[dms-discuss] Space Use Models

Jordan Van Aalsburg jordan.vanaalsburg at gmail.com
Fri Nov 8 15:28:13 PST 2013

When we first wrote our by-laws we made keys a "reward" for members who
paid dues. Paying dues has never been a requirement for membership in Davis
Makerspace and our goal has always been to provide a space where anyone can
participate regardless of their ability to pay. However, we still have to
pay rent, so we were trying to encourage anyone who was able to contribute
financially to do so. The point that I used to try to make was that having
a key granted you access to the space during non "business" hours, but
members without keys (and the general public) could still use the space
whenever it was open. The goal was to eventually reach a point where there
were enough key-holding members using the space throughout the week that
people who didn't have keys (members or otherwise) would feel that they
still had reasonable access to the space.

Perhaps defining some "business" hours could help with our different use
cases. In the afternoon and evening (say 12:00 to 8:00) the space is open.
Meaning that if you are in the space during those hours there is an
expectation that non key-holding members and others can be in the space.
Outside of those hours you are free to open the space or not.

There is an entirely separate issue of what exactly your responsibilities
would be during open hours. A number of people at the meeting said that
they didn't want to be responsible for other people in the space or have to
stop what they're doing and teach some random person how to use a 3D
printer. I totally agree. The primary service that a key-holding member
provides is just opening the door for members who don't have keys. The main
thing here is that the people you are opening the space to are fellow
members, they just don't have a key. These individuals should already be
familiar with our rules and policies and know what equipment they are and
are not allowed to use. Of course there may be other non-members who drop
by, but we should be most concerned with non key-holding members. We won't
be able to attract and retain new members if they don't feel that they have
access to the space.

Which brings me to an important point -- no random person who drops in
should be allowed to use a 3D printer, or any potentially dangerous/fragile
equipment. We haven't come up with a formal certification program, but
maybe this will provide the needed motivation to get something hammered
out. The fact of the matter is that there really isn't much for a random
drop-in to do in the space, and I think that if you are the one who opened
the space, your responsibility is basically to greet the person, explain
who we are and how we operate, ask them what their interests are, and then
direct them to an open house or an event we are hosting where there is a
clear expectation of interaction and/or education. That's it. No one should
feel pressured to do a demo or put on an impromptu clinic when someone
drops by the space.

Now, if you are a member who is interested in doing demos and working with
random strangers, that's great! Do that. Hopefully as our membership
continues to grow we'll get to the point where, no matter when you drop by,
there's a pretty good chance you'll run into a member who will geek out
with you about arduinos, or linux, or circuit building, or whatever.
However, it might take a while for us to get there.


* We should define some standard business hours outside of which you are
free of all obligations
* During business hours non-key holding members can come in to work (they
have to leave when you do and follow all space rules/policies while in the
* If a wild, non-member appears, smile and ask what they like to make and
then tell them you'll see them at Open House


On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 10:56 PM, Tim F <davispcug at yahoo.com> wrote:

> November 6, 2013
> Hi James and everybody --
> Thank you James for writing up that distillation!
> I thought that the discussion on Monday night was great. It really makes
> me feel good that we had a respectful discussion about a subject is
> important to many of us. Thank you all for that, and thank you Jeff for
> your work on these issues and for your fresh ideas!
> To answer the questions that James posted: I think that we could divide
> time up at the space to serve James' first model (a public space) AND his
> third model (a private space).
> And in order for that to work, we'd need to mix in a little of his second
> model (requiring some sort of acceptance of  "membership" into the group).
> Perhaps we would use Jeff's suggestion to guide that acceptance policy
> (Jeff suggested that those wishing key access would submit a written
> proposal/justification to some subset of the voting members, such as the
> Board).
> For example, we could give key access to those people who committed to act
> as trained "hosts" or "mentors" or "facilitators": they would staff open
> hours. Perhaps several evenings during the week, plus some earlier hours on
> weekends. That would allow us to provide a space open to the public
> (providing, of course, that we had a clear and posted liability policy):
> James' first model. We are already doing this, actually; it hasn't been
> formalized.
> A few folks would need key access for management reasons or in order to
> maintain the infrastructure; for example, the Board, and people who would
> maintain special facilities such as the door access system,
> delicate/dangerous/expensive tools, etc. We are also already doing this.
> So the first model is already in use.
> James' third model would provide private access to the space. Private
> access could happen at any hour, even during public access hours; but
> private access should not trump public access (if someone wanted to use the
> space privately during a public session, the public session should prevail).
> I believe that the Board feels a responsibility to protect the space and
> the members from possible abuses of the space. That suggests that the Board
> would need to create policies for granting private access for that third
> model; and that the Board would need to put in some systems (such as a
> camera monitoring the inside of the door) to try to discourage abuses or at
> least to help catch any abusers.
> I've put out these thoughts in the spirit of compromise: a two-model
> system like this one might be acceptable for folks who want private access.
> I would hope that they would be willing to agree to access-granting
> policies created by the Board.
> I believe we are already running a nearly-open model, and that only a few
> folks have private access. I think that most of those folks are the ones
> that are already giving their time by serving the group and the space. I
> really don't know if we've given out any keys to people only because of
> their financial contributions.
> My own preference would actually be different from this two-model system:
> I would prefer a mostly-public model with private access granted only to
> those members who donate significant hours by supporting the public model
> and/or significant hours supporting the management of the space or
> maintaining its facilities; and I would not want donations of money to be a
> factor in granting access. If we have already given out keys based only on
> financial donations, I'd want the Board to ask for those keys to be
> returned.
> Why do I feel that way? Because I worry about people gaming the rules for
> a private access system and abusing the system and our space.
> Wow, heavy... (to use a dated idiom!). But not too heavy; I think our
> members are good people! I'm looking forward to hearing from you all.
> Best regards,
> Tim F
> --------------------------------------------
> On Tue, 11/5/13, James R Holliday <jrholliday at davismakerspace.org> wrote:
>  Subject: [dms-discuss] Space Use Models
>  To: discuss at davismakerspace.org
>  Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 1:02 PM
>  Hey, makers.
>  At last night's general meeting, we had a good discussion
>  regarding
>  possible key access and space access policies.  Jeff
>  will be collating
>  some of the ideas and presenting them here for further
>  discussion soon.
>  One thing that came out of the round table discussion was
>  the
>  realization that there are at least three different ideas
>  regarding the
>  usage of our space:
>  1) A fully-open space where anyone can come in and use any
>  of the services.
>  2) A moderated space where people need to integrate
>  themselves (become
>  "members") before using the space
>  3) A private-use space where "members" can come in
>  autonomously and work
>  in peace and quiet.
>  Note: I'm paraphrasing and simplifying the ideas that came
>  out last night.
>  I'd like to invite more input.  Are there other use
>  models that *you*
>  (makers of Davis) would want?  Are there any strong
>  feelings for or
>  against particular use models?  What kind of mix of
>  models should we offer?
>  -James
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