Working Group Meeting Minutes 11/20/11

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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.

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