Photo of Kennedy Library through a tree

Written by on September 27, 2013

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Kennedy Library

So we all know that Kennedy Library is an awesome place to study, hang out between classes, get coffee and more. But did you know that your library has so much more to offer? Our library is such an amazing place, and it is filled with all kinds of resources to make your time here at Cal Poly easier and more fun.

1. Special Collections

Special Collections is a magical place located on the fourth floor near the elevators that houses primary research materials. Things like manuscripts, original books and artist books live in Special Collections. Most of these sources are on subjects like architecture, ethnic studies, environmental history, famous Californians like William Randolph Hearst as well as first editions by authors like John Steinbeck.

Special Collections is also a part of bringing our past to life by putting up the huge, vintage pictures of Cal Poly on the windows of the bookstore in the UU. If you would like to see more pictures like that, or anything else mentioned above, feel free to stop by! Check their hours on

2. LibRATs

Kennedy Library has so many resources for your next research paper, but you may not know how or where to find everything. This is where the library research assistant technicians, or LibRATs come in. A LibRAT is a Cal Poly student who has been trained by librarians to help you with your specific research needs. A LibRAT knows where and how to find good sources for your next research paper. They are happy to help you out with all your research needs.

Watch this video to get to know them:

3. Kennedy Library is on Vine!

The Kennedy Library has its own Vine, along with a Twitter at @REKLibrary. On our Vine, we share artist books in a series that already features 13 different books from the collection! These are not your average print and bound book. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they convey their message in more than just words. These artist books come from Special Collections and are so amazing to unfold.

Here is a favorite artist book:

4. Kennedy Library has really cool events

Did you know that most of your professors do more than just teach and assign a ton of reading? Some are also published authors, and Kennedy Library features them in a series called Conversations with Cal Poly Authors. The next Cal Poly Authors event will feature Lewis Call, along with Jane Lehr, about his new book “BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy.” So mark your calenders for October 18 at 10am to hear about this interesting topic.

Kennedy Library also invites guest speakers to an event called Cal Poly Science Cafe. The speakers share their revolutionary ideas with Cal Poly students through stories, hands-on approaches, Q and A and demos. The next Science Cafe event will feature Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) and will be on October 24 from 11am-12:30pm. Founder Josette Melchor and artist George Zisiadis will speak about urban prototyping and the “Pulse of the City” project.

5. Your college has its own librarian

Did you know that your college librarian is here for you and your research needs? Each college has a librarian, and they would love to help you.

Watch this fun video to find out more about your Cal Poly librarians!


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