[hackerspaces] Lockers in a hackerspace?

ebal at fsfe.org ebal at fsfe.org
Mon Oct 8 15:02:59 CEST 2018

There are clearly some advantages & disadvantages of having lockers 
inside a hackerspace.

[personal true pseudo-random thoughts - plz excuse me]

I wish I could leave my laptop for a few hours or even a personal item 
inside a locker and I do understand that a locker is not safety deposit 
box but it is better that leaving my laptop on a table and walkaway.  On 
the other hand,  personal lockers takes physical space from a 
hackerspace (if you dont have much space) and people will leave personal 
items for days.  Time-based locks (are expensive) could be used (like in 
two hours or two days the locker will auto-unlock) but then you are a 
time-sharing locker.  Also a deposit for locks (like some hostel do) 
could be a solution. Long-Term abandonment could also be solved with 
color stickers ! A week-notice, a 3s notice, a day notice and then 
locker will be unlocked! Useful workshop: 'lock picking' . Or even 
create a master key (aka a backdoor key) that admins could use only for 
emergencies.  One other thing is the "open" policy, lockers suggest that 
'you have something to hide'  :P   I mean you are a part of a 
hackerspace so (circle of) trust should be something that you 
apply/comply (I dont know, perhaps) ?  To continue this delirium, I am 
not against lockers but you should think and document everything and 
people should respect your policy if they want a locker inside your 

On 05-Oct-18 02:35, Nate Bezanson wrote:
> At i3Detroit in Michigan, we have both shelves and lockers. Here are 
> my thoughts:
> The shelves are a catastrophe. We wanted to give people more 
> flexibility than totes, but it turns out not everyone is clean and 
> responsible, and there's detritus everywhere and organizational logjam 
> about getting rid of what might be someone's precious piece of dusty 
> scrap lumber. In retrospect, we should've required totes.
> The lockers are either almost ignored or so nicely used they don't 
> look used. I have one and it works great for my needs, and nobody puts 
> locks on 'em. The nature of lockers means they can't get messy like 
> shelves, and it's great.
> We weren't initially super clear about the expectation that storage 
> wasn't for long-term abandonment of stuff. It seemed obvious, hah! And 
> we've had crap luck with the "If you're not here regularly, your stuff 
> shouldn't be here either" mantra. I've been utterly fascinated to 
> discover that Artisan's Asylum flips this statement: "As per our 
> Policies & Procedures, presence is a requirement. Activity is what 
> makes our space vibrant." So, if your stuff is here, you should be 
> here. Interesting!
> MakerWorks out in Ann Arbor has a really interesting model: They 
> charge for storage, and the rate increases if you're not around using 
> your stuff. A staff member comes by and clips a clothespin onto each 
> storage space once per (week or month?), and counts the accumulated 
> pins. Whenever you use your stuff, you remove the clothespins and 
> reset your count to zero. So, an active space will have zero or one, 
> and pays the lowest rate. If you're away for a while, your pins start 
> building up, and your (weekly or monthly?) rate goes up. Accumulate 5 
> pins and you're paying insane rates and that makes it okay that you're 
> abusing the storage. It's pretty neat, if you have staff who can 
> implement something like that.
> We at i3 don't charge for storage, although I've recently floated the 
> idea that we should, but not in money: The only way to "buy" storage 
> would be in volunteer hours. Maybe there'd be a maximum positive 
> balance you could accrue, too. That would solve the presence problem 
> and several others, maybe. If we try it I'll let you know how it goes!
> -Nate B-
> On 2018-10-04 03:21 PM, Joshua Pritt wrote:
>> At Melbourne Makerspace in Florida we just have shelves with 
>> cardboard banker's boxes from Staples that you write your name / 
>> handle on.  Like mentioned earlier it makes it easy for us to say 
>> "leave it in my box" when sharing supplies or parts.  We haven't had 
>> any problems yet!  Except myself who now has 3 boxes and is getting 
>> asked if I should pay a little extra for my space.  Since I help a 
>> lot and donate supplies like paper towels, post it notes, sharpies, 
>> etc. as needed I use that as an excuse/payment for the extra space.  
>> I also help teach the coding classes like Coder Dojo and our Code Jam 
>> every Tuesday night.
>> On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 2:43 PM Arclight <arclight at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:arclight at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     They're expensive to buy, but often cheap or free used. Check the
>>     paper, Craigslist, etc. and you often find them.  Downside is they
>>     don't hold that much, and larger projects don't fit.  Lots of folks
>>     choose bins for this reason.
>>     On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 11:18 AM Daniel F <buildtherobots at gmail.com
>>     <mailto:buildtherobots at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     >
>>     > Obvious downsides: if they're locked it could lead to a false
>>     sense of security. It also makes it harder for people to say
>>     "leave it in / take it from my box"
>>     >
>>     > When people leave you might have to cut locks off.
>>     >
>>     > They're also expensive to buy.
>>     >
>>     > Other than that, sounds ace :)
>>     >
>>     > On Thu, 4 Oct 2018, 19:13 Chad Elish, <chad at hackpittsburgh.org
>>     <mailto:chad at hackpittsburgh.org>> wrote:
>>     >>
>>     >> We’re talking about putting lockers in our space. Currently we
>>     have shelves that a member can store a tote on.
>>     >>
>>     >> Would like your input on pros/cons.
>>     >>
>>     >> -chad
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Evaggelos Balaskas

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