The Paul Laurence Dunbar Library has been a PTRC since 2000. Our PTRC collection is located in the Information Commons area of the main library. Access to PubWEST and PubEAST is through the Information Commons reference Desk. A small collection of hard copy materials are available adjacent the “patent workstations.”
In 2014, we had 561 requests for patent and trademark information through email, telephone, appointments and a few from Twitter®! Community presentations were well attended with 129 attendees. My campus class numbers increased this year to 173 students. I also had an opportunity to give a workshop at our branch campus in Celina, OH. This proved to be an “event” on campus with over 35 attendees including from the local bar association and small businesses. I was interviewed afterwards by the Lima newspaper. I was able to pitch the PTRCs in Ohio, as well as ours, as a valuable resource for inventors and small businesses.
This year I was asked to provide workshops (2) for the Dayton Metro Public Library Business Lunch programs held at the Entrepreneur Center. These workshops were well received and attended mainly by small business owners. I currently offer 9 patent and trademark workshops throughout the year. I am working on a new assessment tool for my workshop attendees. I am also working on a “PowerPoint®-less” workshop presentation for this summer offerings. I hope to create a more hands on and interactive workshop than the standard lecture format. The PTRC workshops are still a popular referral for the local SBDCs.
In an interesting side note, we received a take-down notice from a company for a digitized master thesis. The student did not properly identify and mark a trademark used in their research. It is a lesson I am now incorporating into my trademark workshops for students. It is a great real world example. I am creating a flyer for proper identification of service and trade mark identification in thesis and dissertations.
We still are without a University Librarian. It has now been over a year without a job posting. A new Chief Information Officer was hired for our IT department and some are speculating that they will take over the management of the library. Our department lost 5 personnel this year through retirements and new job positions. We still have two librarian positions open. Only two other jobs have been filled. This has made it difficult to schedule patent and trademark workshops because our instruction load was increased this year because of a successful advertising campaign.
Ran Raider – PTRC Representative since 2000
Past President of the PTRCA