Off the Shelf: What’s Growing at the Library?

Let’s go back to March, 2019 when the Essex County Library did a soft launch of a seed library at two locations: Amherstburg and Essex. Hang on, “what’s a seed library?” you may ask. A seed library “is an institution that lends or shares seed. Different from a seedbank, it’s main purpose is not to store or hold but rather to disseminate to the public which preserves the shared plant varieties through propagation and further sharing of seed.” Wang, Joy C. (October 6, 2010). “A Seed Library for Heirloom Plants Thrives in the Hudson Valley”. The New York Times.

Well, it was a huge success and we knew that we had a winning community program on our hands and could not wait to “grow” in 2020! We added Kingsville and Leamington to the branches that would have seeds available and launched to the public on Friday, March 13. Yes, Friday the 13th! Then due to COVID-19 we closed our doors to the public on Sunday, March 15. You know the rest of the story! We had to get those seeds out to the community and were thrilled that within 24 hours of sharing with the public all 1400+ seed packets were spoken for. Just over 200 to Kingsville, Ruthven and Cottam alone!

We want to know, did you receive seeds from the library? How did they grow for you? Have you harvested any goodness from your garden? Please share in the comments below!

Meet Your Team

Prior to joining the Kingsville team, Samantha McIntosh worked in the Leamington Branch.

She was born and raised in Essex and graduated from the University of Windsor with an Honours BA in English Language and Literature and then with a BEd in Intermediate/Senior English and History.

Samantha was a secondary teacher in England and Qatar as well as a primary school librarian in Qatar before returning to Essex County with her family.

Samantha enjoys reading historical fiction, being caffeinated and wearing cardigans and is very happy to be working at the library!



Sneak Peak: Children’s Titles


Back to school can be stressful at the best of times! We’re here to help families and students of all ages find resources that can help make things a little easier.

We’ll be sharing more in the near future but for today, here are a few fun titles we’re looking forward to.


Picture Book

Hockey in the Wild by Nicholas Oldland

The lovable Life in the Wild trio can’t wait to get out on the ice to play hockey. Except, well, they’re going to have to! So eager are they that they head out onto the ice before it’s thick enough, and they all fall through. Twice! While they wait for the lake to freeze, they try to take their minds off hockey. There’s competitive napping, Karaoke. Lots of comfort food. Until, at last, the day arrives when the ice is ready. But after all that time not being active, are they ready?

Juvenile Fiction

Dork Diaries #15: Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure by Rachel Renée Russell

Nikki Maxwell deals with the trials and triumphs of middle school in this fifteenth installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series. Will Nikki and her friends make it to Paris? Find out this fall!

Young Adult

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi

A powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighbourhood escalates into tragedy. Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art.

Place your holds today!

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Next week: Saving Native Flower Seeds


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