Part-time Nevada Public Library employee Kathy Solko has been busy in recent weeks planting the seeds of something new for library patrons.
Solko and one of the library’s volunteers, Michelle Flynn, have been laying the groundwork for a new “seed library” to be found alongside all the other great resources inside the public library’s walls.
Nevada isn’t the first public library to begin a “seed library” program, but this is the first time our local library has attempted this type of endeavor.
“It will allow people in the community to have access to gardening information and to actual seeds they may want to try out,” Solko said.
State grant funds, which Nevada was eligible for because it offered Earth’s Bounty programming over the past year, helped get the seed library off the ground, according to Library Director Erin Coughlin. Along with the purchase of many varieties of seeds, both vegetable/fruit seeds and flower seeds, the library has also expanded its collection of gardening books with several new purchases.
“The seed library will be located just beyond the main circulation desk, on the counter behind the copier,” Solko said. At the see library counter, patrons can glance through the assortment of seeds, new gardening books, and many other informational handouts.
The library is also hosting a seed library kickoff event on March 30, starting at 6 p.m. Solko said the interactive program will give participants a chance to learn about starting seeds for their own garden. Participants will get to choose which seeds they want to start and take several pots home. Space is limited so pre-registration is requested. Representatives from the Nevada Community Garden will be on hand to talk about their program and share how people can become involved and/or sign up for plots.
The seed library will have a wide variety of seeds for patrons to try. “There is also an option for people to bring in seeds they’ve saved, and they can talk to us about how that would work … and how they can begin saving seeds for us if they’d like to,” she said.
If you have never gardened before, Solko encourages you to try something simple, like planting a tomato plant, or if you want to try flowers, she suggests petunias or marigolds. For the experienced gardener, come in and try a new ornamental flower or some native Iowa prairie flowers, or try a vegetable you have never grown.
Solko has enjoyed being part of bringing the seed library to fruition. “I have an interest of my own with gardening,” she said. The most enjoyable part of helping prepare for the new program, she admitted, was “doing the research, and talking to others, like farmers, to learn more about growing.”
–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada