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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Supporting Faculty Knowledge Production

This morning I went up to NTU and attended the following talk:

Supporting Faculty Knowledge Production:
Challenges and opportunities for information professionals in a digitally connected world

Speaker: Mary Lee Kennedy
Executive Director, Knowledge and Library Services,
Harvard Business School

Date: Wednesday 25 November 2009

Time: 10.30am – 11.30am

Venue: Lecture Theatre 5, Nanyang Technological University

About the speaker:

Mary Lee Kennedy is responsible for Harvard Business School’s knowledge and information management strategy and its implementation.

Prior to Harvard, Mary Lee held knowledge management positions with global responsibility for Microsoft Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation.

In this talk, Mary Lee Kennedy shares about:

1.Primary shifts in digital scholarship and the related changes in the nature of the information profession

2.Challenges in a time of transition

3.Opportunities to create significant value for constituents

4.The work at Harvard Business School

5.New opportunities for Global Knowledge Exchange via GKEN

Source of information: 11 Nov 2009 email from

As I like to know more about the speaker, I run a search on youtube and found the following clip:

Interview with Mary Lee Kennedy on Information Types

I also found the following article "The knowledge: Mary Lee Kennedy" posted on 18 Jan 2006 in Volume 9 Issue 5, Inside Knowledge.

Here is what I like to quote:

"Today we realise we can’t document everything. By understanding the nature of human discussion, conversation, collaboration and communities, we can create environments for knowledge sharing that may not be accessible to large numbers of people.”

"We can now do things we hadn’t even dreamed about. It has changed what we do and has made things more complicated as we accommodate how different people choose to use and share information.”

Some interesting facts and background of her are listed at the end of the article:

Name: Mary Lee Kennedy

Place of birth: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Education: B.A. Social Psychology, MLS

Employment history: Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico; Sherritt Inc., Canada; Digital Equipment Corporation, USA; Microsoft Corporation, USA; The Kennedy Group, Harvard Business School, USA

Personal strengths: Determination, a sense of humour, critical thinking

Must improve: patience

Biggest inspiration: People who think and do things a lot bigger than themselves

What I do to relax: Talk to my kids

Favourite film: Shakespeare in Love or The Mission

Must read: Anything by Shakespeare or, for professional reading, "When Sparks Fly" by Dorothy Leonard


I enjoyed her sharing at NTU and I think her success in her information work is not because she can uses IT well, but have her main focus on users.

"My career has focused on understanding how different people use and share information, expertise and ideas, and what motivates them to do so to create a free-flowing exchange of knowledge.”

I think it is this core focus that make her do her work differently and win the heart of the people around her!

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