Hayward Seed Lending Library

Become a Member

Become a member of the Hayward Seed Lending Library to check out seeds. We will also send you announcements about upcoming gardening and seed-saving workshops. Or pick up a copy of the Hayward Library’s quarterly calendar and newsletter At Your Library! at the Main Library or Weekes Branch to find out about future workshops and other related events.Check the library calendar to find out when the next classes are being offered.

Getting Started

Learn the simple steps to get started, and how to harvest seeds from their fully grown plants so that you can return seeds for use in your own garden or by another member.

The library also offers a wide selection of excellent books that will help you learn how to start a garden from scratch, whether you have a large plot to develop, or only a window sill or deck to grow plants in containers. You can also check out books related to seed harvesting. Or come to either the Main Library or Weekes Branch to ask for assistance.

Become a Seed Lending Library Volunteer

We welcome volunteers to help process donated seeds, organize the seed catalog, help us organize garden workshops and community events, and more. To get involved, complete a volunteer application form.

Your Financial and Seed Donations Help!

If you have out-of-date, excess seed inventory, or are willing to grow crops for the specific purpose of cultivating seeds for the Hayward Seed Lending Library, we will put the seeds to good use. While our primary emphasis is on vegetables and herbs, we also stock California natives and flower seeds that attract natural predators to control garden pests, or seeds that attract bees and butterflies to promote pollination.

Please identify the common name, scientific name, variety, year, seed source, and any other pertinent information with your donation. Include your name and contact information with the donation to receive an acknowledgement of your in-kind tax-deductible contribution. Send your donation to the address below, to the attention of the Hayward Seed Lending Library.

Financial contributions are also helpful, to help us purchase supplies and materials to maintain the Seed Lending Library. Make your check out to our fiscal sponsor, the Friends of the Hayward Public Library, with an earmark for the Seed Lending Library, and send it to the Friends at the address below. All contributions to the Friends are tax deductible.


"We have been gardening for twenty years. We plant everything from fruit trees, vegetables, succulents, and flowers. We are excited to participate in the seed lending library." —Rich & Monica Tapia, Hayward residents.

“The Seed Lending Library inspired me and my husband to build four raised beds, and we are obsessed with our garden!” —Cheryl Zuur, Hayward resident.

Send us your own story about how you are using the Seed Lending Library. Submit your story to the email address provided below — photo attachments appreciated!

Additional Resources

The Seed Savers Exchange offers free access to excellent resources that will help you learn how to save a variety of seeds and other helpful gardening techniques.

The Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook provides specific instructions for saving many different vegetable seeds.


The goal of the Seed Lending Library is to increase the capacity of Hayward community members to feed themselves and their families wholesome food with education and resources that foster community resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing. The program promotes open-pollinated vegetables and fosters a greater understanding of the value of biodiversity through free seed-saving and gardening workshops. Seed-saving demonstrations often incorporate vegetables grown from the Seed Lending Library’s very own rooftop garden.


The Hayward Public Library’s Seed Lending Library is sponsored by the Friends of the Hayward Public Library, with additional support provided by Kaiser Permanente, Alameda County’s Office of Education, the Alameda County Master Gardeners, and other civic organizations. The Hayward Library wishes to thank many more people and organizations for the critical roles they have played to establish and maintain the Seed Lending Library.


Hayward Public Library
835 C Street
Hayward, CA 94541