[hackerspaces] Members storing their personal stuff...

Chris Egeland chris at chrisegeland.com
Fri Nov 22 06:23:57 CET 2013


At SYN/HAK in Akron, OH, we have an informal policy of "If it is laying
around the space, it's fair game".  You can designate items as not
fair-game for hacking by placing a sticker clearly on the object that
reads "do not hack".  The "timeout" question is basically, if
something's been sitting in the middle of the space for a month, and no
one has touched it, and no progress has been made on it, the polite
thing to do would be send an email to the discuss list and make sure
that no one is actively working on it before moving it.  Perhaps posting
a note on the thing for a week or so would be cool, too.

So far, the "do not hack" stickers have been working rather well (with
one notable exception where some rare RAM was accidentally taken for a
project which made the RAM unusable - Sorry Andy!).  I like the way it
works, and so far, I haven't heard any major complaints about it, either.

For reference, we have about 1700 sq ft and 17ish members.  And space is
getting a bit tight (then again, we have some rather large projects
taking up space in the space at this moment).

For the question of do we allow members to store stuff, yes.  We provide
each member with a designated storage location for projects (a toolbox
or bin right now) that is officially off-limits to go scavenging through
by other members, and the members have the option to lock those bins at
their discretion.

We also have a "crap that just got donated" pile, and a "crap that's on
its way out the door" shelf.  Usually those both have some things to be
scavenged through.  The "crap that's on its way out the door" shelf is
much like the vortex of doom mentioned by Yves Quemener.  If it sits for
a few weeks and no one has touched it, it gets pitched.

If you've got any questions, please feel free to reply.  If you do reply
to my mail, please CC me directly, as I do not check this list as
frequently as others.

Chris Egeland
Akron, OH USA

On 11/21/2013 09:44 PM, Nathaniel Bezanson wrote:
> Hi folks,
> At i3detroit, one issue we continually struggle with is storage. Not
> of stuff the space owns (that's an issue too but not a huge problem),
> but of members' personal property. With several members commuting by
> bicycle, and plenty of others working on long-term projects, it's seen
> as important. But it's also imperfect.
> We currently have some large shelves, where any member can reserve a
> spot and keep some stuff there. It works fine until it fills up, and
> then it's very difficult to clear space again. New members don't get
> space because it's all occupied by long-term members, and sometimes
> when people quit, they forget their stuff. 
> I'm curious how other spaces handle this. I'm aware of a few examples
> and anecdotes here and there, but I'm hoping to understand a few
> specific points from as many spaces as possible:
> 0. Is there a collection of wisdom on this topic somewhere already? I
> have this feeling that Gui is going to respond with a doc-dump and
> I'll look silly, but I can't find anything already in a few minutes of
> searching... :) 
> 1. Do you allow members to keep their own stuff at the space, at all?
> If not, why not, and what happens to stuff that gets left behind
> accidentally, or deliberately abandoned/donated? 
> 2. How much storage space does a member get? Is it variable? Based on
> what criteria?
> 3. For how long can a member leave stuff in the space? Once they
> start, is it safe to assume that their stuff can remain as long as
> they remain a member? 
> 4. If there's some sort of inactivity or timeout clause, how does that
> work, and who enforces it?
> 5. Assuming you require labels on storage spots or labels on stored
> items, how are unlabeled items handled when they turn up in storage?
> Or items left in unlabeled spots?
> 6. Have you ever had anyone try to actively subvert the limits?
> 7. Are "group projects" by a handful of members given special
> accommodation, beyond what an individual member would get?
> 8. Assuming you have some mechanism to throw out stuff that everyone
> agrees is abandoned, has anyone come back later and whined that their
> precious shit wasn't yours to throw out? How do you handle that?
> 9. Is your system so drastically different from what I'm describing
> that the questions don't even apply? Do tell! 
> 10. Whatever storage system you have right now, is it working? What do
> you see as its main strengths, and main weaknesses? If you could start
> from a clean slate, what would you change?
> Also for context, it might be helpful to understand how large your
> space is and how many members you have (I could just look this up in
> the wiki but it'll be easier to have it in your response!).
> I'll stick our data in a reply so as not to clutter this first message.
> Thanks a bunch,
> -Nate B-
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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