Libraries and Gardens: Growing Together

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$57.99
ALA Member: 
$ 52.19
Item Number: 
978-0-8389-1855-5
Published: 
2019
Publisher: 
ALA Editions
Pages: 
144
Width: 
7"
Height: 
10"
Format: 
Softcover
AP Categories: 
A, C, I
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

"For me, gardening is the best tool I have to create inclusive library programs. In my urban library, children without disabilities have no advantages over children with disabilities because none of them have gardened before, it’s a level playing (or planting) field."

Read an interview with the authors now!

Roman philosopher Cicero once remarked that “if you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Today, libraries nationwide are beginning to incorporate gardens into their public services. Libraries in the southwestern US, for instance, are creating drought-tolerant gardens as neighborhood demonstration projects, while elsewhere gardens are being used to promote community engagement and even STEM learning. Citing examples of library gardens around the world that are thriving, this first-ever book on the subject not only demonstrates the many benefits of library gardens but also provides a complete overview of issues applicable to all library types and geographical environments. Featuring a full-color photo insert showcasing several beautiful library gardens, among the topics covered in the book are

  • a brief history of libraries and gardens, with an overview of such “demonstration gardens” as medicinal and herbal gardens, native plant gardens, xeriscapes, and gardens as wildlife sanctuaries;
  • the use of plants, such as living walls and rooftop gardens, to create ecologically healthy, sustainable environments;
  • gardens as learning environments and spaces for storytimes and active play;
  • food gardens, seed libraries, sensory gardens, outdoor reading areas, prison garden programs, and many other ways that libraries can engage communities;
  • guidance on designing for inclusivity, planning, funding, staffing, recruiting volunteers, and planting and maintenance, complete with advice on determining the best plants to cultivate; and
  • ideas on evaluating the effectiveness of library gardens and the program opportunities they offer.

Readers will not only be inspired to create and nurture their own library gardens and programs, they will receive practical advice on how to proceed and sustain them.

Listen to an American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast about libraries and gardens now!

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Chapter 1    A Brief History of Libraries and Gardens
Chapter 2    Demonstration Gardens in Libraries
Chapter 3    Learning in Library Gardens
Chapter 4    Community Engagement
Chapter 5    Library Garden Design
Chapter 6    Planning and Managing the Library Garden
Chapter 7    Sustaining the Garden through Funding, Partnerships, and Volunteers
Chapter 8    Evaluating Garden Programs

  • Appendix A    A Tour of All the Gardens Cited in This Book
  • Appendix B    Sample Community Garden Rules, Regulations, and Gardener Agreements
  • Appendix C    Sample Volunteer Gardener Application
  • Appendix D    Sample Evaluation Report

Bibliography
Index

Carrie Scott Banks

Carrie Scott Banks has worked with and on behalf of children with disabilities since high school. Taking over Brooklyn Public Library’s Inclusive Services in 1997, she created their gardening program in 1999. Ms. Banks taught inclusion at Pratt Institute from 2013 to 2015 and conducts inclusion trainings across the United States and Canada. She has had many roles in ALA: ASGCLA (Association of Specialized, Government and Cooperative Library Agencies) board member, committee member and chair, program organizer, and co-drafter of resources and tools for serving people with disabilities. Her substantially revised edition of Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians was published in 2014.

Cindy Mediavilla

Cindy Mediavilla is the author of several books, including Creating & Managing the Full-Service Homework Center, which has been called “the quintessential guide to the practicalities of setting up a formal homework help center to provide one–to–one homework assistance to student patrons” (Intner, Homework Help from the Library, ix). In the early 1990s Mediavilla managed a homework center, called the Friendly Stop, for the Orange (CA) Public Library, and she has been studying after–school homework programs ever since. She has published several articles on the topic and has evaluated homework programs for the Long Beach and Los Angeles public libraries. She has made presentations on homework help programs at the conferences of several major library associations, and she has also conducted many workshops on the topic. In 2007, Cindy and her husband converted their home lawns to drought-tolerant California native plant gardens. Their home has been featured on several garden tours, including Theodore Payne Foundation’s prestigious annual tour. A former public librarian for 18 years, Mediavilla has both an MLS degree and a doctorate in library science from UCLA.

"Banks and Mediavilla have done a tremendous amount of research and present their topic thoroughly. Although the writing style of many reference books seems designed to promote a good night's sleep, this one is crafted in a refreshingly clear, readable writing style. The authors' obvious passion for their subject comes through on each page and makes this a highly engaging read. Purchasing it will be money well spent for almost any public, academic, or secondary school library."
— Booklist

"Generates a sense of what is possible with library gardens while also addressing the challenges involved in starting and maintaining a library garden (or even garden-related library programs and collections). The book includes chapters on community engagement, garden design, planning and maintenance, partnerships and funding, and garden program evaluation. The strength of the book is in its examples, including examples of what can go wrong with library gardens, such as the college library that had to deal with insects and humidity from its indoor foliage ... Libraries and Gardens: Growing Together is an exciting beginning for what will hopefully be a growing literature on library gardens."
— College & Research Libraries

"Would-be gardeners will find practical resources for new projects, and libraries that already have gardens will discover constructive ideas and advice."
— Library Journal

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