Born February 28, 1917 in Dorchester, NE, Louis A. Kenney received his B.A. from Nebraska State College, Kearney in 1939. He completed a B.S. and a M.S. in Library Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He spent a year studying abroad in Switzerland from 1949-1950 and was awarded his PhD in History from the University of Maryland in 1960. His thesis was titled The Censorship Edicts of Emperor Charles V in the Low Countries, 1515-1550.
Kenney served as San Diego State's University Librarian from 1961 to 1980. During his tenure, Kenney played an instrumental role in planning for a new library building, the Malcolm A. Love Library, which opened in 1971. As a result, the library's collection tripled in size and Kenney was able to play a key role in establishing the Special Collections department. He also helped form the Friends of the Malcolm A. Love Library in 1964 and served on its Board.
Kenney was an avid collector of rare books. In 1967, he purchased the Zinner Collection for Special Collections. Kenney retired from San Diego State in 1980 but remained active with the Friends of the Library and various other organizations. He was named Emeritus Librarian upon his retirement. He died in December of 1993.
1993 interview with Louis A. Kenney, SDSU University Librarian Emeritus from 1961-1980.
Download the PDF transcript.
In this interview totaling approximately 100 minutes, Kenney discusses his job as Camp Librarian at Camp Callan in La Jolla, his military service in World War II, and how he came to San Diego State. He also mentions John Paul Stone, who served as head librarian at San Diego State University from 1931-1960, and talks in-depth about the planning of Love Library.
Interviewed by Lyn Olsson on 6/3/1993, 6 months before Kenney's death.
Image credit: Louis Kenney in 1970, University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections & University Archives.