The focus of this research is on knowledge workers in a particular kind of setting: not-for-profit community agencies that have low technology-support, but need to take full advantage of the power of advanced information technologies. Knowledge workers in these settings, given adequate assistance from a neutral agent and/or prototype applications, can successfully develop and use quite sophisticated information systems to enhance their work. The paper draws on case studies of knowledge workers in two community agencies who have partnered with academia, and identifies the specific information technology problems faced by community agencies, the source of these problems, and how the academic- community partnership can act to solve the problems.