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Seed Library Sprouting Up at Emma Clark Library

Setauket, NY – March 6, 2024 –

Just in time for the first day of spring, a Seed Library and Seed Swap Box are blossoming at Emma Clark Library!

This new, sustainable initiative will debut on March 19 and include a collection of flower, herb, and vegetable seed packets, freely available to Emma Clark cardholders. The Seed Library will contain all organic seeds, many which are also Long Island native plants, and will be located in the Adult Department near the new café. Examples of seeds that will be available (on a first come, first served basis while supplies last) are echinacea, milkweed, sunflowers, basil, catnip, cilantro, oregano, arugula, beets, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, green beans, squash, and tomatoes. The Library asks that patrons take no more than 3 seed packets per week and sign the Seed Library Guest Book (individuals do not check out the packets like other library items), to let the library know what they have taken. Additionally, the Library will be granting community service hours to teen volunteers for helping replenish the Seed Library by sorting, packaging, and labeling seeds at designated library-sponsored programs (see emmaclark.org/programs).

Below the Seed Library, there will also be a Seed Swap Box, designed for the generous public to share seeds with the Three Village community. This section of seeds is donated by patrons (in sealed, labeled packets) and will not be inspected or catalogued by the Library. The public is invited to either share seeds or pick up seeds, or do both. There is no limit to how many seeds an individual may donate or take from the Swap Box.

Making this new collection even more environmentally-friendly is the that fact that the structure is a recycled “old-fashioned” library card catalog, effectively repurposed for the seeds. For those who don’t remember the physical card catalog from years ago, it is a specialized piece of furniture that is no longer used in the Library since the inception of the online catalog.

Spearheading this green enterprise is the Library’s Head of Teen Services, Emily Ostrander, who heard the public requests for a Seed Library and found a way to incorporate it into teen volunteering opportunities as well.

“Three Village is such an environmentally-conscious community that is full of gardening enthusiasts. I’m excited to bring this new resource to our patrons! Not to mention that we are getting teenagers involved in gardening at this transitional time in their lives when they’re looking for lifelong skills and hobbies. It may inspire our next generation of growers,” remarks Ms. Ostrander.

The Seed Library is, quite literarily, a growing collection, and new varieties of seeds may be added from time to time. Similarly, as seed packets are taken, not all may be replaced, as there are a limited number of seeds available. The Library asks that gardeners be mindful of what they take, and remember this is a shared resource for all in our community. The goals of the Seed Library and Seed Swap Box are to provide seeds, build community, and support people who are new to the world of gardening, as well as those who are well-seasoned gardeners.

More information on the Seed Library and Seed Swap Box, as well as additional gardening resources, may be found at emmaclark.org/seedlibrary.

Furthermore, the Library continuously holds both in-person and online gardening classes year-round. A listing of classes may be found in the Library’s newsletter or at emmaclark.org/programs.


The Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, located at 120 Main Street in Setauket and online at www.emmaclark.org, provides public library service to all residents of the Three Village Central School District.

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