Members Guidebook

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This is *NOT* the official Member's Guidebook. That one is hosted here: Protospace Membership Guidebook. Maybe some day this one will become the new guidebook, but for now it's just some notes.

Protospace Membership Guidebook

Note: If you're reading a printed copy, it's probably outdated. See the online version for the most up-to-date information.

So I'm a Member, Now What?

Getting Access:

Updated January 10, 2015 - Vetting is now described in Approved Policies.

If you have paid your first month's dues, you are now a probationary member for at least one month. After one month members will vote to decide if you are a friendly, trustworthy and beneficial member to the community.

Now is a good time to think of something you could do to contribute to Protospace. Contributing back to the community is an excellent way to get to know others in the membership and allow people to form an opinion on you. If you can't think of anything to do, there's usually lots to be done so just ask around and tell people you'd like to help. No on can tell you what to do, anything you volunteer for is optional.

Until you are vetted, you are equivalent to a Friend member. You may use tools for personal projects any time there is a Full Member supervising and responsible for you.

Vetting usually happens at the Tuesday night get-togethers. If a month has passed and people forgot to vet you, just remind a director that it's time.

I've Paid My Dues, Time After Time, What Next?

Once you complete the vetting process you will:

* be issued a personalized key fob that grants you 24/7 access to the building and to operate some locked down tools.
* get to pick a vacant shelf to label as the one you store your stuff on. Label it.
* have voting rights on membership issues.
* be allowed to host events.
* be given access to the administrative mailing list where members matters are discussed.

A Director will walk you through this brief process.

Okay, That's Taken Care of, How Do I Do Stuff?

You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others by your actions. Learn from a capable instructor how to operate any tools you intend to use. In addition, check the tools wiki before using a tool to check for usage notes, safety notes, or restrictions on tool use.

For most tools that's all you need. You can let yourself into the building whenever you want and start working on projects right away.

Some tools require specific Protospace training and certification before use because:

* The machine is considered particularly dangerous to the operator or people nearby
* The machine requires specialized knowledge to operate properly, or
* The owner has placed special restrictions on it 

The purpose of training (in decreasing order of importance) is:

* To ensure the safety of the members
* To avoid damage or undue wear to the equipment
* To assist in productive use of the equipment 

Training courses by volunteers are usually run once per month based on availability and need.

Tools Requiring Training:

* Laser cutter (contact Kevin Loney for training)
* Metal Lathe (contact John Warga for training)
* Metal Mill (currently no training program)
* MaxNC Mini CNC Mill (currently no training program)
* Table saw (currently no training program)
* 3D Printers (currently no training program)

People trained to use a machine are not necessarily trained to teach it to others. If you feel qualified to train others on a machine and would like to do so, speak up about it. Volunteers are often overworked.

If you would like to bring in tools to donate or know someone who would, please speak up about it. Volunteers and vehicles are often available to help move larger eqiupment. Protospace has all its tools because of people like you. When you bring in a tool for communal use, please add it to the tool wiki so people know what it is and where it came from.

What About Materials?

Protospace stocks leftover and donated materials for its members to use for their projects. Among these are: acrylic and wood laser scraps, scrap metal, surplus electronic components, and others. These are stored in their respective common storage areas.

These common storage areas are there for you to use so please do take advantage of them, especially for small and beginner projects. Common materials and components are free to use, but be reasonable. If you plan on using a large amount of common material, consider pitching your intended use to the community first, purchasing your own instead, or leaving a cash donation to Protospace as a thank you.

Before using a piece, check it for labels. Occasionally members stock larger materials in the common areas. If you would like to leave a small amount of reserved material in the scrap area, label it with your name and hope others know not to use it.

If you would like to donate material or components or know a company who would, please speak up about it. All the common material came from people like you.

How Can I Build Big Projects?

If you have a project in mind that won't fit on your shelf and isn't practical to take home every day, it might still be okay to build at Protospace. Speak up about your plans, their impact on others, and your timeline for having it finished and out of the space. These are decided on a case-by-case basis. Members are often enthusiastic about big exciting projects and willing to overlook the temporary inconvenience. Make sure you label everything and date when it was last worked on. Note that even if approved, Protospace is still a shared workspace. In most cases unless there's a labelled short-term reason why not to (paint drying, aligned but not welded, etc.), other members will move your project out of their way to accommodate their own builds.

How Do I Host Events?

The space is open for events with invited guests to be hosted at the space. Any time without other interfering scheduled events (eg. Tuesday Nights) is potentially okay. Speak up about it as soon as possible, but at least 3 days before the event so others have time to consider and comment. Note that approval would give you permission to host the event, but not exclusive rights to Protospace. Other members may be there doing other things. Feel free to invite guest speakers to Tuesday nights if you think there would be interest.

How Do I Speak Up About All These Things?

The administrative mailing list is the current tool used to announce and decide matters relevant to the membership. Just create a thread to explain what you'd like to do.

What Is Expected of Me?

Protospace has chosen to have minimal rules. The largest all-encompassing rule is: "Be Excellent to Each Other" which applies to almost every social and practical situation that occurs. Be respectful and mature towards everyone. Be gentle with the tools, speak up about tools you accidentally broke or tools you noticed that are broken that no one else mentioned. Clean up after yourself every visit and help clean up after others once in a while. Don't monopolize Protospace's space and resources. Watch the lights and heat, help keep our utility bills low. Do not give or loan others your access key. Common sense things but things to take seriously when you consider your future behavior. Members will hold you accountable for how you treat them and Protospace. When in doubt, just do your best to be excellent to others.

How Do Decisions Get Made?

Protospace is a "do-ocracy" where possible - those willing to do the work decide what to do and how to do it. If members want something done a certain way, they show up and help. Protospace does not yet have the luxury of too many volunteers. If you would like to do something non-permanent that you think makes Protospace a better place, just go do it. If you're timid, speak up about it and solicit feedback.

For contentious decisions or decisions that affect the group as a whole, votes get made by the membership on a concensus basis. If you disagree with a donation, change, event, policy, or anything else proposed or done at Protospace, speak up about it in the appropriate place.

Minor decisions are usually handled on the mailing list. Issues significant enough for an official vote wait for a meeting to occur. All meetings are optional. There are 3 tiers of meetings:

1 - Weekly Tuesday meetings. These are informal and brief to bring members up to speed with happenings. Occasionally minor issue votes occur.

2 - Monthly meetings. Usually held on the second Saturday of the month at 2pm to discuss significant issues. An agenda-in-progress is accessible to and writeable by all members up until 24 hours before the meeting. If you have something to present, an issue vote, or a topic that affects to the membership to discuss, add it to the agenda. Issues to be voted on should be added to the agenda 3 weeks in advance.

3 - The Annual General Meeting. Held within 40 days of June 1st every year. Directors are elected, bilaws can be changed, and vision for the next year is determined.

What Role Do Director's Play?

Directors are elected volunteers responsible for Protospace meeting its legal obligations. They also manage Protospace's bills and finances. If you have any dues related issues, bring it up with one of them. Occasionally Directors handle private issues affecting specific members. Otherwise, they have no more significance, power or leadership than any other voting member.

Directors as of this printing are: Jim Akeson, Kevin Loney, Janet Mader, Shannon Hoover, Alan Ferguson, Ben Eadie

The directors can be accessed directly by members through the administration mailing list or by emailing . Say thanks to them once in a while, they're overworked.

How Do I Quit?

Tell a Director you'd like to quit. All the steps taken for you to become a member will be reverted. Then continue being excellent away from Protospace. No hassles. Alternatively, if you fall behind on your dues for 2 months and make no attempt to contact a Director to make arrangements, it will be presumed you've quit and your key will be deactivated, shelf reclaimed, document access revoked, etc. Same result but the latter is a larger burden on our volunteers.

Anything Else?

Sure, there is lots more detail if you want to read. Protospace's actual bylaws are accessible by all members and you are welcome to read through them to learn more.

'Welcome to Protospace. Go make things.'