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).
- 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)
- 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)
- Town Planning and the Library (with GUEST from Town Planning)
- 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)
- Weather preparedness/library structures (possibly related to item 3)
- 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)
- 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
- Internet issues, the nycga site and Library, the Internet Working Group possibly hosting our site
- Thaddeus and our policy on leaflets, zines, fliers, handouts, photocopied articles, and other forms of loose paper
- Silent reading technology
Facilitator is going to be: Steve S.
positive finger wiggles
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: 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
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 email@example.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
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
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
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
AGENDA ITEM #1
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
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
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?
open for questions
Q: what will you be doing there?
A: just a panel
Steve: can I put on my CV?
M: feel it’s important to have at least one occupier who sleeps here on the panel
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.
Temp check: move on – consensus
AGENDA ITEM #10. Arts and Culture Collaboration
Make us signs, might want to exhibit art in the library
AGENDA ITEM #11. Facilitation
Wants to set up a table for information about the GA
M: Will this be separate from the info booth?
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
Michael: sat sunday all day and night, monday
Z: sat sun
Bill; sunday nights fine
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