What do bicyles say about the library?

When I was out for lunch today, I took a few pictures with my Treo.  The one below shows the bike racks in front of our student center.  Note how empty the bike racks are. 

The library is literally about 100 paces from the student center’s door.  Take a look at the picture of the bike racks in front of the library below:

Note that there is barely room for another one or two bikes.  Also, the bike rack on the other side of the fountain (out of focus in the picture) is nearly full as well.

So what does this say about the library?  Here are some wild theories:

  1. Bicyclists like to visit the library
  2. Lots of librarians ride bikes (my rig is the one on the very left)
  3. The bike racks at the library are way cooler than the ones at the student center
  4. All the cool bikes hang out at the library
  5. Bikes become smarter by hanging out outside the library

My theory for the moment, which is largely unscientific, is that the library is more of destination than the student center.  Students simply visit the student center to eat or pass through on their way to class.  In contrast, the library may be a destination (in many cases a first destination) where students may spend a great deal of time.  Students may go to class, or go eat lunch, or even go to the student center, but their bikes stay at the home base—-the library.  They know that regardless of where they go during the day, they’ll likely end up back a the library at some point, so it makes sense to keep a prime parking spot for their bicycles.   A more scientific study, perhaps by taking pictures of the bike racks at several times during the day might offer more to validate this wild theory.  Could this be material for the library literature?

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