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Posts from the ‘Stories’ Category

The start of a great student collaboration: Watch our Vines!

Even though May 9th is a while away, Ali and I are excited for the Open Science Cafe Event featuring New York Times Graphics Director, Steve Duenes. We are so excited that we have been working on some fun Vine videos in preparation for the event.

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Waiting in the wings: Women and their supporting roles at Cal Poly, 1930-1956

This post is written by Soquel Filice (HIST ’15), a Student Assistant in Special Collections and Archives. This is the second in a series of stories she is writing about the history of women at Cal Poly for Women’s History Month. Read Soquel’s first post here and her third and final post here.

How can Mr. McPhee say that he is educating men for the ‘real world’ if they never learn to deal with any women except me?

- Margaret Chase, Cal Poly Administrator, 1908-1946

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the California government decided to ban women from Cal Poly because of lack of funding for additional women’s facilities and home economics department, which most women students enrolled in. What is very interesting about this legislation is that in 1937 it was repealed, but women were not allowed to enroll in classes again until 1956. Why was this? Read more

6th Annual Pitch Perfect Awards: Student videos explore entrepreneurial library ideas

Everyone gathered around the screen in the atrium on Tuesday, March 11. Most were students, looking excited and nervous. Others were library staff and professors, looking happy and excited. Off to the side were five huge checks to be handed out. This event was a viewing party and check ceremony for the winners of the 6th Annual Orfalea College of Business and Kennedy Library Pitch Perfect Video Competition. Read more

Understanding Underground Comix: An introduction to the Moore Collection

Covers of selections from the Moore Collection of Underground Comix, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University

Covers of selections from the Moore Collection of Underground Comix, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University

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HERstory: Women at Cal Poly, 1903-1930

Soquel Filice (HIST ’15) is a Student Assistant in Special Collections and Archives. This is the first in a series of stories she is writing about the history of women at Cal Poly for Women’s History Month. Read her second and third blog posts in the series here and here.


Since 1995, March has been designated by the American government as Women’s History Month, established and celebrated to”pay tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.” In honor of this month, I wanted to explore what it has been like for female students at Cal Poly. This post and others throughout the month are a compilation of statistics, photos, primary sources, and readings that I have found about what it was like to be a woman at a polytechnic school.

Many students are not aware of the presence that women had at Cal Poly in these early years and the impact that they still have today. What was it like to be at a school dominated by a large male population? Read more

Hacking for the library

Hackathon12 hours. 1 room. More than 100 students: software engineers, web developers, graphic designers, marketers. We were happy to see so many library student assistants among the hackers in Bonderson, and would like to thank all of you for attending.

“The Hackathon is a fantastic example of Cal Poly’s hands-on, Learn-By-Doing philosophy. I enjoyed collaborating with students from other disciplines, such as Computer Science and AgBusiness. It gave me the valuable opportunity to learn from my peers and get a glimpse into their fields of expertise. It’s great to see students take their education into their own hands and build something that impacts the world around them.” says Natalie Rich, library student assistant in Digital Scholorship Services.


Library Challenges

3 out of 23 teams worked on library challenges that were introduced by web designer Conny Liegl and college librarian Brett Bodemer, who attended the event as spectators. We were looking for creative solutions for the fraternity/sorority check-in binders on the first floor, exploring new ways to find each other in the library, and innovative ways to find books better.

Find your books

Andrew Wang, working in Library Information Technology, was one of three developers on the Poly Book Tracker Team that won the library challenge. He heard about the hackathon in my Mobile Development class: “I wanted to experience building an app from scratch and challenge myself if I could do it in 12 hours.” The team developed an Android app that allows users to enter a call number and locates the book on an indoors map, so it is easy for visitors to find their materials across the library’s five floors. “We wanted to create an app that will allow students at Cal Poly to easily find books at the library.  So we decided to make an app to show students where in the library the book is located.  Making this search for books easier for students was our primary reasoning in developing the app.”

The team received an overwhelming applause when presenting their development, and won four $50 gift cards: “In order to have more devices to test our apps with, we plan to buy a Nexus 7 tablet.”

Track your hours

Another strong team of five designers, developers and marketers won second price in the overall category: Team RobLog developed an app to make it easy for fraternity and sorority members to sign in and out to track their study hours at the library. The app also allows users to compare their study hours with other houses. “We wanted to focus on both the members of the organization as well as the scholarship chair would have a good way to receive and update library hour information. We know everyone likes a friendly competition, so we added that aspect as well.” says Jessie Pease, an active member of Cal Poly’s Greek Life.

See you in 2015

Matt Rice, Design Team student assistant, sees the hackathon experience as an addition to regular classes at Cal Poly: “The hackathon was a great opportunity to really gauge my skills as a designer, as well as a team member, and most importantly was an incredible learning experience that pushed me in a way that a traditional class cannot. I would encourage anyone with pertinent skills of any level to participate in a hackathon if they get the chance.”

Kennedy Library would like to thank Lorraine Donegan, professor in Graphic Communication, who has organized the 2014 hackathon with a strong team of volunteers and in collaboration with industry sponsors. She is planning the next hackathon event in Winter 2015. We can’t wait to challenge students again, and see the amazing results of their hard work.

Jack of all trades: Revealing history in Special Collections and Archives


Indenture transferring the ownership of patent to Steele Bros., Abbott, and Jack, 1881 (Jack Family Papers, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, 014_spc_000018)

Derrick Usher is a communication studies major (Fall ’14) completing an internship in Special Collections and Archives. He is working on a project to organize the papers of the Jack Family of San Luis Obispo.

This is the second in a series of blog posts in which he shares his experiences processing the Jack Family Papers and some of the stories that he uncovers.

R.E. Jack: The Entrepreneur

Over the past few weeks I have inventoried thirty-two years of the Jack Family Papers, spanning from 1861-1893. The majority of the papers consist of receipts, business correspondence, and a series of documents regarding Nellie and R.E. Jack’s  property and land taxes. While I know R.E. Jack and his extended family were prominent in California I had no idea the magnitude of their landholdings.
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