bulletin boards
From: Ruby44444 (Ruby44444aol.com)
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 07:53:25 -0600
I want to respond to the thread on bulletin boards, since I am the person in
charge of them at Pioneer Valley.
Our bulletin boards are along both sides of the hallway leading to the dining
room.  We started out with several sections:  1. Community notices, 2. General
Meetings-proposals, minutes, etc,  3. Work (called "labors of love")  4.
Kitchen,  5. Resource Sharing-under which were  carpooling info, an "I need"
board, services or for sale,  and a general place for notices on things to
give away, or share, or great ideas for finind things in the larger community.
6. Lost,  7. Kids only,  8. Everything Else(cartoons, newspaper articles,
artwork, photos, etc.  and 9. Notices of Outside Events.  This last one moved
into the mailroom, because it was too hard to maintain to the standard of
neatness and readability that the others needed to have.
   After a while it was obvious that many people weren't reading the board, so
it wasn't serving its function as public information center.  People began
posting things on the doors and windows as you come into the common house.  So
we created an 'Urgent Notices" board in the entryway--posting for 2 days only.
It was supposed to be for flyers on what's happening today, or information
that was particularly urgent, but has become the place where nearly everything
goes before it gets to the main board.  I try to keep it changing all the
time, because it seems that if a board has the same look for two days in a
row, people don;t look at it anymore, because they can't tell at a glance
what's new.
  Recebtly as a result of a community retreat, I added two new sections; News
>From Your Life, where people can post births, deaths, marriages, that they
have the flu and need help,  that they are going away on vacation, etc; and
Appreciations.
     Now I find I am wanting to rearrange the board again, to find some
separate place to post notices that stay up for a very long time--coop
breakdown rotation schedules, waiting list members, guidelines for using the
guestrooms--but I haven't figured out how to do that yet in the space that we
have.
     Because the bulletin boards don't reach everyone, we also have little
cubbies in the mail room for notices.  So often one event will be advertised
on the urgent board, on the regular board, and a copy made for each box.
Sometimes there were so many notices in people's boxes that they just put them
on their desk to read later, or threw them out.  A huge waste of paper!  But
there doesn't seem to be any one medium that works for reaching everyone in
the comunity.  
    Lately, to cut down on the paper, we have revived our newsletter, hoping
that at least some of those millions of notices in everyone's box can be
consolidated into it.  It seems to be working, and the newsletter is fun--it
includes cartoons, crossword puzzles, little stories from people's lives, and
other stuff.
   As you can see, Pioneer Valley has not yet solved the problem of how to get
information to everyone in the community but we are trying.    I love managing
the bulletin boards--at least I always know what's happening!

Rebecca
Pioneer Valley
Amherst, MA

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