Thursday, October 25, 2012

Library Shoes

I haven't written anything since the end of the State Library Challenge, and I feel like I need to keep this blog going (why not?).

So, today's topic is "library shoes." It's not about the shoes librarians wear, it's about the shoes the patrons in my library wear.

We're an academic library, so most of our patrons are students, most of them in the 18 - 24 age range. One night at the reference desk I was feeling a little antsy, and decided to fill time by keeping track of shoe styles the patrons were wearing. It was late September/early October and the weather was still somewhat warm (in the 60s).  I made myself a checklist with the most likely shoe types, and put hash marks in the correct category as patrons walked by.

Now, this was no scientific survey. For one thing, I may have counted the same person more than once. In an effort to avoid this, I only counted patrons walking past from my left, the direction of the front door. I assumed if they were walking from my right that they'd already passed me once (not entirely fail-proof, however; they could have gone up the steps from the front door, then down the elevator to my right, but at least it was an attempt to only count each pair of shoes once).

The categories I devised were: athletic (including Converse and any kind of "athletic" shoe. Most were Nike, BTW); flip-flops; flats (ballet and "Toms" style shoes); dress/work shoes (hard to define, but "I know them when I see them"); high heels; boots - dress; and boots - Uggs/hiking/winter (could probably combine the all the boots into one category, but it seemed necessary to separate them at the time); sandals (not flip-flops); and "other," which turned out to be one pair of bedroom slippers.

So here's the results: I counted a total of 158 pairs of shoes (I think all were matching pairs). In descending order of most to least:
86 Athletic
22 Flats
19 Boots - winter/Uggs/hiking
12 Boots - dress (w/heels)
9 Flip-flops
5 Dress/work
4 Sandals (non flip-flops)
1 bedroom slippers

I may attempt to turn this into a creative pie chart, but not tonight. I don't really have an analysis other than it was evening, so the majority of patrons were students. Our students like to wear comfortable shoes!

What kinds of shoes are most common on your campus?

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