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The Graduate and Professional School Libraries

John F. Kennedy School of Government Library


Report of Heather McMullen, Director




The Harvard Kennedy School Library was established in 1978, when the School moved to its present location on JFK Street. The print collection, which consists of approximately 59,000 volumes and 1,600 serial subscriptions, reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the School’s teaching and research activities.

The goals of the HKS library are:

  • to provide a working collection of up-to-date materials in the areas of public policy, government and politics, management, international affairs, and related areas;
  • to offer expert guidance to students, faculty, and other researchers in locating, evaluating, and making efficient use of information resources relevant to the interests of the Kennedy School; and
  • to serve as a gateway to the wealth of information resources available at Harvard and beyond.

Teaching and Outreach

The Library had another active year of instruction and outreach to Kennedy School affiliates. We conducted library research sessions for students in the master’s and PhD programs, and for fellows in numerous Kennedy School research centers (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Center for International Development, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy).

We offered popular Refworks training to help students manage their research effectively, and we held an online treasure hunt for students in the summer program to introduce them to library services and resources available from the Library’s web site.

Community Activities

The Library showcased 15 new faculty books on its Virtual Book Tour site, providing an important library link to scholarship at the School. We hosted another speaker series this year and placed the audio files from the four sessions on the web site. We collaborated with Kennedy School students to produce an exhibit of photographs from the “Thousand Words” project, displaying student photographs taken during their summer internship experiences and used for a fundraising calendar to benefit the Summer Internship Fund.

The Library made a presentation to the executive dean of the Kennedy School outlining current trends in academic libraries and possible future directions for the Kennedy School Library.

Library Facilities

The Library continued to implement some of the recommendations from the library space report authored by Jay Lucker. This year, the Circulation Desk was retrofitted to be ADA compliant. In addition, a group study room was created to provide more space for students to work collaboratively on projects.

Furthermore, the Library participated in a KSG-wide space study, conducted by an outside consulting firm, to identify current and future space needs.

Staff Activities

Library staff members took an active role on committees sponsored by the Kennedy School, the Harvard University Library, and national and regional library organizations. Of particular note: 

  • Beata Panagopoulos continued to serve on the executive board of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) as chapter assembly director.

  • Leslie Donnell completed her second year as co-chair of HUL’s newly-renamed E-Resources and Services Working Group (ERSWG), formerly known as COERS.

  • Dev Kernan continued in his role as a member of the Kennedy School Joint Council.

  • Heather McMullen was hired as head of Access and Research Services, replacing Suzanne Wones, who assumed the head of Access Services position at the Harvard Law School Library.