Collection policies

Collection policies

The Kennedy Library serves the following clientele:

  • Registered students, undergraduate and graduate;
  • Faculty, active and emeriti;
  • Administrators and staff members, active and emeriti;
  • Summer session, extension and external degree program faculty and students;
  • Faculty and students within the CSU System; and
  • Courtesy card holders, including members of the Library Associates, alumni, and others as determined by the Dean of Library Services.

Beyond the campus, there is an additional obligation on the part of the Kennedy Library, within its available means, to serve as a resource library for the inhabitants of the Central Coast. In an area such as the San Luis Obispo County where there are no large public libraries, the Cal Poly Library is a major resource in the community. As a major regional resource, the library supports the principle of open access to its collections by the community and region.

To meet user needs, the Kennedy Library acquires materials according to the following prioritized objectives:

  1. Procuring and making available materials needed for all instructional programs of the University, including those reference and bibliographic tools required for preparing course materials;
  2. Identifying and acquiring materials basic to student and faculty research;
  3. Collecting and making available core materials of reference and general information in subject areas not covered by instructional programs, but essential to an academic library; and
  4. Acquiring and making available materials for general and recreational reading for students, faculty, and staff.

Intellectual freedom and censorship

The faculty and staff of the Kennedy Library recognize that free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. Accordingly, the library purchases materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints.

The library will not purposely censor any subject or viewpoint in its collections, and will resist any attempt at censorship from an outside source. The library endorses the American Library Association Bill of Rights and supporting documents, including formal statements on Intellectual Freedom, Freedom to Read, Freedom to View, Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks, Challenged Materials, and the Statement on Labeling. The principles of these documents are considered an integral part of this policy statement.


» For more information, contact Tim Strawn, Director, Collections Strategy & Discovery

» Visit the Campus Administrative Policy (CAP) 270.3 page