Public Seed Libraries Grow Around the Country

A new kind of library is gaining popularity in communities

Libraries around the country are lending out more than just books. According to Modern Farmer, a new kind of public library is lending out seeds.

What started as a small trend has now grown to over 90 seed libraries in the country, many of which are public. Rebecca Newburn estimates that her seed library, Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library in California as one of the first in the country and one of the first to go public in 2010.

While normal libraries lend out books to members for free, seed libraries lend out seeds for free and members use them to plant and tend to their crops. Instead of returning to the library with fruits and vegetables, members return with some seeds from the yield. These seeds are then available for members to plant next season.


While there were not many resources when Newburn started her library, she has helped to build the seed library community. She has helped develop the Seed Library Social Network and provides information on her library’s website about how to start a seed library.