The seed library at the Alfred Box of Books Library.

What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is a free exchange of seeds within a community.  The goal of a seed library is to protect local biodiversity and expanding access to agriculture.

The Alfred Box of Books Library Seed Library began in 2017 with a donation from Seed Savers Exchange. Patrons donating their own seeds kept the seed library well stocked. In 2022, we received a large donation from Hudson Valley Seeds.

We have a variety of seeds from vegetables to flowers, and the inventory is always changing as donations are received.

Seed library

How does it work?

Patrons can borrow seeds to plant in their gardens.  At the end of the season, they can collect seeds from the garden to return to the library for further sharing. Or you can donate any seeds you have!

How to Borrow and/or Donate Seeds

  1. Browse through the seeds and select the ones you’d like to borrow.
  2. Let staff know how many packets you are taking. (We keep statistics on how much the library is used each year!)
  3. Plant your seeds!
  4. If you have seeds to donate, simply bring them to the library and turn them in to the staff at the circulation desk. We will package them and add them to the seed library!
Seed library and book display

For more information on the Seed Library at Alfred Box of Books, please email us at

Seed Saving Info and Links:

Seed Savers Exchange

Organic Seed Alliance

Hudson Valley Seed Company

Books on seed saving: [Clicking these links will take you to the StarCat online catalog.]

The New Seed Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel

The Seed Detective: Uncovering the Secret Histories of Remarkable Vegetables by Adam Alexander

The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving by Micaela Colley

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth

The Complete Guide to Saving Seed: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees, and Shrubs by Robert Gough

Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation by Gary Paul Nabhan

Saving Seeds: The Gardener’s Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds by Marc Rogers

Seeds in the seed library