First, a picture from 1970, via Flickr:
And now, from yesterday:
[A repost from June, 2011.]
No, I’m not in the original picture. But this illustrates the great change from then. These days, even the thought of that many people just appearing barefoot seems foreign.
Both pictures are taken in front of Townsend Hall on the campus of The Ohio State University.
And it is not only foreign, it is endemic. At the time the early picture was taken, there was no problem using any of the university libraries barefoot (and nobody saw any reason to prohibit it). But just a few years ago the Ohio State library system initiated a ban on bare feet. Coincidentally, this happened shortly after I was there doing some research (and was seen by a librarian).
Of course, there is no good reason for such a policy. It’s there just for the usual dumb excuses: NSNSNS, fear of liability, it’s just not done, . . . Even though it never caused a problem 40 years ago, and still doesn’t, it has now entered the mythos that bare feet must be banned.