Library Ground Practices

Our Practices & Info for Library Staff on the Ground

This document is always changing and being updated as we establish, write, re-write and discuss our traditions and practices as a library. Please contribute!

Library Staff Documents Box

Info sheets that should remain posted at the library to facilitate communication between users and staff, and ground staff and the WordPress.  Should be checked and updated regularly, as this box serves the same function on the ground that this WordPress does online.

1) Contact info for all Working Groups

2) Up-to-date copy of Lending FAQ

3) Up-to-date copy of Library Ground Practices – What to do if you are staffing the library

4) Library Ground Journal – Where to write any info you need to pass on to the library, e.g. new contacts, ideas, requests, questions, & reports

5) “Join The Library” pad – For new volunteers to leave their email addresses to be added to the forwarding list and WordPress.  This lives outside of the documents box in a visible place when the library is open.  Date the front page, please.

6) To come when there is a catalog: Sign Out Forever Sheet – Instructions:  If you are taking and keeping a book marked “processed,” cross out the words “Occupy Wall Street Library” and “processed” with a marker, and write the title, author, and ISBN below on this list so that it may be removed from the catalog by a librarian later

The following is what will appear on the Library Ground Practices page found in the Library Staff Documents Box:

Opening & Closing:

If it’s raining more than a few drops, we close up the library, putting the lids on the boxes, moving the boxes from the bench to the ground (police have issues with rainproofing the benches), and covering the entire library with tarps, ensuring that there are no gaps, and taping down the tarps to protect from wind.

If you show up and the library is closed, weather permitting open it! Roll up the tarps, bring out the signs and tape them up prominently, open all the bins, tidy things up, organize a spot for yourself by the donation area to sit and hang out while you’re there.

Ground Notes for the WordPress (

If you are stranded without Internet access but have info to pass on to the library, record it in the purple Ground Journal in this box, and it will be posted online by the next librarian who can.  If you are starting a library shift, have Internet access, and are interested in participating in the library discussion on the WordPress, please check the Ground Journal in this box for any new notes from ground staff that need to be posted online, and feel free to add your own ideas.

Processing Books:

We accept donations in the donation box.  Unmarked books belong here.

Donations are accepted to the collection by writing “Occupy Wall Street Library” on the sides, front or wherever it is most visible ASAP.  This way, library books found outside the library may be distinguished from occupiers’ personal property, even if the books have not been entered into the library catalog.

Bibliographic information is collected for the donated titles.  Books that have been entered into the catalog are marked “processed.”  After donations are processed, they are sorted into the appropriate categories in the bins.

When someone wants to keep a processed book permanently, it is removed from the catalog and the words “Occupy Wall Street Library” and “processed” are CROSSED OUT so that if found outside the library, it is not mistaken for a library book in our system.

In the event that someone wants to take and keep a processed book when there is no librarian on staff, they should cross out the words “Occupy Wall Street Library” and “processed,” and write the title, author, and ISBN on the ‘Sign Out Forever’ sheet kept with Library Ground Information.  This sheet is checked regularly by library staff, who remove the permanently signed-out books from the catalog ASAP.

If someone has permanently signed out a book and they bring it back or it finds its way back to the library, it is re-entered into the catalog and marked “returned.”

In summary, four categories of books will exist:  The library will have 1) those that are unmarked (incoming donations), 2) those that are marked ONLY “Occupy Wall Street Library” (accepted books), and 3) those that are marked EITHER [BOTH “Occupy Wall Street Library” and “processed”] OR [“Occupy Wall Street Library,” “processed,” and “returned”] (books in catalog).  Outside of the library, folks may have 4) marked books with slashes through the words “Occupy Wall Street Library” and “processed” (books signed out permanently no longer in catalog).  Please keep these four categories separate.

3 responses to “Library Ground Practices

  1. Pingback: ALA Midwinter 2012: Occupy Wall St. Librarians Wonder, When Did Sharing Become … at Kolby Shenir

  2. Just sent an E-Mail to you ( copy to Ted Alexandro ) re. you getting in touch with me on a “report” I am composing re. the OWS book destruction. Sending this as its follow-up . I am in need of ( ideally) eyewitness specifics, particulars, details. This and such is intended for such OWS persons only and exclusively. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: 【翻译】占领华尔街运动中的“人民图书馆”:一座“革命”的图书馆 | Nalsi的西文编目笔记III

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