DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Apr 20 2011

The library…it’s not just for books anymore!

by Dea Anne M

Of course, we all know that library collections have long circulated all sorts of  items that aren’t books, but check out this article: Seed Lending Libraries Bloom.

That’s right…it’s a seed lending library! Patrons “borrow” seeds and then save the seeds from those plants to return. I think this is a great idea and sounds like a wonderful way to encourage gardening within communities. The article specifically mentions the Potrero branch of the San Francisco Public Library but there are similar programs in place at the Richmond Public Library in Virginia and in Connecticut at the Fairfield Woods branch of the Fairfield Public Library.

What type of items would you like to see in a lending library? The public library in Rochester, IL offers a crafts supply lending library and the Berkeley Public Library in Berkeley, CA has a tool lending library.  Also, did you know that at one point, we at the DeKalb County Public Library lent out framed paintings for people to put on their walls?  And that today, as you read this, we are lending out free family passes to Zoo Atlanta and Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites?

Getting back to seeds, it isn’t too late to get them in the ground whether that ground is your yard, a raised bed, or a container. Think you need some help?

Try Growing Herbs and Vegetables: from seed to harvest by Terry and Mark Silber

or check out Gardening With Heirloom Seeds: tried and true flowers, fruits, and vegetables for a new generation by Lyn Coulter.

(Thanks to my colleague Jessica for the link that inspired this post.)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse M April 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Great post! I actually had no idea DCPL used to lend out framed pictures; I wonder what the check-out period was?

I think a tool lending library would be a great resource for the community.

Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

what a cool idea!

Joseph M April 20, 2011 at 12:29 PM

that’s me up there; i accidentally posted anonymously. definitely a cool idea, in any case. thanks for sharing!

Amanda L April 20, 2011 at 2:33 PM

The check out period used to be three months on framed art.

Shantrice W April 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM

I love Rochester Public Library’s idea of a craft supply lending library. (click the craft supply link above) Seems like that library has a good borrowing system for a person that wants to learn a craft but isn’t sure of the tools and materials he or she would need to begin. Very interesting idea. I like it.

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