Back to Program: April 25 | April 26 | April 27 | Pre-recorded Sessions

Tools for (Divergent) Thought: What Neurodivergent Adults Say About Personal Knowledge Management

Kelly M. Hoffman

Date: April 25, 2023

Lecture: 11:55am-12:10pm 

Q&A: 12:10pm-12:20pm


Personal knowledge management (PKM)—the ability to find, use, store, and re-find knowledge in our daily lives—is an important skill used by knowledge workers, students, creatives, and even gamers. Both neurotypical and neurodivergent people use PKM tools and systems as a “second brain” to help them understand, remember, use, and build upon information they’ve encountered. In this session, attendees will learn what over 300 neurodivergent adults said about how and why they use personal knowledge management techniques to learn new things, manage their everyday lives, overcome challenges and work towards a variety of personal goals—whether that means earning a degree, running a role-playing game, or building a better future. This presentation will be full of insights, observations, and tips from a variety of neurodivergent people in different life stages and circumstances.

Presentation slides: PPT | PDF

Additional resources:

About the Speaker

Kelly M. Hoffman

Kelly M. Hoffman (she/they) has been unusually interested in collecting, organizing, retrieving, and sharing information from a young age and continues to indulge that passion in her academic research, which focuses on personal knowledge management and neurodivergence and was inspired by her own experiences as a student and knowledge worker with ADHD, as well as the experiences of other neurodivergent students. Ultimately, she hopes her work will help fellow NDs live their best lives on their own terms. She earned a Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland and worked as a knowledge management analyst before returning to academia to join the doctoral program in Information Studies (which she will complete any minute now). Her past work includes the ConnectedLib Toolkit for youth services library staff and the original UMD Disability Summit in 2016, as well as research published in LISR, Library Quarterly, First Monday, and Games and Culture.


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