Distribution looks different this year for the Rock Island Public Library Seed Library. This free resource is still a great way for Rock Island and Milan-area residents and organizations to cultivate their gardens this spring.

The Seed Library is a free collection of seed packets suitable for the local Zone 5 growing area. Using the online form on the RIPL website, participants can request one of the following pre-selected packages:

·         Vegetable garden bundle

·         Flower garden bundle

·         Herb garden bundle

·         Grab Bag (mixed bundle)

Each bundle contains five assorted packets of heirloom and open-pollinated varieties of vegetables, flowers, and culinary herb seeds.  Selection will vary.

Seeds will arrive via postal mail within 3 to 7 business days after the order is received.  The library will send one package per household to addresses in its service areas of Rock Island and the Milan-Blackhawk Public Library District. A library card is not required.

 “We know that gardeners are eager to plant with the warmer weather, and as a means of spending time while social distancing during the stay-at-home extension,” said Reference Librarian Rachel Ippolito. “We ask that participants allow us to choose the assortment in each themed bundle, and we hope our gardeners look forward to growing something new.”

A limited supply of seed bundles will also be placed in Little Free Libraries available outside Rock Island elementary schools. All seed library bundles are available only while supplies last.

For those who want to complete the seed lending circle, participants may save seeds from their crops and donate seeds back to the library after harvest in the fall. Seed saving is not required to participate.

Rock Island Public Library buildings remain closed to the public.  A wide variety of digital content, online programs, fun activities and instructional videos are available via the Library website and social media channels. Follow Rock Island Public Library on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

To order seeds for mail delivery, visit www.rockislandlibrary.org, and click the Seed Library image at the top for the Google Form.

 For further questions about the Seed Library, please contact the library by email at RiLibRef@rigov.org or leave a message at 309-732-7343.


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.