This post is written by University Librarian Anna Gold.
On April 30 and May 1 and 2, we had a truly memorable celebration of the Kennedy Library’s ACRL award for excellence in university libraries.
Our staff enjoyed a joyous breakfast on April 30; our student assistants (without whom we couldn’t have won this award) gathered for a great lunch together on May 1. Later that day, our Provost joined us for an exciting showcase of faculty research from every college.
And finally The Day, May 2, came around, and we gathered in the Julian’s café area, along with the President of ACRL, Trevor Dawes, and John Elliott, VP of US Sales from YBP Library Services (the wonderful company that funded the award). President Jeffrey Armstrong arrived… and right then – the unbelievable happened: a fire alarm went off.
An alarm sensor had chosen that very moment, to gather just enough dust that it triggered the alarm. Everyone exited the building.
But we were not dissuaded from celebrating. Instead we gathered in front of the entrance, and did the honors before a much bigger audience – all the students who’d been studying and working inside moments before.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was warm, the grass was green, and the feeling was awesome.
Many of us realized that, even as we accepted the beautiful crystal award, we were also demonstrating the very qualities we were honoring: improvisation in the face of the unexpected, and sharing as widely as possible!
At the same time I missed a chance to say a few things on the record about how honored we are by the award, and who we want to thank. So here goes:
Every person who works in the library brings tremendous dedication to our work together: we are proud of creating a community of learners; a space that is safe for experimentation; a place where every voice counts, and where everyone owns their own learning.
Kennedy Library is also proud to be part of a university where student engagement is our common, most inspiring goal, and the guiding purpose behind every decision we make.
Thank you, Kennedy Library staff and faculty! Your creativity, vision, and camaraderie are unsurpassed. You thrive on challenge and infuse everything you do with quiet passion, and a spirit of partnership.
Thank you, Cal Poly students! Your energy, confidence, brilliance, hard work, and immense creativity make it an honor to work on your behalf.
Thank you, Cal Poly faculty! Your dedication to your students, your knowledge, and your willingness to commit untold hours in partnership with our faculty and staff, inspire us more than we can say.
Thank you, library partners! We share much more than a building. Together, we’ve created an incredibly vibrant and diverse academic home for ALL our students, faculty and staff.
We are so proud to share this award with you. Thank you.
Photo: Anna congratulating graduating Kathleen, a graduating student, at the student appreciation lunch.