More and more now, libraries are getting into community gardening. People can “check out” plots or raised bed spaces. It’s great because they usually work with local extensions or experts, so that even people new to growing veggies and fruit can get off to a good start and get help along the way. Plus, not everyone has the space to really garden.
A few library farms and gardens we know:
Pauls Valley Library has demo plots next to the library and has workshops through their extension.
The Miami Public Library has been into community gardening for a while now.
The Beaver County Pioneer Library has done gardening with kids, also working with their extension.
Gardens and libraries bring people together. If you want to get started, commandeer that abandoned spot next to the library or that weedy patch of grass surrounding your grounds. Then, get in touch with an expert, starting with your local extension office.
Books and Websites to Help
These will help you get started. You’ll see how easy and cheap it is to make a community garden for growing veggies and fruit. While food gardens are the rage, think about the landscape around the library. With people wanting to gather but needing room to spread out, outdoor spaces are more important than ever. There are many good reasons to have outdoor garden “rooms” with tables, seating and strong WiFi.
Inspiration and Guidance: Let’s Move in Libraries – Gardening
From Shareable: Community gardens are cropping up at public libraries everywhere
A good book from ALA: Libraries and Gardens: Growing Together
Another great article from NPR on how libraries are adapting to the pandemic, how people are using the library, and how what libraries do and offer have changed. Libraries Are Dealing With New Demand For Books And Services During The Pandemic
The Atlantic’s The Post-pandemic Future of Libraries
Internet is a big problem. And Covid is exposing other gaps too. PBS’s News Hour has a good article on this and more: ‘Truly the last safe haven’: Libraries serve vulnerable communities during the pandemic