Seed library showing healthy growth

Published 12:42 pm Monday, March 20, 2017

It’s amazing: in 15 days, the Clark County Public Library has checked out over 7,000 packets of seed from more than 130 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and pollinator-friendly flowers.  25 copies of Baker Creek’s beautiful fashion-magazine-quality seed catalog have been checked out to anxious readers and gardeners.

To give you some idea of how significant these numbers are, we checked out 3,800 in the entire month of March 2016, and just a hair over 12,000 for the entire 2016 season.

The Seed Library is a community give-back project that’s tied to the Library’s book collection and slate of spring programs, so it’s wonderful PR for everything the library has to offer all year round.

This success would not have been possible without major assistance from our new ILS company, Evolve Infovision, especially technician Melissa Monroe.

Clark County Public Library cataloger Pat Taylor entered all the seed varieties and set up the barcodes in the SEED holdings, while Pat’s data assistant Laura Carpenter has spent hours packing seeds fast and furiously.

Everyone in Adult Services has created and managed constantly-changing order forms as well as filling orders, packing seeds and doing readers’ advisory — all while keeping up with nearly 1,000  computer questions and non-stop phone inquiries. Kudos to webmaster Jeff Gurnee for designing and installing the online seed form that allows patrons to send their forms in electronically and pick up their seeds later.

The Library’s amazing Circulation staff has scanned orders, labeled thousands (literally) of seed envelopes, and patiently and kindly answered patron questions about “where to get those free seeds” while waiting on their regular patrons and answering phones. Circulation Manager Lynn Wills has kept the display units beautifully filled with the most enticing books in our collection about plants and gardening and farming.

Last but not least, the Library sends a big thank-you to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for offering first-rate heirloom seed in bulk and giving our mini-consortium of the Bourbon, Clark and Madison public libraries a price break this year to help support the program. We know when we use Baker Creek that the seeds given to patrons are high-quality and high-germination — guaranteed to give them the best start possible with their gardens.

As many of you know, this is the only library in the state that supports its seed library through heirloom plant sales throughout the month of May (rather than tax revenue), so thanks to every one of you who helps with the sales and cheerfully puts up with dribbles of potting soil on the circulation desk each year.

And thanks to all of the Library patrons who come in for the seeds and who buy plants during the sales.

All of these people have made a lot of backyard gardeners and library users very, very happy! Thank you for all your hard work and assistance with this project. It has come to mean a lot to our community.

Other programs this week:

— Tuesday, 10 a.m.,  Easy Email. Mandatory for online job applications.

— Tuesday, 5 p.m., Extension Service Agent David Davis presents a program on Raised Bed Backyard Gardening.  One of the best ways to raise Seed Library seeds.

— Wednesday, 2 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show, A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting row boat.  PG-13.

— Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Local History Potluck Dinner Program, Lower Howard’s Creek Preserve Manager, Clare Sipple, discusses the natural and cultural history of Clark County’s gem.

— Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Outside the Lines Adult Coloring.

Happy Spring.  The Vernal Equinox occurred at 6:29 this morning.