Sustainability Round Table Members Community

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A working space for the Sustainability Round Table.

  • 1.  Academic Seed Library

    Posted Nov 09, 2023 01:18 PM

    I work in an academic library with a strong agriculture department (not sure if it makes a difference). I'd like to start a seed library in our library and I'm looking for information from anyone in an academic library setting that has experience starting and maintaining a seed library. I've found a fair amount of information on public library seed libraries but not much information for an academic library setting. Any information, tips, resources you can share? Thank you.

    Michelle Mussuto
    Librarian, Agriculture, Natural Sciences, and Sustainability
    California State University, Chico

  • 2.  RE: Academic Seed Library

    Posted Nov 13, 2023 08:18 AM

    Hi Michelle,


    It's great that you are interested in starting a seed library at your university! I am part of the team running a seed library at Michigan State University, we have quite a bit of information on our resource guide: It has been a very popular addition to the library. I'd be happy to set up a time for a zoom conversation about academic seed libraries or communicate via further via email. Hope to hear from you soon!




    Eric Tans 

    Sciences Coordinator  

    Environmental Sciences Librarian 

    Michigan State University Libraries 





    Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg–Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. 




  • 3.  RE: Academic Seed Library

    Posted Nov 13, 2023 02:42 PM
    Dear Michelle,
    Several years ago when I was Dean of the Library at Indiana University Kokomo, we created a seed library and put it in an old card catalogue at the entrance to the library. We asked for seed donations and were pleasantly surprised at how many people across campus responded! Our student environmental group offered to support our efforts and that led to a joint plant give-away initiative as well. The way we managed that seed library was fairly labor intensive and I do not know whether that was sustainable in the longer-term (I left there in 2020). For example, our departmental secretary hand wrote planting instructions on cards for the seeds that were donated without their original packaging. 

    Our Oakland University Libraries Sustainability Committee launched a seed library just this past April (2023). Again we are using an old card catalogue to organize the seeds and, again, we are stocking the catalogue with donations from individuals and campus groups. This time, however, planting instructions are provided via QR code. We are also participating in the Michigan One Seed, One State initiative. 

    I would be happy to discuss in more detail my experience with the seed library at IU Kokomo if you would like to have an email or Google Meet/Zoom conversation. I have been much less hands-on with the Oakland University Libraries initiative, but I am sure that Sustainability Committee members would be happy to provide additional information. 

    Best wishes!
    Polly D. Boruff-Jones, MLS, MPA
    Professor and Dean of University Libraries
    Oakland University
    300A Kresge Library
    she / her / hers

    Oakland University resides on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabe, known as the Three Fires Confederacy, comprised of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. The land was ceded in the 1807 Treaty of Detroit and makes up southeast Michigan.
    In recognizing the history and respecting the sovereignty of Michigan's Indian Nations, Oakland University honors the heritage of Indigenous communities and their significant role in shaping the course of this region.