Check Out Seeds Along with Library Books

Photo: Alexandre Dulaunoy/CC BY-SA 2.0

Next time you loan a book from your public library, consider checking out some seeds, too. Yes, you read that right. More than two-dozen libraries across the country, including 15 in California, now let patrons borrow DIY plants along with copies of The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick. As NPR’s The Salt reported last week, this new offering could be a way to entice more people into the brick-and-mortar book buildings. Plus, it fosters community and makes accessible all different types of seeds.

The borrowing process varies from locale to locale, but in general, goes something like this: A reader-gardener picks from a plethora of plants—from the simplest to the most advanced—and checks them out. At the Fairfield (CT) Woods Branch Library, for instance, borrowing vegetable, herb, and flower seeds simply requires registering and watching a short orientation video. At the C “The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”