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Welcome to our Seed Library!

The East Alton Library Seed Collective (EALSC) is a non-profit seed sharing resource located in the East Alton Public Library District, open to everyone in the Madison County area. In addition to seeds, we provide education about growing and saving seeds. At no cost, the seed library offers a collection of heirloom and home-grown fruit, vegetable, herb and flower seeds. EALSC is open whenever the East Alton Public Library District is open. A library card is not required to check out seeds. 

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What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is an organization that lends or shares seeds to anyone in the community. In addition to offering free seeds, a seed library provides a means of regional seed exchange while teaching people how to save those seeds successfully. It also accepts seeds in return, replenishing seed stock back to the library. Seed libraries work by creating relationships with local and regional growers. The returned seed enters the library catalog and becomes available to more growers the following season, creating a sustainable seed library system. 

Why is seed saving important?

Saving seeds not only helps improve agricultural biodiversity, but helps farmers and researchers find varieties of crops that grow better in different regions. Seed saving is central to the ideals of sustainability and food security, especially in times of concern about climate change and food safety. Seed saving represents our original relationship to the land, a mutual connection between us as humans and the plant kingdom. 

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How do I borrow seeds?

Anyone can borrow seeds from our Seed Library. Simply visit the East Alton Public Library District to browse our Seed Library and it's accompanying catalog. Patrons age 11 and under require parent permission to use the Seed Library.

Choose your seeds  

Patrons can check out up to 6 packets of seeds per calendar year. EALSC is primarily maintained February through October, but you can check out seeds year-round. We will have a fresh inventory available for you each Spring. 

Borrowing Seeds 

Simply bring your seed selections to the circulation desk and fill out a membership form.  

 

Grow your plants!  

We encourage you to save a portion of seeds to return to the Seed Library, although this is not a requirement. If you have any questions during the growing season, please feel free to contact us at info@eastaltonlibrary.org