big Read-Dearborn has come to a close, we just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped in planning and hosting the programs, and to those who participated in the events, whether in-person or online.

We are still working on publishing the Tree Anthology. Please stayed tuned for updates.

We would love to hear what you thought of the program and the book, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl. What did you like, or not like? Please let us know here.

Teen Book Discussion Online & Picture-a-Tree

In addition to Rain Gardens 101, we have a few other online offerings:

Teen Book Discussion Online (Grades 7-12)
Thursday, April 9, 2-3 p.m.
Join us via Zoom to discuss Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl. Use Overdrive’s Libby app to download Lab Girl as an ebook or eaudiobook. Check out this article to learn more about Zoom. (Zoom meeting ID will be emailed to participants.) Registration required. Please register here.

Picture-a-Tree (all ages)
We invite you to take a picture of a tree in Dearborn and share it on social media. Tag it #BigReadDearborn or @DearbornLibrary. Please include a title or caption. It could be a tree in your backyard, on your block, or in a park.

All posts before April 25 will be entered into a giveaway for an e-gift card. Your photo may also be selected to be included in the Big Read’s Tree Anthology. Here are some examples, inspired by trees that Hope Jahren mentions in Lab Girl–that can be found in Dearborn.

“Sweet Gum Tree.” Photo by M. Nicole Lane.

“White Oak Bites.” Photo by Kirt Gross.

Big Read programs suspended in April, except for online events

In the interest of public health, all NEA Big Read-Dearborn April programs are suspended, except for online events.

Join Friends of the Rouge on April 11th at 2 p.m. on Facebook Live for Rain Gardens 101. View flyer and RSVP here.

We are also working on some other online events, including book discussions. Dates and times to be determined.

Please stay safe and healthy in these unprecedented times.

Big Read programming suspended in March

In the interest of public health, ALL library programs in March have been cancelled including Big Read scheduled programs.

The April programs are still scheduled, but that could change. We will plan to reassess the situation as we get closer to April.

For now, the main objective is to stay safe and healthy!

Please see this letter from Library Director Maryanne Bartles for more information regarding the Dearborn Public Library.

Countdown to Kick-off on March 7th and Programs on March 8th

We’re counting down to the NEA Big Read Kick-off on March 7th, starting at 11 a.m. at The Henry Ford, Anderson Theater & Promenade, 20900 Oakwood Blvd. featuring free copies of Lab Girl, free seeds, a keynote lecture by Dr. Selena Smith of the University of Michigan, tree crafts, and more.

In the meantime, we wanted to highlight the programs happening on March 8th at Artspace, 13615 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, in the Tech Garage near the CONNECTOR entrance off John Nagy Dr.

Islamic Art, Geometry, and Nature: 1-2 p.m.

Learn how Islamic Art has been influenced by the geometric shapes found in nature, and try your own hand at drawing. For teens and adults. Registration is required. Please call the library at (313) 943-2330 or register online here.

Dramatic Readings from Lab Girl: 3-4 p.m.

Actors from the Dearborn Players Guild will read some lines from the book to spark your interest in science, plants, and Hope Jahren’s story. All ages.

See a full list of NEA Big Read-Dearborn events at

Save the Date: NEA Big Read-Dearborn Kick-off March 7

The public is invited to the free kick-off of the Dearborn Public Library’s Big Read, a two-month celebration of the memoir Lab Girl, with activities centered on science and other associated themes.

This is the fourth time that Dearborn has received a NEA Big Read grant to encourage citywide reading and participation in interesting, educational, and fun events for all ages.

The Saturday, March 7 kick-off is at The Henry Ford, Anderson Theater (20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn) and runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be crafts for children, speakers talking about different aspects of science and agriculture, and free copies of the book for guests. More details are expected soon.

Lab Girl is an award-winning memoir written by Hope Jahren, a geobiologist who focuses on soil, plants, and trees. Her story is about a woman’s journey in the world of science, her friendship with her longtime lab partner, and her experience dealing with mental illness.

It is an eloquent depiction of navigating the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). By selecting this book, the 2020 Big Read-Dearborn committee is hoping to inspire young students to explore STEM opportunities.

At the March 7 kick-off, Dr. Selena Smith, a professor from the University of Michigan with her own science lab, will be giving a presentation on Lab Girl and talking about her career.

And because Jahren encourages readers to plant an oak tree, guests at the March 7 event will be asked to take cups of dirt and acorns with them to plant at home.

An extensive wrap up event is planned for Saturday, April 25.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 

Last Call for Submissions

If you haven’t yet submitted a story, poem, or essay on trees, etc., there’s still time to do so. The deadline is December, 31, 2019. Here’s the link to submit your work:

It’s also located at

We really appreciate it if you can submit your work on or before the deadline, but we will still accept it for a few days after the deadline.

To help spark your creativity, here is a small sampling of the works we have already received:

Eucalyptus by Galia Irish

My Tree by Heather L. Sisan

Red Maples by Ruqayah Wrights

Strength of Nature by Jed Vier

Thank you and happy holidays!