My most interesting question of the week:
Hello Steve. I’m interested in finding out the location and date of establishment of every hookah bar in the United States (it’s estimated there is about 300-400). Do you know of a website that could be used to find this information? Would the website be different for each state? Thanks for your help.
I found 328 in ReferenceUSA, using “hookah” as a company name keyword. Not a perfect methodology, of course, but not surprisingly there was no custom 8-digit SIC code for hookah bars. I was impressed the student accurately guessed the range in number of establishments. We also found a list by state on the web that looked pretty good, but listed fewer than ReferenceUSA. I recommended he use the “years in database” as a proxy for the establishment date.
And an old favorite from Consumer Apparel & Retailing Studies:
I am a graduate student in the CARS department. I am currently working on a research paper about females in generation Y and their attitude towards footwear (high heels specifically). I am looking for any information on generation y’s spending patterns, foot reconstruction surgery, and historical sales of footwear. I am having a hard time finding empirical articles on footwear. I would appreciate any advice that you would be able to give.
I’ve used this one a few times for research discussion with LIS students. You can see how there are some interesting issues and options with the research strategies.
Fall semester kicks off for me next week Wednesday with my hour-long “Base Camp” workshop for the daytime MBA students. So I thought I would get one more introductory post written before then. Topic: what is it like to be the CARS librarian?
I mentioned the CARS program recently in the context of two UNCG schools merging. Quick recap: Consumer Apparel & Retailing Studies began as one of the original departments at the Women’s College, now UNCG. Its name has changed many times as the curriculum has evolved. Now CARS as well as Hospitality & Tourism Studies are new additions to our business school. I’ve been the CARS librarian from the start anyway, so I know those folks well.
There are three undergraduate concentrations: Apparel Product Design, Retailing and Consumer Studies, and Global Apparel and Related Industry Studies. Roughly half of the undergrads are apparel design majors. So I am also the Fashion Librarian! Who would have guessed? The fashion students don’t require much work from me after they have taken the core intro-level classes. The other half of the undergrads are in the other two concentrations. Basically these are marketing majors, but with an industry focus.
Oh, and about 98% of the CARS students are female.
The PhD students are usually only 75% female. They usually include some international students, often from the Far East, Scandinavia, and Turkey. The Masters and PhD programs don’t include apparel design.
CARS has been fun to work with. I’m involved with them from their required introductory classes like CRS 231: Introduction to Apparel & Consumer Retailing (usually 80-100 students, my biggest class to regularly work with) to upper-level research intensive classes like CRS 463: Global Sourcing of Apparel & Related Products (last year this class partnered with a Thai university class with some joint class sessions held via distance education classrooms) to the PhD students (ex. CRS 701: Literature & Thought). And there is a new entrepreneurship class. (Seems like every UNCG department now has an ENT class. Even English.) But usually I work with the grad students one-on-one as they explore their research focus, like gen Y psychographics on high heels.
The fashion students need a lot of help with their company research assignments. It doesn’t help that they often pick an up-and-coming apparel designer as their “company.” Some of those designers are just licensees of brands or labels. Sorry, kids, I can’t help you find SWOTs for self-employers! Have you thought about choosing Abercrombie & Fitch instead? No, I don’t really make recommendations like that – instead we talk about the limited research available for small companies, etc. But teaching basic company and industry research in the lower-level CARS classes is often a challenge to me.
The CARS marketing majors work just as hard as Business Administration students. When I was trying to justify subscribing to Euromonitor GMID years ago, the availability of the international retailing reports to help the CARS students seemed to be the winning sales pitch for my more senior colleagues who often question the need for expensive business databases.
There are enough ex-home economics departments in the U.S. for ACRL to have a Consumer and Family Studies Discussion Group . I once attended their discussion at an ALA annual. It was a small get-together, with heavy overlap with BRASS membership. Nice folks. And only 60% female I recall. Radical!