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University Library

Library Research Award

Head of Special Collections and University Archives

Katie Richardson's picture
Katie Richardson
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
University Library
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768
Subjects:Liberal Studies


Please contact Katie Richardson 909-869-3109 or



Deadline for submission: May 10, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Award Reception: May 24, 2018  at 12:00 pm 


The application packets will be reviewed by faculty and staff. Winners will be announced at the award reception in the Special Events room within the library.

How to Submit your Application Packet

Your completed application packet must consist of the application form along with the completed project, bibliography, and reflective essay. If the project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically through this site, please contact Katie Richardson ( to arrange delivery. 

The Library Research Award was modeled after USC, LMU, and Pepperdine's Library Research Award.


The University Library and the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc. is sponsoring the third annual Library Research Award. The contest recognizes excellence and creativity in the use of Cal Poly Pomona University Library resources, collections, and services.  The contest is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Bronco gift cards will be awarded in the following categories:


Best Undergraduate Student Project: $200

Best Graduate Student Project: $200

Best Use of Special Collections: $200

Honorable Mention: $50 (two awards given at judges' discretion across any of the above categories)

Please note that awards maybe subject to tax.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Project must be based on research conducted using Cal Poly Pomona Library resources, collections, tools, and/or services, both online and in print. This can mean use of electronic databases, LibGuides, Special Collections and University Archives, the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, or consulting with a librarian, among many other possibilities. 
  • Creativity is encouraged! Projects could include research papers, theses, dissertation chapters or sections, conference presentations, lesson plans or curricula, videos, screenplays, musical compositions, performances, poems, short stories, artistic projects, etc. 
  • All disciplines and all class levels are welcome to enter. 
  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled student at Cal Poly Pomona during Spring 2018. Project must have been completed between the Spring 2017 and Spring 2018 quarters.  
  • Group submissions are allowed but prize money will be split equally among all group members.  
  • Applicants agree to contribute their project to Bronco Scholar.
  • The submission packet must include four components:  
    • Application 
      • Your name should appear only on the application form. Be sure to remove your name from the reflective essay, works cited list, and project. The form can be found towards the top left side of this page  under "Application Form." 
    • Reflective essay  25 points 
      • The reflective essay must be between 500 and 1,000 words. Essays longer than 1,000 words will be redacted while essays shorter than 500 words will received a 5 point penalty.  
    • Works Cited 10 points 
      • Footnotes or endnotes are not sufficient for judges to review your sources. A detailed works cited list is required. For questions on citing please visit here.
    • Project 15 points
      • There is no minimum or maximum length for the project.

Evaluation Criteria- Reflective Essay

The reflective essay should be 500-1,000 words and a clear description of how you planned and pursued your research, including how you located and chose the library resources, services, and collections you used and how those resources contributed to the development of your project. Essays longer than 1,000 words will be redacted while essays shorter than 500 words will receive a 5 point penalty.  

Some of the library resources, services, and collections that might be used include: online databases, books and periodicals (electronic and print), LibGuides, the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, Special Collections and University Archives, digital collections, Bronco Scholar, other primary sources, chat, email, or phone reference, research consultations with librarians, specialized software available in the library, and Interlibrary Loan. 

Reflective essays should detail: 

  • the formulation and path taken to articulate the research question  
  • adjustments made to search strategies and any advanced search strategies used  
  • specific search terms that show creativity, complexity, and/or flexibility to strengthen the search strategies (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for explanation of how the search terms were selected) 
  • potential finding aids and tools appropriate to the inquiry  
  • types of sources consulted (books, periodicals, videos, primary sources, data, etc.) and an explanation of the criteria for their inclusion and use
  • specific Cal Poly Pomona Library resources used including print, digital, special collections, University archives, Arabian horse library, and/or online resources, LibGuides, librarian consultations, and ILL  
  • what was learned about the research process and how this new understanding will affect future research (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for discussion of research challenges and how they were overcome) 

Evaluation Criteria- the Project

The committee of judges will be evaluating the project on how you used the resources you discovered to enhance the quality of your research and to learn more about your subject. 

Completed projects should:

  • Address and articulate significant questions within the discipline (additional points may be awarded at grader’s discretion for a project that poses new questions related to cited research)  
  • Clearly communicate, organize, and synthesize information from sources in support of the argument or thesis and/or in a manner that support project purposes
  • Additional points may be awarded at reviewer's discretion for a project that involves original research data such as conducting interviews, administering surveys, using archives, and conducting lab experiments) 

Evaluation Criteria- Works Cited

The works cited list will be judged on the variety and appropriateness of sources used. It should be formatted using a style guide appropriate to your project’s discipline. See the FAQ on citation styles for more information. 

Cite all sources you used including direct quotes and those paraphrased. For long works cited lists, subdividing your sources into categories may be helpful, although an alphabetical list is also acceptable. 

To help the judges understand your unique set of resources, you may include an explanatory note identifying specific characteristics of these sources that were important in your selection and use for your project. 

The works cited list should: 

  • Include a wide range of authors and resources appropriate to the discipline and information needed  
  • Cite in a standard format, be accurate and complete with minimal errors, and include all sources that are cited in the project

Congratulations to our 2017 Library Research Award Winners!

Best Graduate Research Project

Sawanpreet Singh DhaliwalThe Effects of Rain on Freeway Traffic in Southern California, Graduate Student majoring in Transportation Engineering

Best Undergraduate Research Project

Cristina DypiangcoNavigating the Crisis Environment: An Analysis of Uber's Communication Strategies, Senior majoring in Communication

Best Use of Special Collections

Lauren White and John DanhoVirginia Adair: A Lifelong Revision, Graduate Students majoring in English Literature

Honorable Mention

Ian JoyceA Comparative Literature Survey of Psilocybin and LSD-25 Metabolism, Senior majoring in Chemistry

To view other Library Research Award submissions from past years please visit Bronco Scholar.