Celebrating 10 Years of the Common Soil Seed Library

In 2023, Omaha Public Library (OPL) celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Common Soil Seed
Library. It started small, with a single up-cycled card catalog at Benson Branch serving the entire library system. Since then, it has found roots with physical seed libraries at each OPL branch. OPL checked out over 47,000 seed packets last year, making 2022 the biggest year yet in Common Soil Seed Library history!

Visit any branch library to browse the seed collection, or place holds from the comfort of your own home and have them sent to any branch for pickup. Visit omahalibrary.org to view available varieties of flower, fruit, herb and produce seeds. Patrons may also suggest that OPL purchase any seed varieties that aren’t stocked.

Cardholders may check out up to 15 seed packets each month. Germination information and planting instructions are available for each seed type. Gardeners are advised to read the growing instructions carefully, as some plants need to be started earlier in the year to reach their full capacity by growing season.

OPL’s Urban Gardening Librarian Jacob Lee says that gardening has been one of the most rewarding hobbies in his life. “There are so many lessons that cultivating a garden from beginning to end can teach us: The cycle of the seasons and how plants adapt, the importance of fertile soil, and how much our efforts support other things in our environment.”

If you have questions regarding how you can start your own garden this growing season, contact Lee at jlee@omahalibrary.org or search the library catalog for resources on starting the best garden for you. Visit omahalibrary.org/seed-library for more information.

Recommended Reads

The Complete Book of Ground Covers

Botany for Gardeners

The Urban Garden

Companion Planting for Beginners

How to Garden When You Rent