A Place for Seed Libraries in Higher Education: Setting the Stage for New Outreach and Engagement Initiatives
- academic libraries, social environmental change, experiential learning, food security, food access, community engagement, student engagement, higher education, seed libraries
Copyright (c) 2018 Holly Dean
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Seed libraries are community-based programs providing access to free open-pollinated seeds (usually fruit, vegetables, and flowers), and related information resources. They strengthen local biodiversity, support local food systems, and facilitate food access, as well as social justice conversations through supporting resources and outreach and engagement initiatives. While seed libraries have been around for many years there is little evidence of research on seed libraries in higher education, including their potential to affect social change. This article will provide context for seed libraries in higher education through examination of the relevant literature available on food insecurity among college students, health impacts of gardening activities, and civic engagement opportunities. Garden-based pedagogy will be discussed, as well as home gardening and general benefits of gardening. Understanding community and greater societal needs can guide new outreach and engagement initiatives, such as seed libraries in higher education, leading to social change and enhanced student learning.