#seeds #Database #beginnerbundles #NewSeedLibrary #NewSeedLibrary #Database #seeds #beginnerbundles


Lauren Muscatine
 

Hello Seedsters,

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,
Lauren
President and Co-Founder, Napa County Seed Library
www.napacoseedlibrary.com


SeedLibraries.net
 

Hi Lauren,

Congratulations on opening your third branch. How exciting!

We're in a public library but since our library is understaffed, we had told the library director that we just needed space and would not put any burdens on their staff. So I can't speak to some of your questions.

We don't do any inventorying of seeds. It's a lot of time and we have a self-serve system that is not connected to the public library car system so tracking or cataloging isn't required. In the library, our seeds are mostly in jars so envelopes are provided and signage. Signage. Signage. Signage. I like putting labels inside of jars so folks can grab pre-printed labels with more detailed information, especially for rare and unusual plants. It's our regular envelop label that we normally stamp on, but it is printed out with the information on. 6 labels fit on 1 page. I have a good paper cutter so it goes pretty quickly. One goes on the outside of the jar and the rest go inside. 

Peas and justice,
Rebecca


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:   https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1an-jTDf_pUoAb2SvmyE3BS4KB-PBDncIOOURpzyKw-k/edit?usp=sharing

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,
Lauren
President and Co-Founder, Napa County Seed Library
www.napacoseedlibrary.com


Lauren Muscatine
 

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your reply. Luckily there is one dedicated staff person who is in charge of the collection! I'm so glad to hear that you don't do any inventories! Whew! Great to know: jars, signage, envelopes. We need more robust signage, but have the other two. I can make up preprinted labels. Do you have a template at the RGSLL website that I can use for starters?
Thanks again,
Lauren


Lauren Muscatine
 

Hi Mike,

Wow, thanks for all the info and the link to your presentation! I have a Google address and drive account for the seed library with many of the same types of files in it. I have not found anything other than this platform to build upon. I share the pertinent files with each seed librarian (there are now three of us). I am getting from you and Rebecca that the seed library component, even while housed inside the public library, is independent from library management. That probably works well on both sides of the collaboration. I do have some dedicated volunteers beyond the seed librarians who oversee the cabinets. Thank you for sharing the date of your seed swap; I've been looking into that kind of event, but haven't convened one yet. Maybe in 2022. Thanks for your presentation and contact email! I'll be in touch with any more questions... but this is a thorough start. I love how everyone's story is unique, the operation fits the need, and the mission is simple and driven!

Warmly,
Lauren 


Mike Riesterer
 

Hi, Lauren:  I'm glad you found some useful things from what I shared. As you suggested, it's an organic process how each community of people sets up and manages their seed library. There's also a synergistic aspect between seed swaps and a seed library if you ever want to hear about that. Just let me know !

Thanks.

Michael Riesterer

Sent from ProtonMail, encrypted email based in Switzerland.

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Thursday, October 21st, 2021 at 7:06 AM, Lauren Muscatine <laurenmuscatine@...> wrote:
Hi Mike,

Wow, thanks for all the info and the link to your presentation! I have a Google address and drive account for the seed library with many of the same types of files in it. I have not found anything other than this platform to build upon. I share the pertinent files with each seed librarian (there are now three of us). I am getting from you and Rebecca that the seed library component, even while housed inside the public library, is independent from library management. That probably works well on both sides of the collaboration. I do have some dedicated volunteers beyond the seed librarians who oversee the cabinets. Thank you for sharing the date of your seed swap; I've been looking into that kind of event, but haven't convened one yet. Maybe in 2022. Thanks for your presentation and contact email! I'll be in touch with any more questions... but this is a thorough start. I love how everyone's story is unique, the operation fits the need, and the mission is simple and driven!

Warmly,
Lauren