New Seed Library

The Downers Grove Legacy Seed Library, formerly housed at the Downers Grove Museum, has a new home at DGPL! You will find it on the second floor along the green wall by the reference books. Inquire at the Ask Us Desk for assistance utilizing this special collection.

What is a Seed Library you may ask? The concept is simple: Learn from us how to save seeds, then borrow some, grow them out, save seeds from a few plants and then return the number of seeds you borrowed!

Seed Borrowing Procedures 

  1. Our Library accepts open-pollinated or heirloom seeds; no GMO or Hybrid seeds please!

  2. If this is your first time borrowing seeds from the seed library, complete a Membership Record Form and return it to the second floor Ask Desk.

  3. If you are a beginner to seed saving we recommend starting with the following first tier seed types:

  • Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • ​Peas
  1. Choose your seeds.  Feel free to take seeds from any category, even if you are a beginner seed-saver, but please only take as many seeds as you have space in your garden.  

  2. Record the seeds you’ve taken on a Member’s Seed Record Sheet.  These sheets are in a binder on the seed desk.  

  3. If you have questions on seed starting, planting or harvesting seeds, you can visit our web-site at Or, send us an email at  Mentors are available.

  4. Harvest your seeds.  Be sure to dry them thoroughly and store them in a cool, dry place until you return them to the library.

  5. We recommend you save the seed packets from your borrowed seeds so you have all of the required information when you return your seeds.  Blank seed packets can be found on the seed library desk, along with a poster showing the number of seeds per packet.

  6. Record your returned seeds on your Member Seed Record sheet to document your returned or donated seeds.  Once completed, return your Member Seed Record sheet to the binder.  We hope you have a bountiful harvest, and you return the seeds you borrowed along with any extras you may have.  We acknowledge that not all seeds will germinate, and not all plants will survive. Sometimes it is not possible to return seeds borrowed.

  7. Place your returned seeds in the bottom right hand drawer of the seed library desk.  Once they are logged into the inventory, they will be placed into the library  seed desk for more borrowing!