Libraries and Gardens: Growing Together

ALA. Mar. 2019. 144p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838918555. pap. $57.99. PRO MEDIA
From the rooftop gardens of the New York Public Library to exemplary victory gardens of the World War II era, gardens have enhanced the sites and services of libraries. Banks (inclusive svcs., Brooklyn P.L.) and Mediaville (Creating & Managing the Full-Service Homework Center) address a variety of garden types. They devote a chapter to “demonstration gardens,” which serve as teaching and learning tools in communities and include wildlife observation areas, medicinal gardens, native plant installations, and more. The authors also explore partnerships that have reduced recidivism in incarcerated people. Food gardens, seed swaps, and sensory gardens have a place in this smart, concise volume. Designing and maintaining these special sites require thorough planning, and the authors share resources, from planning to the critical steps beyond initial success. Deciding what happens next with a project depends on looking ahead. Tips on evaluating programming through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observation offer the opportunity for thoughtful execution. A selection of full-color photos highlights dazzling library gardens across North America. Additional appendixes list library gardens by state and sample agreements for participants.
VERDICT Would-be gardeners will find practical resources for new projects, and libraries that already have gardens will discover constructive ideas and advice.

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