The University of Massachusetts Amherst Library has been part of the Patent & Trademark Resource Center Program since 1984. During that time many changes have taken place and most recently the majority of the patent materials were moved to the Science & Engineering Library. When I first took on the responsibility as the representative in 2009 the patent materials, including the PubWest computer terminal, were located in the main Du Bois Library. This made it very difficult for me to gain experience using the database and for setting up patent search appointments. Now, thanks to this move, I have begun to gain familiarity with the PubWest database and have seen a steady increase in patent inquiries.
I still consider myself to be a patent & trademark novice and thoroughly enjoy the various inquiry discussions on the listserve as a way to educate myself. It seems that everyone is so knowledgeable and willing to help, and I seem to learn something new each day.
At the UMass Amherst Library I am also part of a larger government document team which was created after the last government documents librarian and support staff members retired. Our team consists of four people with each person taking responsibility for a different area of government information (general government information, statistics & data, science and patents & trademarks, and Massachusetts information). Thus far this collaborative team approach for handling government information inquiries has worked well.
All in all, I am grateful to be part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library system due to their involvement in the patent & trademark program, their continued support of me in terms of the time to learn and try new initiatives, and supporting me in attending the spring training seminar.