Shortly after being selected to serve as the city’s new library board director, Colleen Tierney said library assistant Shannon Boxell came to her with the idea. Although Tierney didn’t know much about it, she loved the idea.
“[Boxell] was very passionate about it, and she lit up when she talked about it, which for me is always a good sign that something is a good idea,” Tierney said. “I asked her to do a little research into it because she told me she knew of seed libraries in other libraries. So she did her homework and came back with a lot of great information; she educated herself on some webinars and really reached out into the community to learn more.”
How it’s going
The Seed Library is a free, self-service program that operates on the honor system. Individuals fill out a checkout form and may check out up to five packets of seed per visit.
“All of our seeds are donated to us, and people are not required to bring these back, but we do want to help educate people about seed saving and encourage them to try and collect from the items that they grow so that they can then donate seeds back to us,” Boxell said.
The library offers multiple educational resources, including a “When to Plant Seeds in Central Texas” sheet and a “How to Save Seeds” brochure. There is also a sheet that gives information on how to donate seeds to the library.
The Kyle Public Library encourages individuals to learn basic seed-saving techniques so they may return seeds to the library.
“Those can either be seeds that people have saved from plants that they grew themselves or they can purchase the seeds to donate,” Boxell said.
She also tries to ensure that all the seeds stocked are seasonally appropriate.
Since opening, the seed library has had positive feedback from the community and community organizations such as the Hays County Master Gardeners and Central Texas Seed Savers.
“We’ve had a lot of excitement from people in our community about it. We’ve already had over 40 checkouts from the library, and it’s only been open for a little bit over a month now,” Boxell said.
What to expect
She encourages anyone curious about the seed library to take a look at what they have.
“It's for beginners or experienced gardeners, so anyone is welcome to come and get some seeds and try growing something,” Boxell said.
The Seed Library has flower, herb, fruit and vegetable seeds, and it operates during the same times the library is open: Mondays-Thursdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.