Working Group Meeting Minutes

Working Group Meeting Minutes 3/11/12

Present: Darah, Charlie, Jamie, D., Rami, Mandolin, Shoeshine, Eric, Betsy, Mark, +1

  • Rami joins working group
  • Community Agreements: tabled for this week (Betsy)
  • Bookstore update: Teddy bought us paint (thanks Teddy!), the space is almost ready. Having this space is really positive. it’s great there. Jim is super-cool. It is AWESOME. party planning soon (Darah)
  • SIS Update: books are being catagorized (Charlie) and boxed. SIS is being shown for rental. If it’s rented out we’ll have 15 days notice.
  • Metrocards: 5 people are currently receiving metrocards–Charlie, Darah, Germ, James and Chantel. Does everyone who receives them really need them? are we cool with who’s receiving them. discussion. Kickstarter to get metrocards for the library? discussion pro & con kickstarters. what about other library money. GA money is going to run out in the next week or two. Why are we even having these meetings & posting minutes and being beat down by bureaucracy just to prove that we’re a working group so we can get 5 metro cards and money that doesn’t exist. What about our own library accounts. is there any money left in WePay? Why are we doing this? let’s stop. it sucks. kickstarter/money discussion to be continued next week.
  • Bike Coalition, Nomad Committee (?) (Mandolin) must attend safety training to get hooked up with a bike. Darah will step up for the training.
  • Illuminator kicks ass (Betsy)
  • DA updates (Jaime)
    Thursday @ 3pm Bike Coalition @ Liberty Park
    Tuesday @ 6 pm Directory Meeting 388 Atlantic–someone should go to this and get the training.
    Thursday around 3:15 meet at Winter Garden for a BofA action
    This Friday is the first closing bell march, they’ll be happening every Friday from now on. Meet at the park at 2pm for sign making & organizing, after 3pm get ready for theatrics.
    Saturday M17 is our 6 month-iversary/St. Patrick’s day. A high arrest kind of day–get Jaime your details for jail support.
    19th: foreclosure action in the Bronx
    25th: Brooklyn pop-up Town Square
    You too can attend DA meetings! Tuesdays at 5:30. May day meetings are Wednesday at 6:30 33 W14th and Saturdays at Judson.
    the next re-occupation meeting is on the 22nd. Want real deets? Talk to Jaime IRL.
  • Next week we meet in the park!

Working Group Meeting Minutes 3/4/12


Mobile Library update from Scales:
Almost done; still needs wheels. Sustainability wasn’t very helpful. Maybe try Bike Coalition?

Thoughts on Chicago from Jaime and Briar:
*Book distribution/circulation — as low-arrest direct action and as service
*Reference services
*Inviting other non-occupation groups, such as RadRef
*Consortium meeting

Reminder of librarians’ upcoming court dates

peoples library working group meeting minutes
12 February 2012, 6 pm
60 Wall Street, Atrium

facilitation: Jaime, minutes: Betsy
present: Amy, Anthony, Betsy, Captain, Chantal, Esther, Germ, Hristo, Jaime, James, Scales


James: People’s Library branch at Project Carmine, Un-oppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books. The space we’re using is currently about 60% cleaned out– still lots of work to do. Receiving donations from Jim (store owner). Donation box not set up yet. Carmine St. is open 12-midnight every day. It’s going well. 34 Carmine. Q: do we have the sign from Molly? A: No. but there’s a great piece of wood shaped like a rainbow that has great potential. Everybody should go & introduce themselves if they haven’t already. Room enough to have space for a donation box for Archives, let’s set that up.

Town Square at 86th Street yesterday went really well.

[POI food! — break for food]

Germ & James about Occupy Town Square. We got lots of books, gave away books. Got lots of isbns thx Darragh. Dancing, food, not many vendors. It was great.

Scales: building a mobile library out of wood. pictures on flickr @ $cales. It still doesn’t have wheels. Q: what about wheels from sustainability? A: No. Q: timesup? A: no. Scales has some connections at a local bike shop. if that doesn’t work he might just buy wheels. His brother works w/prometheus radio project. help communities set up radio stations. He’s creating a podcast to extend the open forum we had at the park in a mobile format. Would like aesthetic input from the group thinking of covering it with whiteboard. Discussion ensues: whiteboard vs. chalkboard. Scales: encourages ppl to be involved in design aspects, concerns w/functionality. construction’s happening in PA. can be pulled by anything.

Betsy: consortium going well, connected w/ lots of libraries. website now up at have made contacts in Chicago. Looking ahead to May, does anybody know anybody in/around Chicago?


Esther: 1st bicycle coalition mtg on wednesday. getting bikes for marches & actions. bike w/trailer for medical supplies why not for library too. Next meeting = tuesday @ 3 pm 60 Wall.

There’s another event on Tuesday from noon at Washington Square Park– who are you in bed with/breaking up with banks.

Town Square next weekend– Tompkins Sq. Park next Saturday w/book donations especially Spanish language for Tucson book bomb: seems to be going well. Frances not here, but 3/1 (to be confirmed) event at WordUp. Status of books in SIS? don’t open boxes. haven’t received books promised for Tucson yet.

We filed a claim against the city. in order to work within the legal system we had to put dollar amts. what wld we do with the money/hypothetical/30 days to respond then we actually sue.

Jaime: There will be a meeting about corner libraries with Colin at Center for Book Arts, 28 w. 27th street, 3rd floor, on Tuesday the 14th (valentine’s day) at 6pm.

Jaime: Chicago G8/NATO May 18-21

May 1st events here and in Chicago. those of us who want to go, work as an affinity group for that event. as library serving 2 functions circulation (backpack full of books you can carry on yr back for 3 days) reference: answering lots of questions. including radical reference desk set, queerty, urban libraries. lots of ppl are going to go we shld invite other pple

replicating at the RNC. contact info for librarians or if yr going anyway get info to Jaime. & if you’re going decide & let her know. nice to have medics.

start thinking aboutt if you can go. then what level of action/arrestability level you have WAY in advance so we can co-ordinate. also how are we going to get there. Esther’s going. affinity grp formation for those actions.

planning meeting in Connecticut (where? when?).

if more people can go to DA meetings please do: Tuesdays at 5:30 60 Wall St. 2x/week.

James wants to build a backpack./good reason to look into bikes & trailers. frame packs/ mobility can be ltd in certain sits. frame packs but not pack it that heavy./all that’s down the road.

When to get to Chicago? structural stuff starts 5/1 but there’s also stuff going on in NYC. we need ppl here too.

librarians are badass. Patriot Act, Connecticut 4. (background info here: Discussion of perceptions of librarians.

scales: blog presence shld be enhanced
Q: want us making decisions on the blog instead of email? A: Yes important in terms of transparency
blog: esther wants access & so do others. email addresses & numbers exchanged.

meeting over. thanks everybody!

Working Group Meeting Sunday, 2/5/12 6PM 60 Wall St

In attendance: Frances, Jaime, Danny, James

No formal facilitation

  • Tucson Update
    • All of the publishers and living authors have been contacted. Donations should be arriving shortly
    • Consented on NOT marking books with OWSL as they are for the students and teachers of Tucson and not for OWSL
    • Word Up Event set and scheduled for March 1. Who will be speaking? How do we get the word out to Spanish speaking community? Contact OWS En Espanol allies and Occupy Writers allies to line up speakers and participants. Also contact Outreach to print flyers for event.
    • Sunset Park wants to have a book bomb drop off event as well. Contact Sunset Park GA to discuss good locations for action.
    • Transportation and storage for books after book donation events? Contact Nathan for possible van rental assistance.
  • SIS Supplies
    • Where did all of our bins go? Missing all ten bins and lids purchased for D17 Action
    • Two shopping carts missing
    • Down to one working hand truck. Consented that handtruck should not be removed from SIS. Is only for moving books to and from the building. Shopping carts should be taken on outside actions. Should we buy more shopping carts? Perhaps lock them in SIS/Chained to bookshelves so only librarians can remove them?
  • Un-Oppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books on Carmine St in West Village
    • James working on cleaning out the back of store. Could use assistance
    • Should be a great spring/summer hideout location. They have a backyard! Backyard book parties!

This was a quick meeting. Thanks all!

OWSL WG meeting, 1/22/12

60 Wall St, 6 pm

In attendance: Betsy, Scales, Michele, Hristo, Stephen, Germ, Chris, Darah, Frances, Sean

Michele took minutes. There wasn’t formal facilitation.


  1. Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books/ Darah
  2. Tuesday 1/24 4pm Red Cube NYPD book recovery action
  3. Book Mobile / Scales
  4. 1/29 Town Square
  5. Book collections/emails
  6. Housing Works Panel 1/30
  7. Occutrip


  1. Unoppressive Non-imperialist bargain books; Darah: 2 nights ago went to Jim’s bookstore. He has back area that’s currently cluttered…wants us to utilize some of his shelving. We were pretty for the idea. I want to see how we feel about that. Betsy: we have to get the books out. But we talked about space a while ago – did something get resolved? Who is this guy? Is it a real store? Hours? Hristo: Was there a long time ago. He lives in the back in an apartment. Kinda open 24/7. He’s been there 30 years. Darah: Open till midnight except on Sunday, till 10. His rent is being raised. But he’s not coming to us for money. Wants us to help him fundraise. Betsy: Good idea to have it there. And our next meeting there. Hristo: We had a meeting there before. Betsy: Main concern is that I don’t want us to get played. Does he want someone to work there? [Part of the original proposal is that we would provide an unpaid intern] Darah: I offered to work for free. Hristo: He offered to pay us if we work. Sean: He’s coming from a really good place. Betsy: Can we meet there and everyone build a relationship with him? Darah: We could go there after the meeting. Hristo: He says the sooner the better, but there’s no rush. Scales: Seems like a strange statement to make. Hristo: Issue with rent being raised…and he wants to make use of the space. He thinks that if there is something like the OWS library it will show his landlord that he’s doing something with the space. We’re not going to put all our books there at once. Scales: Not against having books there. Good idea to have meeting there next week. But at the same time I don’t like the idea that….we are being rushed into something because someone is gaining something from it. Darah: Similar to 86 Amsterdam: The books are still there; people are benefiting from them. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of books. It can be an experiment. Scale: Slow increments of testing out the space. Can we propose to have meeting there, and if we all agree? Frances: What about the fact that it is a retail space? Darah: This came up when I talked to him, and it doesn’t bother him. Frances: How long? Hristo: Indefinitely. Sean: Would suggest that we establish similar relationships with other bookshops, like Word Up. Frances: Would propose that these bookstore libraries be lending libraries, not a book giveaway in a commercial store. Chris: If the leaning library were moved to a different space, he would feel left in the lurch? Darah: no…I don’t see that it will make much of a difference… Michele: But he wants to have OWS there to show his landlord activity… Scales: Should be tabled, but we should have meeting there next week so more people can see space… POI Hristo: Occupy Town Square action is the same day – Jan 29 – as our next meeting. Darah gets on the phone with the owner to tell him we’ll be there next week. So, next week’s meeting will be at Unoppressive Non-imperialist Bargain Books, Sunday Jan 29, 6pm, 34 Carmine (at Bleecker.) Needs to go up on nycga, our website, FB, Twitter, skywriting, etc.

Betsy: What about the café in Greenpoint that Eric talked about? Michele: Shouldn’t keep having meetings in different places…

  1. Tuesday 1/24 4pm Red Cube NYPD book recovery action:

Jaime’s thing. She texted thus: ‘This is happening! Have everyone invite friends.’ (paraphrase) We need to post online. How much info to post? Need to clarify with Jaime what info she wants to go out, what exactly is being organized, and Stephen will tell contact at VV.

  1. Bookmobiles/Scales: Scales has been building in PA with his father, who knows how to build things. Basic idea: large containing devices with 3 wheels that can be pulled by car/bike/Tricycles/1-2 humans. Will hold approx 500 books. Scales draws us a picture. 2 shelves on either side. Kind of like an ice cream cart or rickshaw. Question: should area above wheel be a shelf or something else? Scales wants it to be functional library, so what if there are desks there? Mass sparkles. Also a donation/return slot? There will also be lighting so we can use it at night. AWESOME. One thing he needs is wheels and tires. Something like small BMX or mountain bike wheels. Hasn’t found source of cheap wheels. Didn’t want to do craigslist – Wants to make a prototype…and then make multiple ones. Need to take mobile libraries to less privileged places… Wheels are really important… Stephen: what if we ask VV for a free ad? Frances: what about asking sustainability? Scales: Main thing: tire needs to be air tire. Has to be inner tube tire. Thick and durable.
  1. Town Square 1/29, 11-5pm, Washington Square Park – Frances said library would represent, so let’s represent! It’s going to be mini-occupation…
  1. Book collections/emails.

Where are the books? Gaysquat, in Bushwick, some at 86th st, some at Occupy Office, some at Stephen’s, some at farm. Mostly at SIS. (Side convo about Charlie’s idea to move the library to back of SIS…maybe not feasible….separate issue.) Frances: I just want us not to get too scattered…and we keep getting random emails about book pickups…Anybody want to leap on crazy emails, hop to it!

  1. Housing Works Panel 1/30

Frances: we are invited to speak. Steve S. may have it covered. [Details??]

  1. Occutrip

Frances: anybody want to go on the trip? Still taking applications. What is it? A mutlileg trip of NY occupiers traveling for one week at a time, via bus, to different places. This week Providence and Boston. Starts Wed. What is contact info? Frances will resend the link when she’s home. She can’t go and is requesting that others apply to go in her place.

Task: Michele will add newby Chris (who is involved with OccU and Education/Empowerment) to working group list!

Library Working Group Meeting Minutes 1/8/12

1/8/2012 6:00PM OWSL meeting minutes
Charlie is facilitating Steve S. is taking minutes
Announcements: We brought books to West-Park, the Farm, other occupations J-17 Action
DA is having a march on Tuesday, January 17th starting from the red cube at noon and led by women and the female-identifying. The theme is glitter. Library has been asked to participate. Frances wants us to invest in a few shopping carts for mobile actions. Up sparkles.
OWSL no longer goes to SC? Charlie does not see a reason for us to go and thinks we shouldn’t go as a statement of its dysfunction, offers amendment that fewer people should be part of SC so there isn’t as much shouting. January 20th is the date set by SC to reorganize itself. Point of love followed by introductions of group members present Frances suggests we propose SC follows same guidelines as NYCGA site We consent to propose this and also that spokes sit in a circle
SIS meeting on Wednesday, 3 pm. Frances is going. Charlie wants more shelves. Book collection report back on cataloging. Jaime says it’s all done. Office staffing. Our turn is up for 1/13. Jaime is going to be there from 5-9 pm
Danny is representing us in a Skype conference with people at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign regarding innovative libraries. Related to Hristo and Betsy’s attempts to develop a consortium of OWS libraries.
Physical space for the library Sean wants to show solidarity with struggling bookstores and possibly put some of our books in them.
Some bookstores who like us:
Unoppressive Nonimperialist Bargain Books (West Village) St. Mark’s Bookstore (East Village) Word Up (Washington Heights) Revolution Books (Garment District)
Housing Works (SoHo)
Some bookstores who may have mild interest in helping us:
McNally Jackson (SoHo) Greenlight Bookshop (Fort Greene) Bluestocking (Manhattan?)
Tim is going to start a squat on Staten Island in a house and is offering to open it to the public. Art venue and music venue. Fundraising, etc. Meant to be permanent. It’s in St. George, an abandoned house with a work permit that expired in 2007. Working with Occupy Staten Island and Jail Support. We can also have our future book donations sent there. Up sparkles.

We Pay account. It’s still open. Money withdrawn from it has to be reported as income. Frances returning receipts to Accounting. She will serve as accounting point person from this point on.Librarian court dates. Charlie on the 20th and Zachary on the 12th. Library action TBA. Tuesday 24th. Time and place also TBA. We’re going to pay $30 a year to make our WordPress blog ad free.
Spokes Council this week. Charlie spoking on Monday, Frances on Wednesday, Steve on Friday.

Library Working Group Meeting Minutes 12/11/11

Facilitating: Laura/Frances

Stack: Karim

Minutes: Michele
Attending: Laura, Zach, Amanda, Karim, Frances, Bill, Michele, Scales, Colin (new to WG; does projects with microlibraries), Hristo, Charlie, Stephen B., Prince (new, here to help), Betsy, Sean, Catherine, Swapan (from Rhyming Poets International).
Visitors from Free Lit Table, who stayed just for their proposal: David, Rocko, Thadeaus, Patrick.
1. Proposal from Free Literature Tablers
2. Hristo’s Super Secret Thing
3. Report back from Love Your Librarian Awards
4. Occupy office
5. Book pick up and drop off issues
6. ALA
7.D14 – anti-oppresion training instead of Spokes. Library presence.
8. Occupy Writers/ Jeff Sharlet
9.Unoppressive Nonimperialist Bargain Books space offer
10. GA proposal for Dec 13th
11. D17
-GA proposal
-Plans for this week and Saturday itself
12. Announcements

1. Proposal from Free Literature table: 
Introduction: “We are a project that was started by the library. We haven’t used funds or solicited donations. We have been setting up tables in Union Square and Fulton Mall since raid. Zines and pamphlets.”
The proposal: to buy a cargo bike and table to facilitate tabling. Bike is $1354 from a local maker in Queens. Requesting $1500 in total. Would like to make the proposal to the GA through the library.
Clarifying Questions: Sean: Do you know about Dec 17th and the reoccupation? Thadeaus: Yes, but would do both. Colin: Have you asked Times Up? Thadeaus: Yes, they had ideas about trailers (Thadeaus actually works with TU), but the cargo bike would be best. POI from Colin: “I have some cargo tricycles that could work, but they need work.” Zach: Why aren’t you doing this as your own working group? Your group was working with the library but the two projects branched off from one another a long time ago. Thad: The Free Lit table never because an official working group. Other comments from Librarians: Bringing this proposal to the GA as the library would raise questions about what the library does; Library has to be careful about what it asks for. We are preparing for D17, too.
Friendly amendment from Stephen: The Free Literature Table brings the proposal to the GA as its own WG, but library folks go there to support. PASSED. Guests from Free Lit Table leave.
2. Hristo’s Super Secret Thing
Bill is leaving tomorrow! Hristo got a Metallica DVD for him and everyone signed it.
3. Love your Librarian Awards (Stephen Boyer)
-Stephen went to this event, sponsored by the NYTimes and the Carnegie Corporation with Jeff. He reports that the ALA loves us and that they want to be a part of the action (which Jaime is bottomlining) to retrieve books from 1 Police Plaza. Also, SB reports that Caroline Kennedy was there and gave a speech about books being banned/destroyed, but her history went up to 1972 only. (Later, Carnegie Corp. president Vartan Gregorian made the comment that “anyone can occupy a library,” to much applause.) (Oh, here is a blog post about the event: -ed.) Stephen suggested that we write CK a letter asking why she didn’t mention our library. Also, she’s a friend of Bloomberg.
-There was some discussion about whether it would be better to post a letter to the blog, or send her a personal letter. Personal letter would be nicer, but less effective – she’d probably never even read it. We could make a blog post that is not insulting but does ask for her to respond, and she’s more likely to actually know about it that way. Questions about how this might work with a media strategy. Also, Amanda says she went to camp with CK’s daughter and can probably get contact info.
-PASSED: Stephen will write an open letter for the blog.
4. Occupy office (Betsy)
-The office is at 50 Broadway. Three consensed-upon people are point people for the office, and are on a list that grants them access. There are people leaving town and we may need new point people. Betsy is in touch with Bianca about procedures…
-Scales raised concerns about not liking spaces that are exclusive.
-Betsy and Frances responded that some of the problems recently have to do with security that is at the office. And that we have office needs and really need to use the occupy office.
-Stephen clarified some procedures: Weekdays there are regular office hours and you can get in if you’re on the list. However, if you want to get on the overnight list during the weekend, you have to send an email the day before.
-New office point people are Betsy and Frances
5. Book pickup and drop off issues
-Conversation starts with Charlie: someone (Hal) has 100 books for us, but they need to be picked up. Can anyone do this? Write to me (Michele) and I’ll give you the phone  number.
-The conversation continued with the problems associated with becoming a book pickup service. It was concluded that book pickup or having donation boxes is not our priority right now. Maybe soon.
-Also, Zach reminded us that there ~800 books at Hyperallergic in Brooklyn that need to be picked up. Sean will bottomline getting in touch with Hyperallergic and arranging a driver.
6. ALA (American Library Assoc) conference in Dallas, late January. (Betsy)
-RECAP: Betsy was invited to speak, but she worked with them to have 3 people attend. Those people are Betsy, Mandy, and Zach. They will have a panel at 8am on Saturday morning of conference. SHE NEEDS TO KNOW if others are coming, too: Jaime? Danny? 
-Then Scales raised the concern that only professional librarians are going, which doesn’t represent the oWS library. Scales may be interested in going. Frances may be interested in going. Betsy responds that the decision about the three going was consensed upon already, a while ago, and that it was hard to get the ALA to agree to 3. However, if people are going on their own, they need to contact Betsy asap to try to coordinate with ALA (and share costs).
7. The People of Color Working Group are holding the Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism training with Rinku Sen on Wednesday,December 14 at 7PM at Unity Hall 235 West 23rd St, not at the Walker Space as was previously thought. Frances picked up a bunch of copies of Rinku Sen’s book Stir It Up:Lessons in Community Organizing from her office today, and Charlie and Frances packed them in with four cases of books. If anyone heads to SIS before Frances tomorrow morning, the books in the green crates are set aside for this action.

8. Occupy writers/ Jeff Sharlet (Michele)

-Michele sent out a letter to writers and writers’ orgs requesting support in the form of opinion pieces. Jeff Sharlet (from Rolling Stone, Occupy Writers) responded right away, with news about the book OW is working on. He also suggested that he could get a group of writers from OW to draft a statement supporting the library. He wanted some information on how many libraries have been shut down, as well as stats about library closures more generally. Zach said he had some of this info. Michele will send Jeff’s email to the group for response.
-Swapan Basu from Rhyming Poets International spoke about his group and his poem “Revolution,” which was published in the OWS POetry Anthology.
-Stephen B. announced that the OWS POetry Anthology will have its own website soon.
9. Space offer from Nonoppressive Unimperialist Bargain Books (Laura)
-This bookstore at 34 Carmine in the West Village has offered space for the library. Perhaps 24 hour access, could serve as lending library. They are requesting an unpaid intern who would help manage the store.
Discussion: Do we want to have a conversation about whether we want to persue something other than D17? (There seemed to be a general feeling that D17 is the priority this week. -ed); Charlie mentions: bad weather is coming, Indoor=good. Keep it as an emergency space? Zach: have we made contact? Do we know what they’re offering? Laura: Contact came through Justin from media. Guy might want us to help with his place, too (and yes, when she reread the email, he was requesting an “unpaid intern to help manage the store” -ed.)
-(And I think conversation about this ended about there. No notes about who is following up about this. Am I forgetting? -ed)
10. D17 Reoccupation Action! (All hands on deck! -ed)
a. Tent issues were discussed. Sean is bottomlining. Details (of this and other DA components) will be discussed in face-to-face situations this week at SIS.
b. GA proposal: Frances has written a proposal for Tuesday GA requesting $800 to buy bins and other supplies. PLEASE COME TO THE TUES GA 7PM ZUCCOTTI AND SUPPORT HER AND OWSL!
c. Plans this week: GA proposal Tuesday, hopefully then buying supplies Wednesday, and organizing materials and making plans Thursday and Friday at SIS. Frances is bottomlining. Get in touch with Frances for updates!
-Also, there will be a training in nonviolent de-escalation and Nonviolent Communication for 60 people Tuesday at 8pm. (WHere? -ed.) “Peacekeeping soldiers in the park.” (Whoa. -ed)
-There was a cnversation about what books to bring out on Saturday. Good books? What constitutes a good book? Lots of good discussion. We have a lot of pertinent lit in multiple copies. Bring that stuff.
d. ANd a lot of focus is on a legal reoccupation of the Trinity Church owned, and LMCC administered, lot at 6th and Canal. Currently there is a petition on with 12,000 sigs asking Trinity to let the occupiers use the space.
11. Announcements
a. Laura went to a farm! It was great, the family loved it. She wants to bring books up there that are farm-related. 56 acres. The family/others are working on logistics of getting people up there for visits.
b. Jaime will be going to a farm! In the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass that wants to help oWS
c. Frances tells us about DA tomorrow (today) at 7am (yes, it is already over. Sorry! -ed.): 7am at Cube. Goldman Sachs action. Email Jaime for info.

Library Working Group Meeting Minutes 12/4/11

Those of you in attendance at last nights’ meeting know that it was a difficult one. We spent the majority of our time with our guests from OWS Mediation discussing problems we have encountered with communication, respect, transparency, accountability, and appropriate group communications. It was a long night. We did come to some resolutions for the time being, and agreed to work together on a living document regarding our working group policies. You can take a look at the beginnings of that document here:

First and foremost there were a lot of items on the agenda that were tabled because of the mediation. We have scheduled an additional working group meeting for this Wednesday, December 7 at 5:30 PM at 60 Wall St to discuss all of the agenda items that we did not cover. Those agenda items were as follows:
*Op Eds
*The Email Lists
*Community Accountability
*Archive Working Group Report Back
*Cataloging/Library Thing
*People’s Library’s Relationship to OWS
*Occupy Wall Street Review
*The Rebuild OWS Library Email/Twitter/Facebook

Before I get to the mediation, we had several guests from different organizations who came to share information with us.
1) Darragh from Education and Empowerment announced that there will be a Read-In on December 17 in Times Square. For more information or to volunteer you can email him at
2) Tom and Veronica from Word Up in Washington Heights came to tell us all about their awesome shop uptown and to offer us their assistance. They are located at 176th and Broadway, and have been operational since June. They are 100% volunteer operated, and most of their books are under $3. They have a 1000 square foot space, and a built in stage, where so far they have held over 200 performances. POI: Washington Heights has the largest concentration of children and youth in all of Manhattan. They are willing to give us space to give away our books.
3) Margarita from the St. Mark’s Bookshop is writing an essay on the destruction of The People’s Library and would love to talk with working group members. Additionally she pointed out to us that the bookselling community wants to help us, and just needs to know how. The St. Mark’s Bookshop would love to display some of our destroyed books on one of their shelves. POI: This is not possible at this time because our damaged books are evidence in our ongoing legal suit. But the sentiment is greatly appreciated. :)

Okay! On to the Mediation. Please note that what follows is a summary, and not a transcript. Additionally the names of individuals have been redacted to protect their privacy. The following points were raised by members of the working group and highlighted by mediation:

1) There is a feeling amongst certain working group members that one particular member has not been respectful to the other members. It was stated that, “You have to give respect to get respect,” and certain members feel that respect is severely lacking from this individual.
2) The point was raised that this same working group member has also sent emails on behalf of the library to outside individuals that certain members found hostile in tone and inappropriate for our collective purposes. There was a point raised repeatedly that certain members felt the need to mend the damage done by this individual regarding these outside offers of assistance.
3) There was a point raised by several working group members that this individual’s behavior is distracting us from important library work that needs to be accomplished, i.e. almost the entire meeting was spent discussing this individual’s behavior and what steps should be taken to address it, despite the fact that this individual was not present for the meeting. The point was also raised that this is the third time that Mediation has been present at a meeting to help us facilitate a solution to these problems, and that this individual has not attended any of those sessions.
4) A point was raised by several working group members that it was inappropriate to discuss this individual without them being present at the meeting. This was countered with the point that this individual seems to avoid meetings with mediation. (See #3)
5) A point was raised that this individual’s negative behavior far outweighs its contributions to the working group. This point was countered with the POI that this individual did a lot of blog and email work in the early days of the occupation.

The following items were consented upon at the end of the meeting:
*An important POI was raised. You cannot block a group consensus after the fact. If you are not present at the meeting when consensus is reached, you cannot block via email. That is out of process.
*If any individual behaves in a manner that another working group member deems disrespectful, or if it “gets nasty again” any working group member has the right to ask that member to refrain from all email and blog communications until they attend a mediation session with the other members of the working group.

Library Working Group Meeting minutes
28 November 2011 6:30 pm
Moonstruck Café
244 Madison Avenue, New York, NYC

present: Elena, Emilio, Nathan, Michele, Jaime, Danny, Scales, Betsy, Zach L., Catherine, James, Bill, Charlie, Laura, Amanda, Jenny, Stephen, Max, Briar
Facilitator = Frances, Stack = Zach, Time = Amanda, Minutes = Betsy

  • Set agenda
  • Introductions
  • Team
  • Book count
  • Legal update
  • Community accountability
  • Future

& more detailed introductions
Review of hand signals (ordering food)

Team (Danny)
who we are and what we’re doing. team building. fuses are getting shorter, email threads are getting nastier. we’ve braved arrest, faced legal issues, I don’t see strong team mind. I see that we’re all very different. our community breaks down very quickly. example of the dog. we’re supposed to be in it together. POI: she’s never been to a WG meeting. (people don’t want to talk about the dog example because of all the new folks at the meeting.) anything to be aggressive to each other isn’t advancing us.

(discussion breaks down a bit)
L: incident wasn’t library-related. (or was it?) we should have team spirit. keep solid. keep it open, keep talking.

Book count (Zach)
when processing new books, write the date at the top of the sheet along with ISBNs. Zach runs through numbers of books.

of 1275 books returned only 578 are ok

he’s separated personal books from OWS books. about 272 are personal property, not library. we only got back about 1000 books. after legal procedures, let’s put out a memo telling people we have personal books and we can try to return them.

Q: what about personal book requests? A: any requests that have already come in for personal books, you can forward to Zach or tell folks we’re processing the books for legal purposes. Q: is saying 80% of our books are gone are destroyed accurate? A: it’s probably more. 80% isn’t wrong. 85% missing or destroyed 15% usable. and that’s only books, not computers, archival material, infrastructure etc.

Legal update (Bill)

12 of us met with Norman Siegel to discuss how to follow up after our press conference last week.

Our demands:

  • acknowledgement from the city that what they did was wrong, and statement taking full responsibility for their actions
  • replacement of books and providing us a public space for the library
  • commitment that they won’t do it again.

Bill and Betsy nominated as point people for Siegel. We’re going to try to bring a civil case. there is no precedent. Sanitation department claims they gave us 3,000 books but they didn’t.

-Ginsberg Society is pissed that their donation was destroyed. -There is no case law on destroying everything. -Assuming a case is brought, is the library a legal entity? -There have been cases about particular books being destroyed, but not an entire library. -isn’t censorship of the entire movement? -not sure, we didn’t talk about it. we’re not propaganda for the movement. -maybe we can make the case that the library’s presence was an act of speech.

Community accountability (Michele)

drafted by several working groups. commit to consent, commit to anti-oppression, commit to conflict resolution and accountability. get back to Michele re: library’s support. -The occupation isn’t in park anymore is it still relevant? -OWS wants to reinforce principles. lead by example. it’s about the movement not the space. -timeline for this? -it’s still a draft. -I’ve been staying in public spaces and they are insane. people are stealing, touching, all sorts of inappropriate. there needs to be something. Safer Sapces did a great job. -even if it’s only in our own working group, we need to get our values out there. more important now in diaspora. -just because you’re not on the court doesn’t mean you’re not on the team. -doesn’t need to just be a library thing.

Future (Scales)

the library focus has shifted without physical infrastructure. discussion about our vision of what the library is, what the future is in order to develop new infrastructure. bookmobiles? physical space? the core needs to get consensus on what we as a library want to do and how to function without a park.

-easy for us to continue to have a presence at actions. Jaime is willing to work with DA to let us know when things are happening. -we need to be more on top of actions that are not ours. Q: to what extent have you tried to get space? A: we’ve written proposals, contacted a few downtown groups for space without success. investigating pop-up space and collaborations. we need space. -Zuccotti isn’t good. -SIS is unrealistic. doesn’t want to go through GA to get money. -mobile library. -winter is coming we need to prepare. need to think winter. Q: where are the books now? A: storage.

-mobile library is fun. Stephen’s writing an article for OWSJ. it was fun to give books out in front of Barnes & Noble. -Medics are squatting near Marcy Ave (J). -looking for places every day. Q: what about the Strand carts? A: Betsy spoke to them, they’re not cheap, they have a deal with the city. -We’ve got a lot of books coming in to SIS and we must keep legal books untouched. -Space: squat? bluestockings alliance? mobile library is great. Q: what’s a squat? is it illegal? A: yes, it is. no, it’s legal to squat in NY. -snow. we can be mobile and we need a place to store books. -squatters rights are strong here. -Bernadette Mayer says get a squat. -there’s a building off prospect ave (bklyn) that’s been vacant for 5 years. it has a garage. Frances suggests we take that house. -let’s make a proposal. squatting makes sense for the movement. we need space. -what about churches? -Zuccotti’s no good: lots of cops and stuff, lots of barricades and stuff. -what’s the space going to be like? constant access? storage only? -storage space is only $100/day, why don’t we just pay for one? -no good for recovered books because we have to keep an eye on them. -sleep-in storage facilities. -you can’t sleep in the storage facilities. -need for storage. (Hristo’s parents’ place) vs. need for library -Charas? -needs to be near Wall St. -the last big-city occupations are going down. we should push books out more effectively sharing our resources. -friend who knows squats. -occupywriters? is there a petition signed by writers who signed & donated their books? someone wants to organize that. please upload all photos of author signed books to the flickr stream. -People’s Library in residence. -mobile library should follow the weather patterns. -do as many of these things as you can do. if you squat, support will come. -multiple residences would make it easier to approach organizations. easier to ask would you like to house library in residence, one of many than to ask someone to take sole responsibility for it. proposal: 3 pursuits mobile, squatting, residency. all done in tandem. break into groups to bottomline this. mobile= scheduling carts, squatting=Scales & whoever, residency=Catherine. break into groups and reconvene.

Michele: storage and processing of new books. -we can use SIS at this moment. -shipping out. -continued donations? yes, but not access. -concern about spreading the library across different locations. most occupatons are in the same position as us, they can’t receive donations. our strength was having 4,000 books. it was a big library. if we keep breaking it up and making it smaller, it’s diminished. FA: choosing between squat or residency with mobile library. -don’t underestimate amount of goodwill. this is New York, center of this stuff. -re: person who’s going to take catalog. -agree with not breaking up the collection. mobile units can go out. ship out books, we still have a lot of publisher copies. not too much worry about breaking up collection. 4 components: SIS, mobile, squat, residency. residency might be a place that’s able to take donations. just one place during the winter. -multiple locations is a good idea. reach out to bluestockings in addition to squats. -re: different locations, ok if only a couple and if there’s always a librarian there to process ISBNs, always have a face attached.

-4 plans of action:

-squat for long term book, library housing,

-mobile bookmobile from that unit,



-who wants to just take responsibility for these? bottomlining these things -doesn’t like breaking into committees. -listserv -avoid redundancy.


spokescouncil, occupywriters, Tampa, Wilmington, DE=safest, most secure occupation. media mail is the cheapest way to mail. -Catherine made new bookmarks -GA reportback, printing press is a co-op owsprint AT gmail DOT com. Madrid, Acampade del Sol update—see their facebook page

November 20, 2011 6:30 pm
Pizza place on Lexington near 77th, NYC
– – this meeting was spontaneously relocated by consensus of the majority of the working group to support a direct action taking place at chez Bloomberg. Rather than try to conduct the meeting while the NYPD was moving to disperse the crowd, we relocated to the place that had enough space to accommodate the group.- –

Rather than go through an agenda, we agreed to just do announcements and individual reportbacks.

present: Bill, Amanda, Frances, Betsy, Zach, Hristo, Jaime, Sean, Stephen, Briar, Michael, Laura
minutes: Betsy


  • (Bill) Norman Siegel, former director of NYCLU has offered us pro bono representation. he says the National Lawyers Guild will take more time, he can build a strong case. call him tomorrow he has an idea for an action later this week. -what does he mean ‘win’? & who’s he representing: the library separate from OWS? we’re not separate. -do we have evidence of the police destroying library property or did sanitation do it?-what are we asking for back?
  • (Betsy) lots of people missed the meeting because of all the location changes and are pissed off. we were supposed to have a collaborative meeting tonight with the archives working group. Message to read from Michele who went to 60 Wall: “Kate Black rode on a standing room only bus on a sprained ankle from Bushwick to come to this meeting. Jenny Smith nearly drove 2 hours here from Hudson to come. Please respectfully communicate this to those who changed the meeting.”

Report backs:

  • (Betsy) re: occupied office. Sean says he’s already talked to someone about this. Info sheet circulated. As discussed in previous meetings, the office space is a limited resource for dedicated OWS library work. 48 people max, ideally in 3-hour shifts. We need to estimate our needs and get back to them with a schedule and people who can go. what library work do we envision doing there? and who’s willing to commit to doing that work?

-cataloging: entering ISBNs, email, blogging, twitter, interviews & interview requests, press releases, photo & video editing, everything we’re doing that requires wifi. tons of emails go unanswered. -evening hours get crowded so we have a better shot at the morning slots
-we need to get more computers. Michael will reach out to 2600. -Sean, Betsy, Bill, Boyer, Laura, Frances

  • (Zach) sorted through everything that came back from Sanitation. it’s all got to be held as evidence. don’t circulate it. When the last batch of books comes in, we’ll separate it into OWS and non-OWS books—a lot of them are not ours.

Numbers review with a margin of error of 10, we received 1099 books and 1 kindle

485 of them were ok, 344 were damaged but ok, 100 were ruined, 270 were flat out destroyed.

less than 1/4th of our books will re-circulate. 5,544 titles ever received. 3500-4000 books were on site the night of the raid.

To sum it all up, we can say that there were 4,000 books on site, we received back approximately 1,200 books. of those approximately 25% are readable books. It should be emphasized that it’s not just about the books, we lost all periodicals, all archival materials, artifacts, computers, all infrastructure etc.

  • (Briar) reports about a proposal that’s come over email somebody wants to build a mirror catalog for us. as it doesn’t involve any work on our part, everyone’s cool with it.
  • (Betsy) re: people on our email list & blog who’ve dropped out or who no one knows. Proposal that everyone must attend at least one working group meeting and participate on site before being added to the email list or blog. consensus!
  • (Briar) re: blog comments. Briar’s against censorship and suggests that we either shut comments off completely or let anyone post anything. -shut them off. -structural reasons why not to -send them in for approval -Mandy likes to do it, but that puts us in a censorship position if we disallow it. -we started with comments, wary of shutting them off.

[note from Danny who couldn’t make the meeting: Reflect on “what Danny would say” for each temp check. Please add an up sparkle for everything awesome, a down sparkle for everything lame, and an “I cautioned against this previously/I told you so” intermittently where appropriate]

-Stephen likes trolls.

-what’s censorship? discuss. what about when someone posts the same comment 90 times? what about 80 paragraphs of ranting about Israel? spam vs. censorship. POI Michael loves trolls too. Zach hates the internet and everything about it. more about trolls. more about censorship. discussion tabled.

  • (Bill) wants us to all go to the movies. -he’s also writing an article that will be in The Nation soon and guest editing Critical Quarterly, wants to focus on OWS, he’ll know more next month.
  • (Stephen) Library 3.0. -make a list of what’s on you at high-risk actions to hand off. -has a radio interview on Wednesday with a libertarian who wants to talk about gratitude, needs ideas. -a magician wants to build us something that pops out of a tote bag. -destruction of the library in Alexandria
  • (Jaime?) we’ll be getting hundreds of books in the next week or so, at the next meeting we need to talk about space -Hristo has space in Bensonhurst -What occupations are still standing, we could push books out to other occupy’s.
  • (Sean) Finance is frozen until Monday. people want transparency. there’s a form to fill out. he’ll do that. more from them at Spokes on Monday. spokes is going downhill. -comhub -Mandy will be in town this week -kitchen is planning a feast (would you like pepper spray with your stuffing?)

end of the meeting.

November 13, 2011, 6 pm, People’s Library

Laura= facilitator, Jaime=time, Sean=stack, Betsy=minutes
also present: Zach L, Stephen B, Bill, Scales, Michele, Charlie, Hristo, Danny, James, +1 visitor

Review of signs


  • Thanks from Occupy Cinema
  • Wall Street walking Tour information


Library & Archives strengthening ties

No one is present from Archives. Zach has training in archives and has been doing some individual collecting.  Betsy: we need more connection with archives esp concerning what happened at Spokes. Jaime: also an archivist by training, would be happy to train others in the library. Michele: maybe work with them in Spokes. Scales: issue with transparency, archives is cool.
-maybe share a meeting @60 Wall for co-ordinating?

Safer Spaces & accountability

[referring to document emailed last week requesting library’s support of Safer Spaces accountability proposal] They request that everyone agree to a set of community standards and protocols for how to respond to create safe open space. community guidelines regarding assault, violation of boundaries, anti-oppression training etc. (proposal passed around for review) what about enforcement? that goes to the peace council. anything involving mediation requires at least two members of the WG to be involved in resolution. The document calls for commitment to consent, anti-oppression, conflict resolution and accountability.

Because not everyone has had a chance to read and review the document, please read, review and communicate your feelings about the proposal to Michele within 48 hours. We hope to move toward consensus on this by Wednesday.

Sleeping arrangements

B: the last 2 nights have been crazy, 8 or 9 people came through looking for a place to sleep. Folks have been saying ok to their friends. the concern is that we don’t want to have too many people promised they can sleep in the library. Idea: creating a sign-in sheet and limit it to 7-10 people. another possibility= close the front of the library and add another tent. SB: if it snows, it’ll be more important to sleep inside. Scales: good idea, also good to keep track of people. doesn’t like the idea of tents in tents. D: establish a number and come to consensus. Z: when people are sleeping here who aren’t from the library, they leave their stuff and it gets in the way. they can sleep here, but they can’t store their stuff. SB: let’s set up some house rules: clean up, be gone by a certain time, help us clean the library. Scales: proposal–5 bodies, no storage of stuff, out by 9 or 10am. D: thinks it’s up to occupiers to decide. SB: the people last night were trying to go to bed early no one could come in. they need to be flexible with library hours. Scales: library opening & closing hours as agenda item.


Scales: Should be library duty to educate & empower, how to reach out and promote education. discussion. D: readers advisory & report back on Pratt speaking engagement. B: we have a lot to do as librarians, let’s reach out to Education/Empowerment WG. we don’t have enough resources, let other WGs shoulder some of that burden. Z: library numbers have dwindled. J: take books put them in a bag & distribute/collect throughout the park. if you’ve got an idea for education/empowerment, just do it. Scales: we don’t have to bring everything to the meeting, just do it.

DA training

Jaime would like to offer library DA training (upsparkles). Maybe next Sunday afternoon, she’ll get back to us about time (maybe 4 or 5 pm)

Library hours

We reached consensus on library hours being from 10 am – 1 am with built in flexibility.


Movement building going to Egypt discussion. We tried to nominate WG members, their eligibility & willingness. Lots of people want to go, but who has a valid passport, language skills, DA training etc. Break out group discussion. Some people had to leave for another meeting. Betsy, Bill & Stephen went to 60 Wall & invited the archives group to join us next Sunday for the first 10-15 mins of our meeting.

November 6, 2011, 6 pm, People’s Library

Jaime=facilitator, Charlie=stack tacker, Betsy=minutes

present: Jaime, Bill, Charlie, Michelle, Stephen B., Megan, Betsy, Hristo, Frances, Hamaz (sorry if I missed anybody)

Setting the Agenda

  • ALA conference in January

Jaime & Betsy: Who’s going and who wants to go, details. Betsy was invited by the ALA Conference Planning Manager to present at this year’s Midwinter conference. Betsy negotiated w/ALA to pay airfare & hotel for more of us to attend & present collaboratively. Betsy, Mandy and Zach are all scheduled to attend. We want to talk about who else wants to go, how to pay for it and to co-ordinate flight & hotel information so we can go together if possible. The conference is in Dallas from Jan 20-24, 2012. Our panel is scheduled for 8:30-9:30 am on Saturday Jan. 21st. I’ll email the group my flight details & hope Mandy & Zach can do the same. We decided to table this issue to discuss later because a lot of people were missing from the meeting.

  • library-specific safety training
  • spokes council orientation report-back

Frances: Monday night’s spokes council meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School 411 PEARL STREET (Just East of City Hall) at 7:30PM will determine whether groups are operational groups or movement groups. We discussed the differences between the two and worked on filling out the form we need to submit tomorrow at spokes council. Basically, operational groups handle day-to-day operations within the park and are different from movement groups which address/represent concerns that are movement-wide. We consensed (is that really a word?) that we are an operational group. It is essential that our space exists within the park, we serve a vital function & take up space in a way that is very similar to comfort or kitchen. We provide a safe, welcoming open space within the park. Being a caucus with other groups (like info or media) doesn’t mean that we lose power, it’s just a change in position within the spokes council. We agreed that becoming an operational group is the way to go & if that’s not possible for some reason, we would like to be an independent caucus. We occupy a lot of park real estate & have a lot of stuff. The library serves as a support to other caucuses.

  • announcements

Hristo proposed we all get matching tattoos. Tabled for later discussion.

Bill reports that he was approached recently by someone offering the library office space. That person should be contacting us soon via email. We discussed and agreed that it would be nice to have a place to get some work done out of the cold as long as it’s within walking distance. SIS doesn’t really want us in their space anymore, even for cataloging.

Michelle: the Melville marathon reading is coming up Thursday at 3 pm at 60 Wall street. Let’s promote it. She’s going to make fliers.

Hamaz: there’s a Jazz club in Brooklyn at the Senior Citizens center that’s got a lot of civil rights activists involved. 966 Fulton Friday night. He proposes a field trip. C train to Clinton-Washington

Stephen B: the poetry anthology is now being printed, bound and sold at cost. It will be $10 plus shipping & handling and will be printed as ordered. It will be available in the library in the next couple of days. He would like help with setting up a link to a paypal account on the website. Also, he’s been invited to speak/read on Sirius satellite radio the night before Thanksgiving and would like people to send him 1 line of gratitude: what you’re thankful for to his email address so he can read it out on the show. stephenjboyer AT gmail DOT com

Frances: is making a library guide in google docs and would like everyone’s input. It will be a basic guide for people who are new to the library for our practices and ways they can help when they arrive. Please add ideas. Also, Frances will be occupying the Magic Kingdom for the next week.

2 responses to “Working Group Meeting Minutes

  1. Michael

    All the minutes can be accessed by clicking on the category for minutes:

    As such, do we need a page for it? I’m neutral – just wonder what y’all think.

    • I thought having them on one page made them sort of out of the way of the rest of the site–for folks who don’t want to be bothered reading through it all. I suppose we should also be posting on nycga site?

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