I am Andrew Wohrley and the PTRC functions as a part of the reference collection at Auburn University Libraries.
This past year there have been three activities that have impacted the PTRC and all of them are non-traditional compared to our usual activities.
The College of Engineering has been excited by General Electric moving their additive manufacturing engine core plant to town. You may have heard of additive manufacturing before as 3D printing or rapid prototyping. Immediately, an additive manufacturing program was introduced which leveraged traditional inert gas welders under 3 axis controls to introduce students to additive manufacturing. Unfortunately, there are no books on this topic, so the mechanical engineering department called upon me to do an in depth literature search which resulted in me finding that British Universities appear to be leading the way in this field. While few patents were turned up, in all other respects this was a prior art search of breadth and depth that I rarely get to do. I suggest all colleagues in academia should pay attention to this field which is rapidly growing in importance.
Second, I was called upon to serve upon the Copyright Policy update committee at our university. Our copyright policy was written in the 1980s, before Internet, and electronic books, so faculty saw a need to update the policy. The update incorporated specific language on faculty rights to their intellectual property and specific mention of fair use in academia and has been submitted to the university Senate for approval.
Finally, coordination with the University Office of Innovation Advancement and Commercialization has resulted in them providing access to PatSnap thanks to a license which resulted in them having more seats than they were using. I appreciated them sharing the spare seat.