Libraries have always been connected to the art of growing things. We grow our collections, weed materials to keep things fresh and healthy and enjoy the benefits of our harvest through enhanced community value.
It isn’t surprising that now we are growing in a unique direction by offering a seed library of heirloom and local harvest seeds. We are breaking ground with the creation of the Lisle Library District Seed Library, and it fits perfectly with our commitment to the community, especially as Lisle is known as the Arboretum Village.
Our inaugural collection was donated to us by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. What a wonderful gift! The seeds will be divided into “easy” and “advanced” categories, with everything from beans to tomatoes, peppers to peas. A horticulturist from the Morton Arboretum will be presenting a workshop on May 7 on seed saving, followed by one on May 14 by a member of the Seed Savers Exchange. We would like to issue a special thank you to these community partners for generous donations of both time and products to assist us.
Patrons may browse the Lisle Library District Seed Library at our Connection Desk and select up to five packets each season. In order to “return” their item, seeds will need to be harvested properly and returned to replenish and grow our collection. The “loan” period for seeds is six months. Our print collection also has marvelous resources on gardening, container gardening and recipe books for using your bounty.
As part of the first wave of public libraries sharing seeds in our nation, we hope to document the success of our patrons with pictures and shared recipes. As you return seeds, don’t forget to share your story so that we may encourage others. Brochures are available at our Connection Desk, and we welcome the opportunity to have our patrons grow with us!
Shannon Halikias is executive director of the Lisle Library District.