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Archive for the ‘Libraries’ Category

How Things Have Changed

First, a picture from 1970, via Flickr:

Outside Townsend Hall, 1970

Outside Townsend Hall, 1970

And now, from yesterday:

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The Harris County Public Library

The Harris County Public Library (that’s Houston, TX, and surrounding communities) currently has a picture of a barefoot boy on their home page. Considering how libraries have such antipathy to bare feet, what’s going on?

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In Colorful Characters: Hans Peter Bertelsen, I wrote about how Hans Peter Bertelsen was considered the inspiration for John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “The Barefoot Boy”. However, in a comment to that, it was suggested that Whittier himself was the barefoot boy.

What’s the real scoop?

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How Things Have Changed

Bare feet really did use to be acceptable. Here’s a repost of an entry I did on June 13, 2011. I was on the campus of The Ohio State University.

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Penny Arcadia — Part 3

Let me wrap up the story of Arcadia, CA’s 1965 attempt to ban bare feet in all civic buildings. It was a win . . .

. . . but not really.

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Library Rules — 2001

I happened across some old files on my computer and discovered that I’d made a list of library rules way back in 2001, predating my lawsuit.

There were more than I remembered.

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Strategery

My last two blog entries has me thinking about legal issues, so I thought I’d write about how, during my lawsuits, I had to make a couple of strategic decisions that the normal lawsuit is usually not confronted with.

I had to tap dance through a mine field.

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Every now and again there will be discussions about the wisdom of my having sued a couple of libraries over their barefoot rules. Usually the complaint is that there are a bunch of libraries that now have rules against bare feet because I lost those lawsuits.

I thought I’d take a closer look at just how much effect those lawsuits really had on barefoot access to libraries.

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Boulder Moulders

Via the blog Free Range Kids comes a story about the Boulder, Colorado Library deciding that Kids Under 12 Can’t be Alone in Library Due to “Dangers” of Stairs, People & Furniture.

Their reasons will sound rather familiar to barefooters.

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There was a story in yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch that Gregg Dodd is leaving his job as communications director for the Statehouse.

I’m afraid it was amusing, and, from my point of view, quite ironic.

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Publicly Accommodating

It can be frustrating being a barefooter (NSS). It seems that there is always somebody around who not only has bought into the myths, but also feels that it is their duty to enforce those myths.

We’ve seen that with my library lawsuits.

But on the other side, progress is made. After one goes barefoot for a while one becomes known throughout one’s life as one who never (or rarely) wears shoes, and there will be people who are sympathetic (or sometimes, amazingly, even admiring). They will note one as “their” customer. And they will even accommodate barefooting.

I’ve had a few of those, including one last Friday.

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Library Enforcement

In Libraries: The Bane of Barefooters, there was a comment that asked about just how much libraries actually enforce their shoe rules.

So I thought I’d say a few words about that.

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Libraries: The Bane of Barefooters

We all know I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with libraries. I’ve always been an avid reader and user of libraries.

On the other hand, I’m quite frustrated by the fact that so many libraries thoughtlessly consider it a duty to enact shoe rules.

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Last night on the Tonight Show, the “Headlines” segment actually featured a sensible library shoe rule.

No Wooden Clogs.

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Windmills

I have always been a fan of Pablo Picasso’s sketch, Don Quixote.

We have a reproduction sitting above our fireplace.

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