10/22/11 Meeting Minutes

Following are the meeting minutes for the October 22nd Library Working Group Meeting. The agenda items are listed first, and the minutes are after the fold (click “continue reading” to see the minutes in full).

  1. Finances, expenditures, and internal procedures regarding money, Up/Down vote on joining with GA finances (per consensus to do this at last meeting) (with GUEST from Finance)
  2. On site electricity (partly a matter of item 1, so it will depend how the procedures issue is settled—Eric is invited to comment on how he wants this phrased)
  3. Town Planning and the Library (with GUEST from Town Planning)
  4. Guest speakers in the library (this is my thing, which I’d love to discuss, but I can table it if more important matters come to the fore)
  5. Weather preparedness/library structures (possibly related to item 3)
  6. Spokes Council and how it affects the library (please read the proposal in advance at http://www.nycga.net/spokes-council/) (with GUEST from Structure)
  7. Occupy Wall Street Library at ALA Midwinter in Dallas January 21, 2012: who’s going, where’s the money coming from, our goals while there
  8. Internet issues, the nycga site and Library, the Internet Working Group possibly hosting our site
  9. Thaddeus and our policy on leaflets, zines, fliers, handouts, photocopied articles, and other forms of loose paper
  10. Silent reading technology


13:00 start

Facilitator is going to be: Steve S.

positive finger wiggles

Pre-meeting announcements:

Drew from internet announces they can fold our web site into the GA web site and maintain our permissions and keep it the way it is.

Steve: Before the agenda items, who is visiting today to give us information?

A: Silent Readings

Q: can they wait

A: yes?

A: Adash from structure is here to talk

POP: Betsy suggests introductions

everyone takes turns introducing themselves around the circle of the meeting

Mercury (finanace rep): says he’s here, calls for volunteers to join the Finance working group

Tom: here to talk about wireless headphones

Orion: with Tom, suggested the idea of us using the headphones

Frances is taking stack

Zach is keeping time

Michael is taking minutes

Clarification: 1 minute for time to speak

Steve goes through clarification of hand signals for everyone

Steve: a temp check of having out visitors speak first before agenda

positive response

Steve: First speaker Adash, from structure. Adash from structure will speak about spokescouncil proposal . Mercury is available for finance questions . Oliver and Tom will tell us about the silent reading project

Adash passes out a document explaining the proposed structure and process for the spokescouncil, document is available here: http://www.nycga.net/spokes-council

They’re going to do five teach-ins, one can email owsstructure@gmail.com to arrange a meeting

This spokesperson proposal is going to come before the GA wednesday to get consensus on adopting this governance structure.

Brief description of how spokesperson council will work:

  • working groups will form clusters or caucuses
  • each cluster or caucus will have spokesperson at spokescouncil
  • 20-30 spokes clusters
  • position rotates every meeting
  • everyone can participate, but spokesperson is the only one who speaks
  • spokesperson must reflect the consensus of cluster or the diversity of views
  • if they don’t feel like they’re doing a good job they can recall them
  • anyone can attend and observe
  • different from GA, if you’re not in a working group, just watch
  • want to do livestream
  • different mode of direct demo
  • rotation, more participation than in the GA
  • anyone can show up on any night
  • can join any cluster during spokesperson meeting
  • consensus process with 9/10th modified consensus
  • how to ratify charters?
  • new working groups approach cluster and try to be chartered
  • to release the GA from having long discussions


MOR: so several groups are all under one cluster, with rotating spokes

A: At inaug meeting, figure out how clusters are set up

Stephen: can you change clusters?

Betsy: we may be under the wrong cluster

positive response

Q: is there a process for extreme disagreement

A: working group has to come to consensus to block

Steve: Mercury from Finance will now speak . What is finance working on to help working groups get money?

Mercury: primary purpose of finance is to keep the camp safe, secure and moving, audit proof, bullet proof, just aqc a new accounting firm that does NBA, Unions, etc and they’re doing it for free – want to give us a ‘rolodex’


Q: Keep us safe, in what way, how?

A: work with legal, do background check on everyone involved in finance, try to be as safe as possible

Q: what are you looking for in background check?

A: not in charge of that, legal is

Q: what if the individual worked for the IRS, will they be excluded b/c they were part of the system?

A: not sure, legal would have to be asked.

Q: how would we take donations, and what’s the process for making requests and getting funded

A: money comes in, count it, bill counters in a union office, work on operating budget in each working group – weekly budget, everything gets a reciept and comes back – about 95% for every dollar.

Q: do you have to be a CPA to be involved

A: no

Steve: I’ve been involved in finance to learn about it, grilled them with questions, involved in counting money , seen the whole process.

Betsy: one of our concerns as a group is how much access are we going to have, is it going to be easy to get money back? Will we have to put in a proposal to get it approved?

A: set up budget, give inventory, then finance gives you funds

Stephen: in the budget will we have everything we normally have for daily expenses and in addition the funds we need for emergency purchases – for example when we suddenly need to buy a table, etc.?

A: yes, but we will have to put in a request for the amount

Next Visitor

Steve: Silent Reading Technology tell us about your thing

Orion: formative team, with access to wireless headphones, saw people’s mic and thought how this could fit in, talking to different working groups – one use could be for a reading – some authors sympathetic to ows – we have 84 headphones, a generator and transmitters on broadway and canal – would like to do a pilot asap, looking for content ideas. and looking for support, if the library would like to get behind it. need to experiment with how to secure the headphones. open question for group is what would the content be if we did this tomorrow?

Q: can be used for hearing impaired?

A: if they can hear at all , yes, but not really for hearing impaired

Q: Stephen 7pm tomorrow poetry meeting, we could use them then and also store in storage

Thadeus: tomorrow at 9, authors are speaking

Q: What about the generator generator, could it run off of other sources?

A: maybe batteries

Betsy: bicycle powered generator in the park, getting more

Orion asks: who do we follow-up with about this? If we bring the equipment and set it up tomorrow can you do a trial?

Betsy: what about security?

A: they’ll be here tomorrow

Temp check on live trial tomorrow: positive

Steve: Now to the Agenda

Steve reads the agenda items.

#9 silent reading tech is done already

Steve: Going through them one at a time

Timekeeping: 5 minutes each agenda item


Finance: proposal to cooperate with the process of finance that the GA has set up.

Temp check: 1 negative, rest positive

  • Consensus on cooperating with Finance
  • Table discussion for another time
  • Starting today we no longer collect on behalf of only the library
  • Need to talk about the budget
  • Stephen: we need a budget now
  • temp check on coming up with a budget now: mostly positive

Taking into account the $100 a day we get, ask for $1000

Temp check on $1000 for budget in addition to $100 a day

  • 100 for poetry
  • 50 for supplies
  • 500 for bookshelves
  • (1000 for generator one time purchase: positive temp check )
  • 300 for tech support

Frances: procedure for collecting funds?

Q: What to do with the funds we currently have?

Stephen proposes sleeping bags for the occupiers

Steve proposes that we give what we collect today and the money we have in the bank to the occupiers and then give $100 from todays collection to the GA.

Bill, Sean, Eric, Stephen, Scales – five sleeping bags

AGENDA ITEM #2. Electricity and power generation on the agenda

Eric: my mistake, generator conked out after a few days, honda costs 1100, can get one tonight and we’ll be electrified tonight

Eric: can’t we buy a generator today?

A: no, we just voted to spend that money

Stephen: under $2000 is approved without GA

Frances: can we spend the $1000 on the generator and get sleeping bags later?

temp check: if enough money for both, get both – if not generator first – consensus

AGENDA ITEM #3. town planning wants us to consolidate our space and be as efficient as possible

we’re proposing military modular tenting for the library

stack open

5 minutes

Frances: TP asked if we could not use the top of the bench

Betsy: already have tents at the end of the park

Sean: military tenting can be used ~$350-400 for a 16×8 feet – they lace into each other

Eric: Canopies cost about $500, a few days to ship – 10′ wide – proposal that our next money should be allocated to tents, sleeping bags, comfort of our staff

Thaddeus: experience doing tents – free store in tent for six months outdoor in brooklyn, canopy tent from amazon, piece of crap – careful about not going with something cheap

Eric: what worked?

Thad: wooden structure out of pallets

Betsy: off-the grid people doing training

Michael: let’s give kits

Frances: lots of tarps and rain gear in the storage unit

Steve: winter preparedness working group has been formed, do we want to make a proposal?

Michael: we’ve got to get something asap

temp check, asking for $600 for canopy thing – consensus

AGENDA ITEM #4. Guest speakers

Lots of people who would love to come and talk to OWS, Steve proposes a special bulletin board to announce library events, small discussions – coordinate together so we’re not double booking

Michael: create page for guest speakers on the web site

Stephen: poetry assembly having major poets coming, queer group bringing queer people in, if that’s OK – ongoing theater series being discussed late Monday nights around 10pm

Zach: support idea of speaker series, and bulletin board – problem of space – small scale conversations exclude and then close down the library – concern with that

Sean: direct response: seperate area where speaker series can happen

Steve: working with education on this? this is working

Michael: but we have to close ref desk when we have the meetings

Bill: meet here with author and move to other part of park?

Betsy: re-iterate what Zach said – and don’t to do celebrity chasing, if they want to set up a reading, come down and do it – how much energy do we want to take from library

Michael: previous authors just met on the steps and that worked great, let’s use those

Stephen: propose that everyone does readings on steps

Z: supports Betsy’s comment re focusing on what we’re doing, people can and are using for image

Frances: when Abbie Hoffman’s widow was here, tried to get info out, having a hard time getting media and information out there through those processes

consensus on closing discussion

Steve: consensus on encouraging readings but not chasing celebs

positive response

AGENDA ITEM #5. Spokescouncil

Steve: has not passed GA as proposal, prepare for when it does

1. do we want to participate

2. with whom do we cluster

3. what’s mission statement

Michael: yes join, group with internet/media, use mission statement on web site

Betsy: agree, should be our own spoke

Frances: benefits of having us with info and media, could be good because we

Stephen: we should be with archiving group

Steve: the clustering doesn’t make sense, we could be clustered with anyone, proposal hasn’t been passed by GA

Zach: agree, clustering with archive would be a good idea

Betsy: shouldn’t be under ‘education’ because that’s where interest groups that don’t fit anywhere else will end up, for example if there is a neo-nazi group that shows up

Zach: if a neo-nazi group shows up, we need to chase them out of here, and not put up with it

all positive agreement with that

temp check on not working with nazis: consensus [I can’t believe I had to type that -Michael]

besty: apologize for using an extreme example – it was just a example of a horrible group we wouldn’t want to have anything to do with

Steve: information: thematic groups don’t have a spokes

temp check on moving on: consensus

AGENDA ITEM #6. OWSLibrary at ALA in Dallas

Betsy: ALA invited us to mid-winter meeting in January

offered to pay for two plane tickets and hotel rooms

would like to bring at least 3-5 there

Q: whole panel just about OWS?

B: yes

open for questions

Q: what will you be doing there?

A: just a panel

Steve: can I put on my CV?

A: yes

M: feel it’s important to have at least one occupier who sleeps here on the panel

general agreement

Temp check on going forward with the proposal

AGENDA ITEM #7. Internet: folding in site vs. hosting site for us

Z: propose we have them link to our site and maintain our site, have it in both places

Besty: agree, do we have a page now on their site

Steve: met a guy who is willing to help us set up our web site further

1. We have internet group link the new site to our current site

2. Let’s buy domain names of every iteration of our name that we currently use


AGENDA ITEM #8. Thaddeus wanted to speak to group re zines pamphlets, etc.

Advocate of having zines and pamphlets, been told by some people that they’re being thrown away, Eric set up a tarp, and was putting materials on them, advocate that still be part of the library.

Stephen: this is the Peoples Library, we should have a huge zine section – we should have more zines than books by people who are in barnes & noble

Z: even when it’s political material, sometimes people leave it, should distinguish between people who are invested and people who are just dropping things off

Frances: recycled a lot of paper, may have recycled some zines – fine with having bins full of things people want to distribute, need to keep to specific area.

Betsy: got a rotating rack

Frances: kitchen took it back

Betsy: they weren’t using it

Thad: Proposal maybe we can throw out multiple pages that aren’t stapled – keep bins for radical newspapers and zines

Stephen: yesterday publisher brought a lot of content, someone threw them away

MOR: did someone take them maybe, zines do go fast

Steve: so unbound items are not being accepted

Betsy: dedicated bin for zines, look into buying a display

Zach: need to archive things related specifically to OWS

Betsy: there is a bin for archiving

AGENDA ITEM #9. Steve: Proposal that we – one of the functions of the library is to maintain a record of gov business – now minutes are online – propose we make an archive of minutes in print.

positive consensus

Temp check: move on – consensus

AGENDA ITEM #10. Arts and Culture Collaboration

Make us signs, might want to exhibit art in the library

positive consensus

AGENDA ITEM #11. Facilitation

Wants to set up a table for information about the GA

M: Will this be separate from the info booth?

A: yes

Sean: would like it if information is available, and info should have it

Stephen: pushing to make library a quiet space

Steve: they haven’t yet talked to info but will be

Temp check on allowing facilitation in to use table at library: negative

AGENDA ITEM #12: Meeting time change

Stephen: change meeting to evenings

Michael: need to engage in the performance of occupation, meeting should be visible

Stephen: yes, but it’s so busy and have to deal with all these people and the work of intake

Sean: place is busy all the time

Frances: Sunday late afternoon

Z: propose 5’oclock on Sunday

Bill: some may like to participate in major actions on Sat

Propose: 8pm?, 9:30? 6 or 7?

concern with interfering with GA

Propose, new meeting time 7 on Sunday? Good feeling, Steve offers friendly amendment Sunday at 5

Betsy not available.

Z: propose 7 and change as needed for GA

Proposal, let’s go around and state availability

Besty: later is better, after 6

Thad: pass

Michael: sat sunday all day and night, monday

Z: sat sun

Stephen: anytime

Bill; sunday nights fine

Sean: anytime

Frances: anytime

Betsy can show up Sunday at 6

Propose Sunday at 6


Post on Blog, Email everyone

AGENDA ITEM #13: Library Closing Time

Frances: 10pm all the lids go on to protect, so that the occupiers are not solely responsible for closing the library – set time so there is less work for the guys staying here

Frances: want to get a consensus on what the people staying here think

Stephen: time-limit for rainy days or all days ?

Frances: would be a nightly thing

Stephen: GA last night didn’t end until 1am

Stack for concerns

Z: General time, but ultimately up to the people who are here

Sean: case by case basis

Frances: doesn’t mean the library is closed

Stephen: case by case is best way to handle it

consensus on not needing to set a close time

temp check on ending the meeting: consensus

meeting ends 15: 35


Filed under Meeting Minutes, Process, Rob, Working Group Meeting

4 responses to “10/22/11 Meeting Minutes

  1. Librarians Unite!

    To all of the Library Working Group,
    I will pass on to you what my library patrons say to me, “Thanks for all you do.”
    Water the seedlings, keep the faith. :)

  2. Briar

    *fingertwinkles from Pittsburgh* Thanks, lovelies! Especially into archiving printed WG minutes- good one, Steve. Do we mean just for the library, or for all groups as minutes are posted on the NYCGA website (which is beautiful, btw, but lacking in info about finance – maybe it’s time for me to put my moralfag mouth over there since they need HR)? I like the idea of occupiers having offline access to ALL available WG records.

  3. stagegurl

    Nicely done Michael! This is so much more concise then actually sitting through the meeting. Maybe I will skip next week. Kidding!

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