Re: #seeds #Database #beginnerbundles #NewSeedLibrary #NewSeedLibrary #Database #seeds #beginnerbundles

Mike Riesterer

Hi, Lauren:  Me in blue below:

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at 1:11 PM, Napa County Seed Library <laurenmuscatine@...> wrote:

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? At the Queen City Seed Library in Marquette, Michigan (started in 2016) we started by utilizing the various tools that google offers, e.g., a gmail address for the seed library, "sheets" for budget stuff, "forms" for surveys and questionnaires, "docs" for labels, forms and press releases and "contacts" as a database of our seed library patrons. If there was a free and versatile suite of tools, I'd use that instead of google. Know of any? So that's one aspect of seed library operation; the tech stuff. And if you have a core group of people who work with you, it's easy, then, for more than one person to have access to files.

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? We're independent from official library staff. But we run the whole operation pretty loose with volunteers. In other words, our main interest is generating locally adapted seeds for growing food. We have very experienced in our volunteer "work group" for technical details and we run seed saving workshops and provide expert advice, but we don't impose stringent requirements with our local community. We're happy if seed library patrons return seeds either at our drop off basket or at our annual seed swap (our 8th seed swap (the last two online) is March 26, 2020).

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?

Here's a link to a presentation I did a few years back that resulted in a person in the audience starting a seed library at her public library and she said the presentation answered most of her startup questions:

Send additional questions to queencityseedlibrary@....

Michael Riesterer

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

Join to automatically receive all group messages.