SEED LIBRARY | Cultivating Community

2020 Seed Library launches March 16, 2020!


What is a seed library?

A seed library is as exactly as it sounds — we “loan” seeds to patrons to grow plants in their home garden. Similar to borrowing a book, the patron “borrows” the seeds with the intention of harvesting seeds from their future crop to return to the library for future lending.

Why a seed library?

A seed library brings many benefits to our community.  It encourages patrons to grow and harvest their own food, it supports and builds community among fellow gardeners, it promotes new gardeners to try their hand at growing, it preserves open pollinated or heirloom seeds, and encourages patrons to grow and save seeds.

What seeds do you offer?

All of the seeds for our inaugural year have been generously donated by Pioneer Garden & Feed in Villa Park. All seeds offered are labeled as “EASY” to grow and can be directly sown in your garden or container outside after last frost. For a full list of what seeds we are currently offering this year, see below. You can also stop by the Library’s Circulation Desk, or click the button to the right, to view our seed menu with more seed descriptions.

How do I borrow seeds?

With your Bensenville Community Public Library card, you may borrow up to five packets consisting of no more than two of each variety of seed. Each packet contains enough seeds to grow at least 3 plants. Visit the BCPL Circulation Desk to select your packets beginning on Monday, April 29, 2019. Each packet is labeled with the type of seed and growing instructions. First time borrowers must fill out a seed record sheet. Your selected seeds and quantity will be recorded in our log.


  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Snap peas
  • Green beans
  • Spinach


  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Parsley


  • Marigold
  • Snapdragon
  • Poppies
  • Sunflower
  • Coneflower
  • Cosmos

How do I return seeds?

In order to continue and grow our seed library from year to year, we ask that you try to harvest and return seeds from your crop to the Library. Be sure to dry them, and store them in a cool, dry place until you can return them to the Library. We suggest that you save the packet from your borrowed seeds so that you have all the required information available when you return your seeds. (Blank seed packets are also available at the Circulation Desk.) Growing, harvesting, saving, and donating seeds cultivates a culture of sharing throughout our community. 

What if I can’t harvest seeds?

There is no penalty for not returning seeds. However, we encourage any patron who borrows seeds to educate themselves on the practice of saving seeds. We do acknowledge that not all seeds will germinate, not all plants will survive, and therefore sometimes it is just not possible to return borrowed seeds.

Can I donate other seeds?

Yes! If you would like to donate seeds from your home garden, please ask at the Circulation Desk for a blank seed packet. Keep in mind that the Bensenville Community Public Library only accepts open-pollinated or heirloom seeds. Provide the plant information asked on the packet and return to the Circulation Desk. If possible, please provide a photo for seed identification purposes.

For questions about our seed library, please contact the Library at (630) 766-4642.

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