Locker FAQ

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This FAQ is meant to address some common questions people might have. This page is not part of the official locker policy like the Locker Protocol page.

Q: Why do we need lockers? Don’t we have member shelves?

A: Lockers would be available to members and non-members. The lockers would offer some level of security over member shelves since you could put a lock on them. Also, since there is a monthly fee for them, lockers won’t fall into disuse as easily as the member shelves have (the junk has been piling up on the floor of the member shelves area.) Also, the lockers will have a Locker Point of Contact who is a person responsible for maintaining the lockers and keeping them serviceable.

Q: Lockers are expensive. Can we afford this?

A: From most of the prices I've seen online, the monthly fee for the lockers will cover the cost and afterwards *generate* revenue for Noisebridge. Al has paid for the lockers out of his own pocket. All locker fees go direct to Noisebridge.

Q: We should hack together/build our own lockers!

A: This is a lot of effort, so much that nobody has done it. The cost of wood, hinges, and locking mechanisms would result in being more expensive than buying them off craigslist.

    • --How do you know? Where is your comparative budget?

Q: Can Noisebridge charge money for things?

A: Several events in the past have charged fees to cover costs. Circuit Hacking Monday (the longest running Noisebridge event) provides kits to use for learning to solder with a small fee. The primary aim of the fee is to cover the expense and ensure that people don’t forget about their locker, which opens it up to other people who would want it.

Q: Won’t locked up items in lockers make it a target for thieves?

A: All of the laptop, phone, camera, bicycle, and wallet thefts at Noisebridge have been crimes of opportunity. It is safer to leave things in a locker than leave them out or hidden somewhere in the space. Unlike picking up someone else’s laptop or bicycle, it is visually clear that someone trying to break into the lockers is intending steal. Noisebridge states that it won’t be responsible for items in the lockers. There is a risk of theft, but storing a laptop in a locker for an hour while you leave to get a burrito is convenient and low-risk. Storing a laptop there overnight might not be a good idea. Each individual will take the risk they’re comfortable with. Summary: Lockers are better than nothing.

Q: Doesn't Noisebridge have a lock picking group? Won’t they open up lockers?

A: The lock picking group has their own set of locks to practice with. Anyone attempting to break open a locker that they aren't authorized to is assumed to be a theft attempt, no matter what “I was just practicing” excuse they give.

Q: Why don’t we assign lockers with a random lottery?

A: While a lottery is a good way to decide tie-breakers if there is more demand than supply, having a simple lottery system makes it unstable if a person will have a locker from month-to-month. Lockers should be assigned to people who would need them rather than people who are ambivalent about them.

Q: Won’t people just use them without paying?

A: We will have a policy where the Locker Point of Contact can cut locks due to lack of payment after a set time and a good faith effort to contact the owner and resolve the issue. While people will be allowed to temporarily (i.e. not overnight) use available unassigned lockers, the locks will be cut off in the morning if the owner isn't physically in the space.

Q: Can people share lockers?

A: Sure, if you trust them.

Q: For something that takes up so much space, why wasn't there more pre-discussion?

A: These lockers were advertised on craigslist for $100 a bank. Normally they are $500 to $600 (assembled). The seller had already sold 3/4 of their stock in a couple days. By the time the next Tuesday meeting would occur, they would have all been gone.

Also, these lockers stand a foot out from the wall. The passageway still has plenty of space and is ADA compliant for wheelchairs. I disagree that they take up a lot of space. Before there had only been tables that were used only to store junk before. If I had put the lockers in a U-shaped configuration to form their own room, that would be monopolizing a space of Noisebridge. Their current configuration does not.

Q: What are lockers good for? I cannot put a project in there: a project needs a SHELF.

A: The lockers do not replace the member shelves. The member shelves are still there. Some projects (such as the DIY book scanner group) *can* fit in a locker. The added benefit of lockable lockers is answered in the FAQ.

Q: Why do people need to store clothes, towels, and backpacks at Noisebridge?

A: 1) It is convenient to store your backpack & laptop while leaving the space for a burrito. 2) The Locker Protocol specifically says not to store personal items in lockers to help use Noisebridge as a squat. 3) Anyone can store clothes, towels, and backpacks on the member shelves.

Q: Why does the rental fee go to Al? If, as your sign says, the money is going to Noisebridge, then i'll pay my $10 to Noisebridge.

A: The Treasurer position is the most work-intensive position of all for Noisebridge, and is completely unpaid. Locker record-keeping can be kept by someone else to reduce their work burden. Seriously, Treasurer is a hard and often thankless job.

Q: Noisebridge has no way for donors to SPECIFY what their money is for?

A: There is: put a note on your Paypal transaction or EBT. But this is a pain for the Treasurer.

Q: But I'm not comfortable paying money meant for Noisebridge to some member.

A: Registering a locker is not mandatory. If you don't trust a multi-year member who has just donated $500 worth of equipment to the space with your ten bucks, you don't have to. Or you can just transfer the money directly to Noisebridge's accounts, but it adds an extra step for the locker record keeping.

Q: You really don't want to get paid back, Al?

A: It'd be awesome if people want to help compensate me by giving me cash, including Noisebridge itself. But I also know that I might not getting any compensation at all. I entirely accept that risk.

Q: Why so many?

A: There are 24 lockers. Half of them have already been registered within the first few days. There is a lot of demand for a secure place to store your things, and unassigned lockers can be used as temporary storage. In light of that, it isn't an excessive amount of lockers.