OPL Seed Library


The OPL Seed Library is a seed sharing resource for our library patrons to enjoy at no cost to them. We strive to provide education about growing and saving seeds through in person programming and written materials. The OPL Seed Library is open during regular library hours.

The OPL Seed Library currently offers a collection of heirloom seeds provided by The Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.  It is one of the largest non-governmental seed banks in the United States


Step 1 Fill out the registration form located in the seed library area on the 2nd floor reading room and return to the 2nd floor reference desk.  Do your research. Use the handouts provided or check out books to help in the selection of the seeds you want to try.

Step 2 Choose your seed packet(s).  Up to 2 packets can be checked out per month.

Step 3 Bring your seed packet(s) to the 2nd floor reference desk to be checked out.  Keeping records of our seed library users and the seeds used helps us with inventory and information on what seeds to provide in the future.

Step 4 Grow your plants! Sow, water, and weed! Let us know how things are growing.

Step 5 We encourage you to harvest a portion of seeds to return to the OPL Seed Library, although this is not a requirement.

How You Can Help

1. Save seeds from the flowers, herbs, or vegetables that you grow from the seeds you checked out from the OPL Seed Library. Use the information in handouts provided and return dried seeds in a packet provided by us.  Fill out as much information as you have about the seeds.

2. Recommend a program or a speaker.

3. Donate any unused garden seeds you may have left over in the packet you checked out.

Iowa Code 

21—40.16 (199) Seed libraries. A qualified seed library may be a library district formed under Iowa Code section 336.2, a library board functioning under Iowa Code section 392.5, or an Iowa food bank or Iowa emergency feeding organization recognized by the Iowa department of revenue. A qualified seed library is subject to permitting by the department, but is not subject to labeling, testing and fees for giving, distributing or exchanging agricultural seed as long as all of the following apply:

1. The exchanges or distributions are made at a single location and no money is exchanged;

2. All seed is intended for planting in Iowa;

3. Individuals receive two pounds or less of seed annually;

4. The seed has not been treated with pesticide;

5. Patented, protected or propriety varieties of seed are used or included in the qualified seed library only with the permission of the patent or certificate holder, developer or owner of the intellectual property associated with the variety;

6. The certified seed status is not misused or misrepresented; and

7. The seed has not been placed under a stop sale order by the department or any other regulatory agency.

[ARC 2041C, IAB 6/24/15, effective 7/29/15]