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Seed lending library sprouts in West Concord

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Enter the Fowler Branch of the Concord Free Public Library with anyone under the age of 30 and you might find yourself explaining what the purpose is of that big wooden contraption with all the tiny knobs.

“It’s a card catalog,” you might venture. “In those drawers are little cards with book titles, authors, and call numbers typed on them to help patrons find books.”

But actually, you’d be wrong. Inside the wooden drawers of the card catalog are small plastic packets of seeds.

On Earth Day of this year, the Fowler Branch became one of the first libraries in Massachusetts to pick up on a trend gaining popularity in California by offering its patrons a chance to borrow, and ultimately return, vegetable seeds.

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