I've got some fantastic news! The Napa County Seed Library added a new "annex" to its network of seed libraries this month! This third annex is located inside the St. Helena Library. The other two seed libraries are located at residences much like a "little free" book library. I am really thrilled about this development and have a great partner, Leslie, who is a recently retired (30 years!) librarian at this location, who has eagerly offered to set it up and maintain it.
Could you help me with some advice on a couple of questions from those of you who are familiar with operating seed libraries located inside a public library?
1. What kind of beginner bundle is useful to provide to get Leslie started? What would it include to make it useful and easy for her to manage? I'm thinking of things like envelopes, jars, (seeds of course), list of seeds seasonally sown in our growing zone, our annual activities, social media and contact information (for tracking our public events and announcements). What am I missing?
2. What kind of inventory or cataloging do librarians do for seeds when they are managing a seed library among their collections? Is this necessary? How detailed should the record keeping be and for what purposes (e.g., rates of return or borrowing, sees on hand, year-end activity data)? Also, is this necessary or is something less elaborate sufficient for the library staff to be concerned with?
3. What kind of ongoing support should I give to the library as the nonprofit organizer of a network of seed libraries for Napa County? And, what kind of resources does the library already have that I don't need to provide to keep the seed library vital?
Of course I'll be discussing these topics with Leslie going forward, but I wanted to check here first!
Thank you for your advice and encouragement,
President and Co-Founder, Napa County Seed Library