Slover Library needs donations to keep its ‘Seed Library’ up and running

The Seed Library will hold 500-600 seeds at a time and will be available for anyone to access. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)
The Seed Library will hold 500-600 seeds at a time and will be available for anyone to access. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)

NORFOLK — Slover Library recently launched its first ever Seed Library, a program dedicated to spreading information about sustainability and sustainable food.

“I got inspiration from other libraries all over the place that already have Seed Libraries,” said Josette Dubios, adult programming librarian at Slover Library. “The program started on May 4 and after just two short weeks we’ve run out of seeds.”

So the next step for the program, now that interest has been established, is to get more seeds and figure out a way to make the program self sustainable, she added.

The Seed Library concept is simple: the library has a drawer set full of different types of seeds and people can come by and take up to two seed packets to bring home and plant.

Slover’s program started with around 500-600 seeds in eight different varieties: carrots, wildflowers, sunflowers, strawberry popcorn, dill, tomatoes, butterfly weeds and zinnias.

The program then works with the Norfolk Master Gardeners to educate people on seed saving which in turn would produce more seeds for the Seed Library to then give out, she said.

“What we need right now, though, is people to donate seeds and funds,” said Chris Epes, agriculture and natural resources agent for the city on behalf of the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Since the Seed Library has already run out of seeds, the library’s main focus has been getting monetary donations to have seeds for June 1 and then getting a seed program to funnel seeds back into the library, he said.

Where to find the Seed Library

The Seed Library itself sits on the main entry-way of Slover Library and its colorful exterior was designed and painted by Sarah Taylor-Glaser, library associate to volunteer coordinator for teen and youth services and her kid volunteers.

Taylor-Glaser is hoping to develop a 4-H program to create an in-house collection program that would work in tandem with the Norfolk Master Gardners to keep the Seed Library stocked and ready.

Another function of the Seed Library is the sustainability education component, Epes said.

“Every seed someone plants is a victory against sea level rise,” he said.

He said he wants people to use the Seed Library and subsequent educational programs to learn that plants are sponges and that plants are an important part of storm water reduction.

The Seed Library plays a small part in the city’s Green Infrastructure Plan, he said.

To help out the Seed Library, residents can donate money to the Slover Library.

Click here to learn more about other educational programs at Norfolk Public Libraries.

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