Great Library Ideas: The Seed Library

Planting Fall PeasSo I’ve been an apartment dweller for most of my adult life—the reckless pursuit of advanced degrees can pretty much guarantee such a living arrangement well into your thirties—but I’ve long dreamed of having a garden of heirloom vegetables. So much so that I even went to a seminar on seed saving once, even though I didn’t have a stitch of ground in which to plant them.

All of which is just background to explain why I find this idea at the Basalt Public Library in Colorado so awesome (and others who have recently jumped in the seed-saving fray).

Now, I’m not terribly keen on how NPR spun the Basalt story, as if public libraries are in need of “saving” from anything other than over-privileged and short-sighted bureaucrats, or as if saving seeds is going to ever justify to taxpayers the public investment, but still: great idea. If public libraries can help improve food security, assist people with learning some DIY skills, and encourage communities to share, that’s fairly awesome, even apart from the rhetoric.

(Photo: Chiot’s Run)

Cory Doctorow on “Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste”

In a guest post on the Raincoast Books blog, Cory Doctorow writes persuasively about the role public libraries can (and do) play in encouraging information and technological literacy, and how this overlaps with the hackspace movement:

People who say that it’s dumb to turn libraries into book-lined Internet cafes are right … Damn right libraries shouldn’t be book-lined Internet cafes. They should be book-lined, computer-filled information-dojos where communities come together to teach each other black-belt information literacy, where initiates work alongside noviates to show them how to master the tools of the networked age from the bare metal up.

Libraries could do far worse advocate than having Cory Doctorow for an advocate. Read the rest of the article on

(Photo: Jonathan Worth)

Gamify Everything with HabitRPG

Okay, gamer nerds, fess up, you’ve all found yourself, some late night or another, bleary-eyed and exhausted in front of the computer screen, and you’ve thought to yourself If I worked this hard at the rest of my life, I’d totally have my shit together. Well, HabitRPG might just be the kick in the codpiece you need, an online app that allows you to set goals and gain xp if you meet those goals, lose hit points if you don’t. And they have a current Kickstarter to add new features, debug the website, and develop a mobile app version.

Via LifeHacker.