Seed Library

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What is a seed library?

Similar to how a traditional library is a communal collection of books, movies, and other media, a seed library is a communal collection of seeds and growing resources. Unlike our traditional collections, the seed library at SMRLD doesn’t expect you to return the seeds you “check out,” since we hope they will grow into lovely flowers and vegetables in your home garden. Think of it like a Little Free Library, but with seeds! 


How does it work?

The seed library is housed in the old card catalog at our 2001 Delmar Avenue location, with the seeds organized into broad groups like flowers and vegetables. Within each group, drawers are labeled to help you find what you’re looking for.

Our main seed library rule is: Sharing Is Caring! The seed library is open to the whole community – an SMRLD library card is not required to “check out” seeds – but we do ask that you only take what you will use in your own home garden. This helps ensure that there are plenty of seeds to go around and allows more gardeners to try different varieties!


Where do the seeds come from?

Lots of places! Some are donations from local nurseries and garden shops (Bowood Farms, Flowers & Weeds, Maypop, etc.) of seeds that are from the previous year – the seeds are still viable, but the businesses want to offer customers fresher seeds packaged for the current growing season. Others come from various seed companies that library staff reached out to regarding seed donations. A good amount of our initial seed inventory comes from Theodora Farms, a local farm that graciously donated a number of vegetable seeds from past growing seasons.


I picked up some seeds but have some questions about growing them – who do I ask?

On top of and on either side of the card catalog, you will find pamphlets, catalogs, and other materials that provide additional information about some of the seeds you might find in the seed library. SMRLD research librarians can help you find books and online resources that address gardening in general or your varieties of seeds in particular. There are also some wonderful local organizations, like Seed St. Louis, that provide growing guidance via in-person workshops, online webinars, and YouTube videos on a variety of topics.


What’s the goal of the seed library?

As an extension of our Library of Things, the seed library is a way to provide nontraditional library resources and services to our community. There are many reasons people garden – as a relaxing hobby, for exercise, to provide healthy homegrown food for their families, for the beauty of the resulting plants and flowers – and SMRLD’s seed library is here to support you!

2001 Delmar


2145 Johnson


Upcoming Events

  • 2024 All Ages Summer Reading Challenge: Read Renew Repeat June 1, 2024 – July 20, 2024 June 1 - July 20Register online at, with the Beanstack Tracker App, or at either library location
  • Children's Smokey Bear Reading Challenge June 1, 2024 – July 20, 2024 Children's Smokey the Bear Reading ChallengeRegister online at, with the Beanstack Tracker App.Log books you read or listen to between June 1 and July 20.Complete and check off activities.Read 3 books and do 5 activities to complete the challenge.Finish the challenge to be entered into a drawing for a plush Smokey the Bear!Questions? Email [email protected] or call the Youth Services…
  • Story Time July 15, 2024 at 10:00 am – 10:30 am 2145 Johnson Rd, Granite City, IL 62040, USA Story TimeEnjoy stories, music and crafts!Mondays at 10 AMSMRLD 2145 Johnson Road&Wednesdays at 6 PMSMRLD 2001 Delmar AveQuestions? Email [email protected] or call the Youth Services department at 618-452-6238
  • SMRLD Walking Club July 15, 2024 at 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Wilson Park, Granite City, IL 62040 SMRLD Walking ClubJoin us for a walk aroundWilson Parkevery 3rd MondayApril - October5 PMMeet at Ice Rink parking lotApril 15; May 20; June 17; July 15; August 19; September 16; and October 21Cancellations due to weather will be announced via Facebook by 2 PM on the day of the event.Questions? Call 618-452-6238 ext 730 or email [email protected]
  • Digital Tuesday @ Pontoon Beach July 16, 2024 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Pontoon Beach Administration Building Board Room 1 Regency Parkway, Pontoon Beach, IL, United States Registration Required Call 618-452-6238, Ext 303 to register. Seating is limited.

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