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Posts tagged ‘Robert E. Kennedy Library’

Journey into library land: Blogging bonanza

Victoria Billings is the communications and public programs intern at Kennedy Library. ‘Journey into library land’ is a series about what she’s learned creating media for Cal Poly’s university library.

It’s been a busy two weeks! And not just because I had midterms galore last week.

What happened since we last spoke?

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Julia Morgan’s legacy lives on in Cal Poly architecture students

A tiny city sprung up almost overnight this January in Kennedy Library’s 1st Floor Gallery, thanks to the work of 2nd year architecture students.

The city, or rather, models of buildings all inspired by architect Julia Morgan, was the result of the architecture students’ work last quarter studying the history of the iconic Morgan. Architecture professors and students worked with Kennedy Library’s Special Collections to access Morgan’s own documentation of her work, and then designed projects in response to Morgan’s style of design.

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California music is an audible photograph

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How do you understand history? Do you look at photos, read books? Watch the History Channel? For Craig Russell, Cal Poly music professor, a community’s songs are enduring records of their era, providing in-depth and textured insight into their ways of life. Read more

Being loud at TEDxUCLA

In the fall I was lucky to travel to UCLA to talk about… well, basically about what I’ve learned so far from working at this library. The talk is called Libraries Can Be Loud, which I meant literally and metaphorically. I illustrated the story of what I’ve learned through the tale of a particularly adventurous Cal Poly Science Cafe. It involved a bunch of stuff I still don’t understand — how arduinos and code can work together with the internet to make an interactive game that involves tin cans, helium balloons, live scoring and a lot of fun throwing tennis balls down our iconic concrete staircase. You can read more about that day elsewhere.

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One library book came home for Christmas

Fencing with the Epee by Roger Crosnier is small, red, only 151 pages long, and finally home at Kennedy Library after 36 years of living on the other side of the country. The book was checked out in 1976 by a former library employee, who eventually moved to Washington, D.C.

Photo of last checkout date“I have recently discovered that I accidentally brought along a book belonging to Cal Poly which I am now returning with apologies,” he wrote in a letter to university librarian Anna Gold. “I have fond memories of the library and San Luis Obispo which I cherish even after all these years.”

The man, who worked in the catalog department, sent his best holiday wishes in a Christmas card, along with a donation to the Cal Poly Foundation — perhaps to cover late fees. However, the little book and charming story behind its travels is the real gift! With thanks to our conscientious friend for returning the book, 36 years later, with such thoughtfulness.

Yet we have one lingering question… How are his fencing skills?

Architecture time machine!

Second year architecture students are stepping into the past with the help of Kennedy Library’s Special Collections. The upcoming exhibit, Atelier Morgan, features an inspiring collection of Julia Morgan’s sketches and drawings. As part of the exhibit, every second year architecture student at Cal Poly participated in the Julia Morgan Symposium, where they had a chance to look through the Morgan Papers to draw inspiration.

Architecture instructors rarely choose the same projects for their students, so this is an opportunity for the students to work on the same subject and explore Cal Poly’s Special Collections, architecture professor Robert Arens said.

“Students will take this opportunity to see the Special Collections and also see this great exhibit,” Arens said. The exhibit opens at Kennedy Library on November 9, 2012.

Faculty selected one of three Morgan projects to focus on for the quarter, having students design structures or create drawings that are inspired by, but not necessarily derivative of, Morgan’s iconic work.

Photo of Cal Poly architecure students review Julia Morgan papers“Everyone’s taking kind of a different approach to it,” Arens said. He described the challenge for students: “How do you fit into an existing context and kind of a revered one? How do you respond to that without imitation?”

And the students’ experience with these revered works has inspired them too.

For architecture student Karin Bjorkman, who is working on a sketch inspired by Morgan’s work at Hearst Castle, access to the Morgan Papers is a special privilege, she said. “It was really touching that they brought it down to us,” Bjorkman said.

For architecture student Eli Beckman, that privilege is also an incredible way to study something first-hand. “It’s a great sort of primary source as to what Julia Morgan’s work looked like,” Beckman said.

The Atelier Morgan exhibit is November 9, 2012 – January 11, 2013, with an opening on November 9 from 3-4pm in the second floor Gallery at the Commons. The opening is followed by The College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s 2012 Hearst Lecture Series featuring Victoria Kastner, historian for Hearst Castle and author of two books: “Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House” and “Hearst’s San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land.” The lecture will be from 4-5pm in the Business Rotunda at Cal Poly.

The architecture students’ Morgan-inspired projects will go on display in the Gallery at the Commons on the second floor of Kennedy Library, January 14 – February 1, 2013.

UPDATE: See photos from the exhibit opening on our Flickr.

Learn more about Kennedy Library’s Special Collections.

More information about the Julia Morgan exhibit is available at Atelier Morgan.

– Victoria Billings

Santa Paula PhotoVoice Project

Kennedy Library invites you to view Cal Poly STRIDE’s photography exhibit, “Creating a Vision, Empowering a Community: The Santa Paula PhotoVoice Project” that is on display October 15 – November 5, 2012, in the Cafe Gallery on the second floor.

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