By Aila Boyd
The Seed Library at the Eagle Rock Library was recently presented with an Achievement Award from the Virginia Association of Counties.
The Seed Library was nominated for an Achievement Award by Cody Sexton, assistant to the county administrator, back in May. “I was really honored to find out that he was even considering this project for that award,” said Jaime Duval, the branch librarian. “When he emailed me letting me know that we got it, I was just ecstatic because I want the library to be successful. The more publicity we can get for it, the more success we can have.”
The Seed Library was started a year and three months ago. Since then, there have been over 60 checkouts and over 30 people who have brought in seeds.
Duval originally had plans to start a seed library at the library in Radford when she was working there, but wasn’t able to do so before leaving for Eagle Rock.
“When I moved out here, I realized that agriculture is a huge part of the community. I realized that this would be the best location to have a seed library,” she explained.
From there, she contacted Seed Savers Exchange, which donated seeds to get the library up and running.
Now that the growing season is starting to come to a close, Duval is hoping that local farmers will bring in their seeds. “They can just come here and drop off their seeds and we’ll put them in packages or they can do the packaging themselves,” she said.
A special nook in the building was established for all things agriculture to celebrate the one-year anniversary.
A local pastor, who has since moved out of the area, wanted to do a project for the library, so he put down all of the flooring in the nook and used material from an old barn to create shelves.
“The Seed Library was going so well that we decided to expand into an area that wasn’t being used for very much. We’ve moved all of our gardening books and our DVDs on gardening and agriculture into the area so that we can keep all of it in a central location,” Duval explained.
In the near future, the library is planning to hold a series of special agriculture-themed programs. To start with, there will be a “pizza garden,” which will allow the participants the opportunity to grow the tomatoes and various other toppings that go on pizzas.
At the moment, the Eagle Rock Library is the only one in the Botetourt County Libraries system that operates a seed library. However, Duval noted that some of the other libraries are considering starting their own seed libraries in the future. The Salem Public Library also operates a seed library.