In these computer-obsessed days, when books are falling out of favor, libraries are getting more creative. They’re getting in on e-readers, letting kids borrow dolls, and helping patrons garden by lending out packets of seeds.
Yes, lending. Borrowers can’t exactly grow seeds and return the exact same ones, but this library in Colorado has figured out a way around that fact of life. NPR reports:
Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.
This library’s not the only one to house a seed collection; the American Library Association told NPR there are a dozen or so more out there, and the permaculture professional who’s working on the Colorado project found 15 similar programs across the country.
The Colorado library’s beginning with 2,000 packets of seeds. Patrons have to complete a training workshop before checking out seeds and have nine months to complete the cycle. This being Colorado, the seeds are coded like ski slopes: Packets with green circles mean that it’ll be relatively easy to harvest a new round of seeds, while black diamonds like kale and broccoli are for master gardeners only. Though maybe it would have made more sense to have young adult seeds, romance seeds, nonfiction seeds, and mystery seeds.