Now that I qualify for all senior citizen discounts, whether it is the grocery store, the National Park Service or the movies, I figure it is time to leave this program to the real experts. That is, all of you! I assisted my first patent customer at the Detroit Public Library in 1975….40 years ago. That was in the days of paper patents which arrived from USPTO in 4-5 boxes per week, paper classification definitions, and microfilm research aids provided by NTIS and Research Publications, Inc. It has been exciting and head-spinning to have a career that started with paper and microfilm and ended with the Cloud. I leave with a great many memories of people and places having traveled to 64 PTRCs, some on more than one occasion. The hospitality consistently offered by you, your administrations and staff, was nothing short of heart-warming. Every location I visited had something special about it. I am grateful for what I learned from each visit, the perspectives and the stories. Things that kept me grounded while immersed in a federal agency headquarter office.
What has been most fulfilling, however, is witnessing the continuing dialog between your libraries every day. Information sharing is a particular strength of this unique network. You, as a network, continue to educate, assist and develop expertise among yourselves which benefits patrons across the country and around the world. As facilitated by the excellent PTRC Program staff at USPTO, so capably led by Christine Kitchens for the past 9 years, it is my sincere hope that the program continues strong into the future. I want to thank Christine Kitchens and each of her staff, all of the past staff of the Program office who worked so hard to make a difference and all PTRC Representatives past and present with whom it has been such a pleasure to work. Thanks to each of you for all you do every day, and thanks for the memories.
Martha Crockett Sneed
Director, Public Search Service Division
United States Patent and Trademark Office
February 23, 2015