Exhibit Policies

Community Galleries support the campus with visual learning experiences that are informative and educational and reflect the diversity of the university’s curriculum and community. Exhibits that support the library’s goals and curricular goals of academic programs are given priority.

The galleries are for sharing Cal Poly student and faculty scholarly and creative work with the campus community. This includes work created as part of a class, research paper, senior project, or other scholarly and creative pursuits related to our inclusive polytechnic curriculum. The Community Galleries may also feature work or information related to library programs.


Kennedy Library provides a creative and inspired environment for students, faculty and the community to share their work.

Exhibit policies

All library exhibits are guided by the library’s mission, values, and vision and by campus policies on freedom of expression.

Our galleries are not a public forum, and all exhibits must be suitable for view by the broad community of people who visit the library. Accordingly, the library discourages proposals containing sexually explicit imagery, nudity or graphic depictions of violence.

Community Galleries are not appropriate spaces for student club or departmental advertising; please see our promotional display spaces.

Community exhibit spaces

In addition to the Gallery at the Commons on the second floor, used for its major fall and spring exhibits, Kennedy Library offers the campus community several smaller gallery and display spaces.

These spaces offer students, current and former faculty and staff attractive public spaces to share projects and artwork in a relatively informal setting. These spaces are ideal for display of two-dimensional selected creative works by students or faculty, informational displays relating to research at Cal Poly, and similar projects that are relatively limited in scope.

Currently these spaces include:

  • The Library gallery — Located under the stairwell near the library’s main entrance, the gallery is a modern, innovative display space for students and the community to showcase their work in a variety of ways. Artwork can be installed with magnets on glass boards, displayed on a digital monitor, or framed and hung from the gallery rail system.
  • Café gallery — Located in the second floor Learning Commons, this space includes two area galleries — one near Julian’s Cafè and the other in the larger lounge area. Both spaces feature gallery rail systems and track lighting and are suitable for framed two-dimensional works. Artwork must be ready to mount with wires attached.

Promotional display spaces

There are bulletin boards on all floors that do not require reservation.

The library also has a small display case and enclosed bulletin board that can be reserved for campus event and student club information, at the top of the second floor landing.

Click here to learn more about the promotional opportunities available.

Calendar and terms

A public calendar of planned exhibits is available. The length of an exhibit may vary. To accommodate the broad range of Cal Poly’s curriculum, the library may limit individuals or groups to only one two-week reservation per academic year, and most exhibits will be scheduled for two weeks or less.

Criteria and guidelines for selection:

The following criteria are considered when exhibit proposals are submitted:

  • Educational content and scholarly contributions
  • Appropriateness of subject to the mission of the library
  • Appropriateness to special events, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
  • Satisfies public safety considerations
  • Content meets Kennedy Library exhibit policy and guidelines.  The library retains the right to determine the suitability of any proposed exhibit.

Additional guidelines

  • Exhibitors must submit copies of all representative works to be displayed (digital or 
printed), at least 2 weeks in advance of the proposed exhibit run.
  • Community Galleries are also a gathering space. Therefore, the galleries are unable to accommodate freestanding artwork or displays.
  • Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the exhibitor.
  • The exhibitor is responsible for “hanging” the show. Library staff is available to advise, but is not available to hang the physical works.

Sale of artwork

  • Display space is not for the sale or promotion of business products and services, or the sale of artwork.


  • Because of limited space, the library is unable to accommodate receptions or events for displays associated with community gallery use.

Publicity and promotion

  • All advertising must include the name of the sponsoring group(s), a contact person and an email address for more information and must be posted with the display.


  • Due to the open nature of the library’s public spaces, neither the university nor the library can assume responsibility for the security of exhibit items.

Digital monitor for use in the 1st floor Community Gallery

The purpose of the digital exhibit displays is to display digital content directly related to exhibits in the community galleries and to the mission of the library. Located under the stairwell near the library’s main entrance.

  • LCD Monitor is 50” with a 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • The system is run by a Mac Mini managed by the library
  • Displays must include a sign with the name of the sponsoring organization or individual, and contact information and should be tacked under the digital monitor or in close proximity.

Please contact ude.yloplacnull@stibihxe-bil for a specification handout for the digital monitor.