Saša Vidmar (SI), Ana Kosič (SI), Irena Škvarč (SI), France Bevk Public Library (SI)

France Bevk Public Library (FBPL) is located in a town surrounded by rural areas, which are mainly cultivated by amateur gardeners. Some buy seeds from large seed stores, while others use seeds passed down to their families through generations. Organized seed exchanges have also been taking place in the local community. Therefore, the Seed Library (SL) was a logical extension of activities in our environment. For the needs of the SL, we started developing an application in collaboration with an external contractor. The application is intuitive and very easy to use, which allows users to use it independently. This application enables, in addition to seed borrowing, traceability of individual seeds and provides general descriptions. Users can also make notes related to seed cultivation, plants, and their uses. The SL operates on the principle of seed circulation. Users can donate home-grown, organically harvested seeds to the SL, which are then available to other users. They can also borrow seeds, plant them at home, grow plants, harvest the seeds, and return a portion of them to the SL. In addition to seed circulation, the SL engages local communities with various activities (workshops, lectures, gardening club). Other public libraries in Slovenia quickly became interested in our SL initiative. Today, there are 22 SL coordinated by FBPL in Slovenian public libraries. The main goal of the SL is to raise awareness in the community about the importance of biodiversity, self-sufficiency, organic food production and sustainability. In this way, agronomic experts can reach a larger number of residents with their messages, while also having access to the seed collection being built by individuals. This provides experts with data on plants circulating among people, along with all associated information that people entered into the database. The catalogue of seeds in the SL is public and accessible through the websites of participating public libraries.

Ekosplet is a company that has been with us since the very beginning. Together, we have developed an application that enables borrowing, returning, and tracking of seeds. They take care that everything is running smoothly and are involved in the app’s further development.

Rosana Vrh Makarovič is a university graduate engineer in agriculture. Her exceptional professional support regarding the agricultural part of the Seed Library was vital. Her support varied from naming and classifying plants into the right groups to conducting several lectures and workshops for various target user groups.

Saša Vidmar (SI) graduated in Library and Information Science and has been working at the France Bevk Public Library Nova Gorica for more than 20 years. She is a coordinator of regional tasks and Head of Libray development department. She is a co-creator of the “Rastem z e-viri” (Growing with e-sources project - for youngsters) and the head of the Mojstrovalnica (makespace) and Seed library projects, as well as a member of several working groups. She is also the president of the Promotion and Marketing Section (Slovenian Library Association).

Ana Kosič (SI) graduated in Library and Information Science and is a librarian in France Bevk Public Library Nova Gorica. She works in the non-fiction department, looks after the Seed Library, manages the library's social media accounts and conducts information literacy project "Rastem z e-viri" at schools in Goriška region.

Irena Škvarč (SI) graduated in library science and history education. She has been active in the professional library environment since 1994. Since 2001, she has been employed at the France Bevk Public Library, where she led the Department for Special Tasks of the regional library, since 2013 she has been the director of the library. She participated in the establishment of the online portal of Slovenian public libraries, She actively participates in the Executive Board of the Association of Public Libraries and the Executive Board of the Slovenian Library Association. Since 2013, she has been the president of the Primorska and Notranjska Librarians' Association.

Seed Library addresses the negative impacts of the agricultural industry on native ecology and biodiversity. With seed libraries in 20 public libraries across Slovenia, the project aims to preserve the biodiversity of local indigenous plants through free seed circulation, using a digital tool to record the lending of seeds, ensure their traceability and classification, and collect agronomic data about where individual plants grow and thrive. Through education activities, Seed Library creates knowledge transfer from experienced gardeners to beginners, reinforcing community solidarity, encouraging an exchange of sustainable farming practices, and fostering the conservation of home-grown seeds.