Seed Exchange logo

What is a Seed Exchange?

A seed exchange is a place where you can "check out" seeds and bring back new seeds from your harvest! The basic idea is that you take seeds from the lending library, plant them, grow the plants, let some go to seed, and then return some of these next-generation seeds for others to borrow. (Don’t worry, we don’t have fines if you don’t return seeds.) We also accept store-bought seeds!

How to Borrow Seeds

In the Library Building

  1. Go to the Seed Exchange, which is located on the 2nd floor of The Urbana Free Library (to the right as you come up the stairs).
  2. Grab whichever seed packets you'd like (the drawers are labeled by seed type).
  3. Fill out the "Seeds I Took" form with which seeds you took and how many (if we are out of forms, just let the staff member on the Reference Desk know which seeds you took)
  4. Hand a filled-out form to the staff member on the Reference Desk.
  5. Take the seeds home and plant them!

From Home

  1. See List of List of Currently Available Seeds (Updated 4/13/22) on our website.
  2. Email us at with a list of the seeds you would like and the best way to contact you.
  3. Once you have received confirmation that your seed order is ready, you can come into the library and ask for it at the Circulation Desk.
  4. If you'd like to make a curbside pickup appointment to get your seeds, you can call (217) 367-4405 after receiving confirmation that your seeds are ready.

How to “Return” / Donate Seeds

In the Library Building

  1. Seeds must be in a sealed plastic bag (we accept harvested and store-bought seeds). Please include the following information on a piece of paper inside the bag: common name (ex: Kale), variety (ex: Russian Red), and the year.
  2. Give seeds to a staff member at the Circulation Desk.

Through Curbside Pickup

  1. Prepare the seeds the same way as above.
  2. Make a reservation to drop off the seeds through curbside pickup by calling (217) 367-4405.

If you have any questions about the Seed Exchange, please contact Jordan ( and/or Joel (


List of Currently Available Seeds (Updated 4/13/22)

Gardening Resources

Are you looking for resources to help you set up or maintain your garden?

Go to our Gardening Resources page.