Common Soil Seed Library Ready for Use in 2021

During the peak of last year’s planting season, all OPL locations closed due to the increasing threat of the pandemic, making the library’s entire collection (including seeds) inaccessible. Until then, Common Soil Seed Library, opens a new window usage had increased every year since it was first established in 2013. With libraries back open and the option for curbside pick-up, opens a new window available, it’s time to get your garden back on track!

Four OPL locations (Benson, opens a new window, Bess Johnson Elkhorn, opens a new window, Millard, opens a new window, and South Omaha, opens a new window) have full browsing collections available to patrons, and most other branches have some popular seeds available for check out. Patrons may also search for seeds in OPL’s online catalog, opens a new window and request to have them sent to their preferred OPL branch.

Patrons can suggest that OPL purchase any seed varieties that aren’t stocked, either in person at any OPL location or through OPL’s suggest a purchase form, opens a new window. 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 Paul Christopherson encourages patrons to give gardening a try, even if it’s not something they have done in the past. “There are so many resources to help people get started,” Christopherson said. “Many folks are staying closer to home than ever these days, making it the perfect time to test their green thumb.”

Anyone with specific questions about how to make their garden grow may contact Christopherson at, opens a new window, or check out one of OPL’s many valuable books on the subject. Visit  for more information.