Mustang Daily File Photo
Aside from classrooms and bathrooms, the Robert E. Kennedy Library is perhaps Cal Poly’s most useful building.
Located near the bottom of campus, the library holds a seemingly never-ending supply of resources. Mechanical engineering junior Alex Krippner, who works in the circulation department, said books-only libraries are a thing of the past.
“It’s not just a place to get books,” Krippner said. “You can do almost anything here. You can have access to a bunch of computers, you can check out textbooks, (and) course reserves are a big thing.”
Each floor has a collection of different tools students can use. Some might be obvious, such as the stack of newspapers near the stairs on the second floor, but other gems can be hard to find.
The first floor has a diverse selection of study areas, including a 24-hour study room and an outdoor atrium where volunteers bring puppies and kittens for stress relief during finals.
One of the library’s hidden treasures lies in the back, far away from the hustle and bustle of the entrance. Most people don’t know about the reference room, Krippner said.
“It’s a research help desk where you can go and ask for help on just about any research project,” he said. “They’ll help you find all the information that they know how to find, through books, Internet databases and all that stuff. They’ll help you find it all.”
Glass collaboration rooms called “fishbowls” are the second floor’s most popular feature. Fishbowls generally should be reserved 24 hours in advance, especially when students begin cramming for finals.
Civil engineering junior Jesus Perez and his classmates often try to use the fishbowls, he said. When none are available, his study group heads downstairs.
“Typically our preference is the fishbowls, but usually we go to the first-floor 24-hour study room,” Perez said.
The second floor has both a Mac and PC lab as well as a space to view assigned DVDs, which can be picked up across the hall.
Julian’s Patisserie, which is located next to the second floor stairs, offers drinks, sandwiches and pastries that can be purchased with Plu$ Dollars.
The third floor is designed to host large groups, with long tables that can fit about 20 people.
“Third floor is more of a group-study floor, because we have a lot of tables and stuff like that,” Kripnoff said. “(It’s) where a lot of groups get together because it’s not a quiet floor.”
The rest of the third floor is mainly liberal arts textbooks, though students who need a private tutor or help balancing work can head to the Study Skills Room.
Fourth and Fifth Floor
Those looking to study in solitude can move up to the library’s top floors, which are quiet spaces. Even a soft conversation might draw dirty looks from other students.
Soundproof rooms that hold approximately four people are packed near the stairs on both floors. These rooms allow groups to work together while not disturbing others, like mechanical engineering junior Jordan Seidmon.
Seidmon visits the library to avoid distractions at home, he said. He studies in the library every day, usually for more than four hours.
“I couldn’t focus in my apartment,” Seidmon said. “I needed to get somewhere where I could focus only on studying. Also, the act of physically taking 10 minutes out of my life to go somewhere, that just gives me more incentive to get stuff done.”
In addition to all the study areas, Kennedy Library has a wide selection of technology available for students, such as printers and scanners that cost 10 cents per use.
Kindles, iPads and laptops are just three of the 19 items available for checkout. Students can check out audio recorders, still cameras, video cameras or tripods, then borrow a projector to make any presentation shine.
The only thing the library can’t be is an emotional companion — no matter how many people claim to be “on a date with Robert E. Kennedy tonight!”