VHS as a member run organization has been helped tremendously over the years by folks who have shared their experience with other members, volunteered their time to help keep the space running and also donated tools, materials, and equipment to the space. We would not be here today without all of these contributions.
However with this growth there comes a continual stream of more tools, materials and equipment coming into the space.
The way donations works now is pretty much anyone can show up at VHS and drop off anything and it gets added to our 3 week bins or left somewhere in the space.
What this usually means that someone else at VHS will spend time and effort reviewing this stuff, deciding if we need it and then doing something with it.
The current steps involved in this process seem to be.
- Decide if we want to keep it. (i.e. Does VHS need it or want it?)
- If it is decided to keep the item then we need to
- Figure out where it lives. With limited space this can be somewhat of an issue
- Get the item into a working state. This can take significant time and effort
- Document it on the Wiki so that members can find it/use it. Let members know if it can be hacked or not. If it require training. What to do if it breaks etc
- If VHS decides NOT to keep it then it now must be disposed of somehow.
The above process is a time consuming and continuous process that is not frictionless. There seem to be generally polarizing views on each piece of equipment which can lead to some lively discussions and also hurt feelings.
SO… With this in mind I would love to open a discussion about member contributions of equipment and materials to the space and possible ways to make this easier for all involved.
One idea of mine is that if you wish to donate something to the space then should ask in the appropriate talk/slack channels if others are interested in this donation prior to bringing anything into the space.
Another idea is that if your donation is accepted then you or some other person must become the designated champion of that thing before it is even brought into the space. What this means is that champion of that thing would
- Document the thing on the Wiki.
- Find a place for it to live at VHS
- Make sure that the thing is in working order or if not working then collect all the required parts to get it up and running and/or lead a team that will do this
- Set a time frame for when this thing will be functional by
It seems to me that If a champion cannot be found then likely VHS should pass on a particular donation.
Just looking for ways to hack the flow of stuff at VHS!
What are your thoughts?