Exciting! the U of AZ and Pima County Public Library are hosting a forum May 3-6, 2015 in Tucson. They are calling public libraries, non profits, universities, and food banks who have all been working in the area of seed lending libraries. It is also celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1st National Heirloom Seed Conference. The gathering has a goal to collectively address recent regulatory challenges to their operations in five states as well. Find out more and register by April 17
Just read the news on the first seed lending library in Minnesota at Duluth Public Library voted by the Duluth City Council in August 2012. The program was developed through an initial partnership with the Institute for a Sustainable Future and now includes the St. Louis County Extension Master Gardeners and the Duluth Community Garden Program. The goal like many seed lending libraries is to develop regionally adapted seed stock and patrons can them come and pick up seed. There will also be an educational component with classes and seminars and of course books and resources to help gardeners (read more in their FAQs).
There are over 60 seed lending libraries in the US now. Check out this map of seed library locations and this seed lending social network.
How cool – the Richmond (CA) created a Seed Lending Library! It’s a free urban seed project located in the public library, opened in May of this year,where anyone can borrow seeds but after they harvest, they are to return seeds. Seeds are organized by plant families, labeled well with information on the common and scientific names, the variety, former growers name, location of garden, year they seeds were harvested and other helpful tidbits. One issue is teaching people how to save seeds properly and thus they offer several videos on the process. Here is information on how to use the library and also how to CREATE YOUR OWN seed lending library! They are asking for donations as well to support this project to continue. Read more about this project and get inspired … hopefully we’ll see more libraries offering this type of service and more entrepreneurial ideas like this one.