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Why So Many Public Libraries Are Now Giving Out Seeds

The Pima County Public Library maintains a seed collection in an old card catalog file. Jim West / Alamy

Seed-sharing programs aim to expand access to crops and educate the public, while also protecting scarce agricultural resources.

By Katherine Davis-Young
Atlas Obscura
March 27, 2018

Excerpt:

The Phoenix Public Library first put seeds on the shelves at one of its branches in 2014. Franklin says they were immediately in high demand. Now the library distributes an average of 1,000 seed packets per month across nine of its 17 branches. Franklin says the program has proven to be sustainable with minimal costs—around $300-$500 to bring a seed-sharing program to a new branch of the library. And, Franklin says, the organizational tasks of offering seeds fit seamlessly with the library’s existing cataloguing system.

The Phoenix Public Library is not alone. Hundreds of public libraries around the U.S. have adopted similar initiatives to offer free seeds to library-goers. Seed-sharing programs aim to expand access to crops and educate the public, while also protecting scarce agricultural resources.

Read the complete article here.