Q: What does a photograph of Aleister Crowley, a book by Vandana Shiva, and an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants have in common?

A: If properly cataloged, a MARC record.

So what if we have 5,000 kinds of corn at one library, and 25 kinds of potatoes at another? What can these libraries tell each other about their inventories really? Please don't tell me they will send an Excel sheet full of (gasp!) non-uniform keywords that's impossible to search.

I'm proposing a set of Metadata Standards and a Controlled Vocabulary to reign in this mess. If we start now, and implement standards, we save mounds of work for everyone down the road.

I've spent a few years asking around at seed library school, thinking about it in library/info science grad school, emailing people, and drawing upon my own experience at seed library swaps coming to conclusions about what the best fields for standardization would be.

I made a simple database template at KustomNote to work with EverNote for seed libraries to start keeping track of their inventories.

I wanted a database that was easy to use and free. What do you think? Anyone want to help take on this kind of project?

Views: 198

Replies to This Discussion

This sounds interesting to me because I maintain the WordPress SeedBank plugin, free software that you can use to transform a WordPress website into a community seed library. While I'm curious to see how it evolves and would love to be kept in the loop of any major decisions so that I can implement them in the aforementioned software, I'm not able to devote a lot of energy to the creation of this standard for various reasons that include my lack of stable housing and numerous other projects.

That being said, I have some experience with this kind of metadata standardization e... and would be happy to lend a hand whenever and wherever I'm able. FWIW, the WP-SeedBank does currently support importing inventories that are in a specific comma-separated values format, but the only fields we currently use are the ones needed to make a swap. Have a look at the array (list) on line 16 and the one on line 22 to get a sense of taxonomies and custom fields we're using in the plugin.

Thanks for keeping me in the loop, Devon.

Cheers,
-maymay

Hey maymay,

I'm trying to test out your plug-in. I've never tried a WordPress site before. I installed WordPress using BitNami and I installed your plug-in to the site. I have two questions:

I have SeedLibraries.org hosted on the Ning platform.

-How do I get the site to point to a seedlibraries.org sub-page?

-How to I get the plug-in to show on the first page? I only see it on the dashboard view, and the welcome page looks like a blog platform.

Thanks!

-Devon

Devon, I think your questions make clear you don't understand what you're working with, so while I'll try to answer your questions briefly, below, let me start by suggesting that you learn a little bit about WordPress before you try working with the SeedBank plugin, because it'll make a lot more sense a lot faster. Most questions about WordPress that you are likely to ask are probably already answered, and the answers are findable by doing one or more Google Searches. There's even an entire site called WPBeginner.com specifically devoted to explaining the basics of WordPress in a very simple way.

WordPress itself also comes with an enormous amount of documentation. This can be a little overwhelming but, again, simply doing a few searches tends to get you answers very quickly. You can also try reading through the guides on the WordPress.com Support site.

Devon Grissim said:

-How do I get the site to point to a seedlibraries.org sub-page?

I think what you're asking is "How do I get my new WordPress-powered website to link to some page on my other website at SeedLibraries.org?" The answer is: you put a link somewhere. You can use the WordPress menuing system to create a link to an arbitrary p..., or you can create some content (like a blog post or a page) that includes a link to another site. Y'know, just like you do on this site. It's not fundamentally any different, so I guess I'm confused by the question.

-How to I get the plug-in to show on the first page? I only see it on the dashboard view, and the welcome page looks like a blog platform.

Thanks!

-Devon

I'm also confused by this question because, again, it doesn't really make sense. "The plug-in" is just a way to make posts. You don't "get the plug-in to show on the first page" because that's exactly like asking "How do I get Ning to show on the front page?" Ning is the thing that makes pages for you. WordPress is the same kind of thing. So is the WP-SeedBank plugin.

Moreover, the kind of content that the WP-SeedBank, specifically, helps you make is a "seed exchange post," a request or offer for some specific kind of seed. I can't think of any sensible reason that should be on the front page of a website anyway. That's like asking, "How do I get *this specific Craigslist post* to show up as the home page of Craigslist.org."

A short while ago, I wrote a mini guide to using the WP-SeedBank software. After you familiarize yourself with WordPress, you may want to take a read through that, too: WP-SeedBank plugin: a mini user's guide.

Cheers,
-maymay

Hello!

I'm very interested in this discussion, because I think it's important that seed-saving networks 'go online' for more empowerment and social recognition for their important public service.

I have teamed up with Adaptive Seeds seed company from Sweethome, OR (www.adaptiveseeds.com) to put together what I'm calling a 'community research network' (for details check blogs.uoregon.edu/teamingwithmicrobes/network). People can acquire seeds from Adaptive Seeds, or anywhere else in their network. What I'm working on is trying to document and catalog this lively seed exchange, and I'm offering the added service that I can identify microbial communities that reside inside their seeds. (There are seedborne pathogens, but also potentially beneficial microbes that are inherited in seeds.)

The network is growing after a year trial, and I am hoping that it would grow into something that is streamlined and functioning. I am also very interested in the importance of using metadata standards for cataloging the seeds, microbial ad genetic data included. 

I have recently acquired a grant from the Organic Farming Research Foundation (based in Santa Cruz) to move this research forward, including $2,000 for website development. I'm no web developer myself, but I'd like to help your website move forward, so I can potentially use it as a platform for the community of seed savers that I am currently engaged with through this research project.

Let me know if it sounds like there is room for collaboration!

Cheers,

Lucas

 

That did clear things up. I will sign-up with the Cleaveland Seed Bank so I can demo it on their site. Probably not a good fit for seedlibraries.org, but I would still like to try it out. Thanks, maymay!

maymay said:

Devon, I think your questions make clear you don't understand what you're working with, so while I'll try to answer your questions briefly, below, let me start by suggesting that you learn a little bit about WordPress before you try working with the SeedBank plugin, because it'll make a lot more sense a lot faster. Most questions about WordPress that you are likely to ask are probably already answered, and the answers are findable by doing one or more Google Searches. There's even an entire site called WPBeginner.com specifically devoted to explaining the basics of WordPress in a very simple way.

WordPress itself also comes with an enormous amount of documentation. This can be a little overwhelming but, again, simply doing a few searches tends to get you answers very quickly. You can also try reading through the guides on the WordPress.com Support site.

Devon Grissim said:

-How do I get the site to point to a seedlibraries.org sub-page?

I think what you're asking is "How do I get my new WordPress-powered website to link to some page on my other website at SeedLibraries.org?" The answer is: you put a link somewhere. You can use the WordPress menuing system to create a link to an arbitrary p..., or you can create some content (like a blog post or a page) that includes a link to another site. Y'know, just like you do on this site. It's not fundamentally any different, so I guess I'm confused by the question.

-How to I get the plug-in to show on the first page? I only see it on the dashboard view, and the welcome page looks like a blog platform.

Thanks!

-Devon

I'm also confused by this question because, again, it doesn't really make sense. "The plug-in" is just a way to make posts. You don't "get the plug-in to show on the first page" because that's exactly like asking "How do I get Ning to show on the front page?" Ning is the thing that makes pages for you. WordPress is the same kind of thing. So is the WP-SeedBank plugin.

Moreover, the kind of content that the WP-SeedBank, specifically, helps you make is a "seed exchange post," a request or offer for some specific kind of seed. I can't think of any sensible reason that should be on the front page of a website anyway. That's like asking, "How do I get *this specific Craigslist post* to show up as the home page of Craigslist.org."

A short while ago, I wrote a mini guide to using the WP-SeedBank software. After you familiarize yourself with WordPress, you may want to take a read through that, too: WP-SeedBank plugin: a mini user's guide.

Cheers,
-maymay

Hi Lucas,

Based on your interests and goals, it does seems like we would work well together. I'm going to post a video on the little Evernote Catalog Template I created, which includes all the fields I've gathered for cataloging. Maybe you would like to take a look at it and see what fields I've used already, and maybe suggest more fields for concerning microbial and genetic data? I'd like to know more about what you can identify in the seeds.

I agree with you re- the need for this community to 'go online'. I'm also not a web developer, but I'm building connections with people who are very involved with that kind of work. My specialty is in social media, library science, and cultural studies. I began working with seed libraries as a project for library school. I think that perhaps this movement needs diversity though, not just farmers and people in the seed business, there's room for all kinds of people. Coming together and building coherence is I think what will make us strong :)

-Dev

Lucas Nebert said:

Hello!

I'm very interested in this discussion, because I think it's important that seed-saving networks 'go online' for more empowerment and social recognition for their important public service.

I have teamed up with Adaptive Seeds seed company from Sweethome, OR (www.adaptiveseeds.com) to put together what I'm calling a 'community research network' (for details check blogs.uoregon.edu/teamingwithmicrobes/network). People can acquire seeds from Adaptive Seeds, or anywhere else in their network. What I'm working on is trying to document and catalog this lively seed exchange, and I'm offering the added service that I can identify microbial communities that reside inside their seeds. (There are seedborne pathogens, but also potentially beneficial microbes that are inherited in seeds.)

The network is growing after a year trial, and I am hoping that it would grow into something that is streamlined and functioning. I am also very interested in the importance of using metadata standards for cataloging the seeds, microbial ad genetic data included. 

I have recently acquired a grant from the Organic Farming Research Foundation (based in Santa Cruz) to move this research forward, including $2,000 for website development. I'm no web developer myself, but I'd like to help your website move forward, so I can potentially use it as a platform for the community of seed savers that I am currently engaged with through this research project.

Let me know if it sounds like there is room for collaboration!

Cheers,

Lucas

 

Thanks, Devon, for your reply! 

I am entering the seed community through the evolutionary perspective that good seeds need to be continuously maintained over generations so they can adapt to our changing climates, disease pressures. and agricultural practices. This continual maintenance requires the heroic work of good seed stewards. I'm glad to have connected with you, and I will be in touch about other potentially important metadata.

Cheers,

Lucas


Devon Grissim said:

Hi Lucas,

Based on your interests and goals, it does seems like we would work well together. I'm going to post a video on the little Evernote Catalog Template I created, which includes all the fields I've gathered for cataloging. Maybe you would like to take a look at it and see what fields I've used already, and maybe suggest more fields for concerning microbial and genetic data? I'd like to know more about what you can identify in the seeds.

I agree with you re- the need for this community to 'go online'. I'm also not a web developer, but I'm building connections with people who are very involved with that kind of work. My specialty is in social media, library science, and cultural studies. I began working with seed libraries as a project for library school. I think that perhaps this movement needs diversity though, not just farmers and people in the seed business, there's room for all kinds of people. Coming together and building coherence is I think what will make us strong :)

-Dev

Lucas Nebert said:

Hello!

I'm very interested in this discussion, because I think it's important that seed-saving networks 'go online' for more empowerment and social recognition for their important public service.

I have teamed up with Adaptive Seeds seed company from Sweethome, OR (www.adaptiveseeds.com) to put together what I'm calling a 'community research network' (for details check blogs.uoregon.edu/teamingwithmicrobes/network). People can acquire seeds from Adaptive Seeds, or anywhere else in their network. What I'm working on is trying to document and catalog this lively seed exchange, and I'm offering the added service that I can identify microbial communities that reside inside their seeds. (There are seedborne pathogens, but also potentially beneficial microbes that are inherited in seeds.)

The network is growing after a year trial, and I am hoping that it would grow into something that is streamlined and functioning. I am also very interested in the importance of using metadata standards for cataloging the seeds, microbial ad genetic data included. 

I have recently acquired a grant from the Organic Farming Research Foundation (based in Santa Cruz) to move this research forward, including $2,000 for website development. I'm no web developer myself, but I'd like to help your website move forward, so I can potentially use it as a platform for the community of seed savers that I am currently engaged with through this research project.

Let me know if it sounds like there is room for collaboration!

Cheers,

Lucas

 

This is a really great Template!  https://kustomnote.com/template/119260/

I needed something like this very much to inventory our Heirloom Seed Collection here at the Growing an Enchanted Garden Intentional Community.  I have many Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and some very special seeds I have grown myself.  I am going to add my first seed  called Job's Tears.  A picture here of Job's Tears I have grown:  http://curezone.org/blogs/fm.asp?i=1640333

Is this a live template I can use now?  I liked it at first glance but do not know how to insert info.  Can you help me understand how to use it, please.

I've been meaning to make a tutorial on this. I will do it today and post it below.

Hi Leslie,

Sorry that it took me a few days to make the video. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have anymore questions. Do download the KustomNote and Evernote apps for free on your smartphone or tablet if you have one- they make cataloging a whole lot easier!

Kindly,

Devon

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