New Hours As Of October 3!

Effective Monday, October 3, hours for our Downtown and Southwest Library locations will change. 

Downtown Library: Open 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm, Saturdays. 

Southwest Branch: Open 12pm to 8pm, Monday & Tuesday; 10am to 6pm, Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 2pm, Saturdays. 

Thes new hours help us prepare for the late 2022 opening of our Watts-Midtown Branch. Watch this website, Facebook, and our library email newsletters for updates! 

Seed Library

Person browsing RIPL seed library drawers

About the Seed Library

The Seed Library is a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that you can borrow to plant and grow at home. By saving seeds as a community, we help create locally adapted plant varieties and preserve genetic diversity.

The Seed Library is open during the growing season, usually March-early September. As of September 26, 2022, it is closed for the season. 

How to Use the Seed Library

Using the Seed Library is easy!

  1. Pick out the seeds you would like to plant.
    • Take up to 5 different seed packets per family per month.
    • Please do not take all the same variety of seeds—leave some for others to enjoy!
  2. Take your seeds home and plant them.
  3. If you are able, consider saving some seeds from your mature plants and donating them back to the seed library.
  4. If you are a Rock Island/Milan-area resident, you may use our Seeds by Mail form available from March-August.


Seed Library FAQs

The Seed Library is at the Reference desk at the Downtown Library and is available March through September.

No, you do not need to return seeds to the library. There is no obligation to save and return seeds, especially if you’re new to seed saving. As you grow as a gardener and a seed saver, we hope that you will consider sharing your seeds with the Seed Library community.

The Seed Library is free to use and there are no late fees or replacement costs. No library card is required to use the Seed Library. 

Supplies and varieties vary, but the collection usually includes vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits. To check what seeds are currently available stop by to browse! Seeds are available while supplies last.

Seed donations are welcome all year round. Please see a Reference Librarian at the Downtown Library for envelopes and labels.

You can pick out your own variety of seeds at the Downtown Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island. No library card is required. The Seed Library is available at the first floor of the library during regular hours. 

Seeds are available by mail to residents of  our Rock Island and Milan-Blackhawk Area Library District. Staff will choose a variety for you based on the category you select. Please use our webform to order. Allow 3 to 7 business days for receipt of your order.