Grants and partnerships

Kennedy Library actively pursues collective grant opportunities and welcomes collaborations with campus partners and the scholarly community at large. Grant activities and partnerships reinforce the library’s mission to promote open and informed inquiry, and foster collaboration and innovation.

Grants & Awards

The library is engaged across campus and around the state on a number of programs and grant-funded projects.

CSU Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative

The Kennedy Library is very pleased to announce that together with the University Store, the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and the Disability Resource Center, we were recently awarded $20,000 to participate in the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative.

The AL$ initiative is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and supports the creation of campus partnerships to address issues of choice, affordability, and access to educational resources. This budget support provides the means for Cal Poly to embark upon a year-long campaign to raise visibility and awareness around these issues and introduce alternative models.

Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, Kennedy Library and our AL$ partners will host events and initiate several programs designed to simplify the identification and use of open and affordable resources for faculty and students. We will also learn more about our students’ perspective on these issues, and what we can do to better support our faculty as they consider these options.

This budget support is the first funding that Cal Poly has received from the Chancellor’s Affordable Learning Solutions initiative.  We are grateful for this support and excited about the opportunity it provides to address the escalating cost of educational resources for our students and to educate our community about the alternatives.

For more information,  contact Dana Ospina at ude.yloplacnull@anipsod or 805-756-7581.

For more information about Affordable Learning Solutions, please see

2014 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has named Cal Poly’s Robert E. Kennedy Library as a recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. The Kennedy Library was selected in the university category for its innovations in student engagement.

The Kennedy Library is the first university library in California to receive the award since it was first given in 2000. The library will receive $3,000 at a ceremony to be held on campus during spring quarter.

John Cotton Dana Award

Kennedy Library was awarded the prestigious John Cotton Dana Award by the American Library Association (ALA) for 2013. The award is given each year to recognize “outstanding achievement in the promotion of library services.” The library was one of eight winners of a $10,000 grant.

The winning application described the library’s 2012 Banned Books Week (BBW) campaign. It included an interactive website, print design and exhibit, podcast series, student video and live interview with author and director Stephen Chbosky, which brought more than 500 students, faculty, staff and community members to Chumash Auditorium.

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Kennedy Library’s Special Collections Department, was awarded $249,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to arrange, describe, and create electronic finding aids for their architectural archives on California architect Julia Morgan.

The 2005 award comes from the NEH division that supports projects to preserve and create intellectual access to collections that are considered highly important for research, education, and public programming in the humanities.


Kennedy Library supports innovation through partnerships with both external scholarly communities and university faculty on grant proposals.  We encourage partners to contact us early in the process of developing project ideas so we have enough time to help design strong proposals.

Partner Spotlight

California Council for the Humanities: New Californians Story Project Grant

  • Project: “With Our Own Eyes/Con Nuestros Propios Ojos”
  • Grantee/Partner: Latino Outreach Council
  • Collaborator: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library

The “With Our Own Eyes/Con Nuestros Propios Ojos” documentary photography project focused on the P’urepecha indigenous youth of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacan, Mexico, who live in the City of Paso Robles. The project provides a bi-national perspective of this community through the eyes of its youth.

The project resulted in a traveling exhibition that tours nationally, and is archived and administered through Kennedy Library’s Special Collections department.

California Council for the Humanities: California Stories Project Grant

  • Project: Guadalupe Speaks! California Speaks Grant
  • Grantee/Partner: Guadalupe Dunes Center
  • Collaborators: Ethnic Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University; and Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library.

“Guadalupe Speaks” sought to use oral history interviews with a broad group of ethnically diverse long-term residents to help revitalize the small, mostly agricultural coastal town of Guadalupe. Serving as interviewers for the project were students in the Ethnic Studies Department at Cal Poly. The interviews covered a range of topics and included stories about the changing living and working conditions for farmworkers over the years and the experience of Guadalupe residents during World War II, when entire families of Japanese American ranchers we taken to internment camps.

The transcribed oral histories are cataloged with the library’s Special Collections department and are open to the public for scholarly access.