Some Suggestions for Next Week

After spending far too long in the library this weekend, and anticipating the same for the coming days, I have a few suggestions for the upcoming week. Perhaps there will be some lulls in activity on weekdays that would permit some attention to these possible activities:

1. Bad weather contingency plan

We’ve done a great job of replacing the cardboard boxes with plastic containers. The library has expanded and feels more and more permanent every day. When the rain comes, however, much of our work will be endangered. Not just the books but also our signs and other supplies will need to be protected and perhaps not with much notice. I suggest we come up with a plan for bad weather, equip ourselves appropriately, and perhaps even do a practice pack-up drill. For not so bad weather, we can remain open to patrons in a limited capacity. In severe weather, we may need to close up shop until it passes.

2. Police crackdown contingency plan

In the (unlikely?) event that our beautiful behinds get booted from the plaza or in case of any other police action that threatens the integrity of the library, we should have some plan for storing the books and supplies until we can rebuild and restore the collection in its original location or elsewhere. I have no idea how to accomplish this, especially if the end comes without warning, but I think it’s worth discussing. OWS has storage now and many of us have cars, Zipcar memberships, and storage space in our own homes, for starters.

3. Library events—author visits, etc.

I’m going to try and convince some local authors to visit the library and speak to patrons. The speakers who’ve come to the plaza have been great, but the enormous number of people and the use of the people’s microphone does limit what they can say and precludes more intimate interaction. I was inspired by the small group that met on the steps by the library last night to talk to the author of The Vagina Monologues (I think that’s what happened). I would like to make this more regular. Rather than having scheduled mega-events with activist authors coming to pep talk the whole occupation, I would prefer smaller, impromptu groups and a books-oriented approach to fit with our little niche mission. My idea is to ask authors to come talk about the “books that have inspired you” and then whatever else they want. We can post announcements in advance on a dry erase board and/or make an announcement when someone arrives. Then, whoever happens to be around can come check it out. If it’s only a few people, I see no problem with that. Whatever stimulates conversations, and huge groups don’t allow it so much. I feel this is a good role for our library.


Filed under Steve S., Suggestions

6 responses to “Some Suggestions for Next Week

  1. Evacuation plan —

    I’m told Shipping & Receiving has storage off-site.We could talk to them and see if in an emergency we could store the library there.


  2. I think this all sounds great! I’m sure we could find a space to store everything temporarily through everyone’s generosity if something like a police crackdown were to come up as well… how were thinking about getting in touch with authors? Just reaching out to them via dry erase board at the library or other means? We could also see if it were possible to put a brief blurb in the OWS journal re: library activities, but I don’t know if that is more of a hassle than it’s worth or necessary…

  3. BobRocket

    I suggest you get a load of those plastic storage boxes with the close fitting lids that stack. Don’t fill them too full as they need to be carried in case of evacuation, make sure you put a contact address on each box.

    If you have to do an unplanned evac then get a load of helpers to take the boxes down the subway and put them on a train, the boxes will turn up at the NYC Transit Lost Property Unit and they will send you a postcard so that you can retrieve them.

  4. Hi #OWS & The People’s LIbrary –

    My name’s Heidi Kole & I’m the author of “The Subway Diaries” a story that chronicles the last 5 1/2 yrs performing as a musician in the NY Subways. It is both a personal journey as well as a sociological study of the amazing sub-culture of musicians and artists that exists in the NYC Underground in this era of every heightened security and lessening of freedoms.

    Over the last 6 years performing Underground in NYC I’ve had to deal on a solo basis with exactly what we @ Occupy are confronted with now – unwarranted police harassment

    I’ve both performed down @ Freedom Park for #Occupy and have donated books as well.

    I’d be happy to do a reading and or reading & few tunes if that would fit into your schedule as my book & my experiences & music fits the movement to a ‘t’

    Just say the word & I’m there – heck I’m there all the time anyway : ) #WeAreThe99%

    Heidi Kole

  5. Michael

    WEATHER: During the last series of rain storms, we had constructed a roll-down tarp system that could quickly be pulled over the whole library. The Police have since informed us that we cannot cover the books while they are up on the ledge – however we can move the boxes to the ground and wrap them in a tarp on the ground. We still have the tarps in a box there ready in case of inclement weather. I agree, however, that we need a better long term strategy, because at some point, it’s going to start snowing.

    EVACUATION: I think a ‘phone-tree’ in case of emergency is a good place to start – that way we’ll be able to gather everyone quickly.

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