My name is Eileen Fischlschweiger, and I’ve been the Fort Lauderdale PTRC Representative for sixteen years, having worked at the PTRC in the capacity of Patent and Trademark Librarian for eighteen years. I have been a librarian with the Broward County Library System for over 24 years. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in both Chemistry and Physics (double major). I also have a Master’s degree in Communications, a considerable amount of graduate level coursework in Education, and a second Master’s degree in Library Science.
The Broward County Main Library in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has housed the Fort Lauderdale PTRC since its designation on November 1st, 1984. It was a part of the Government Documents Department 1984 – 1996, then it became a part of the Business, Law, and Government (BLG) Section November, 1996 – January 2010, and currently it is a part of the Reference Section.
Continued Main Library Renovation Projects:
The Broward County Main Library’s Wind Mitigation Project continues; many of the windows have already been replaced. This is a massive project, and when complete, all the windows of the Main Library will have been replaced with impact resistant windows that meet current hurricane standards. The Main Library will be able to withstand a category 4 hurricane (a category 5 being the strongest), and in the event of an emergency the building will be used by Broward County Emergency personnel to coordinate activity in conjunction with the Emergency Operations Center toward the western end of the County.
• In May 2012, we had our annual National Inventors’ Month book display using various attractive posters to enhance the display’s appearance.
• On September 5 – 7, 2012, our library hosted the PTRCP which sent Michael Hydorn and Doug Salser who provided our customers and staff with training. The 8-hour public training titled “Patents and Trademarks 101: A Free Seminar for Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Educators, Students and Legal Professionals” took place on September 6, bringing in 21 attendees. The staff program titled “Researching Patent and Trademark Information: A Free Hands-on Training Seminar for The Fort Lauderdale Area Library Staff” was conducted twice (September 5 and 7), and provided training for a total of 10 staff members.
• In October 2012, the Main Library opened a second computer center called CyberCommons on the first floor. Staff was reallocated, resulting in a decrease in staffing levels for our section. Eileen Fischlschweiger assumed responsibility for supervising two more staff persons as well as sharing responsibility for the daily desk schedule, in addition to ongoing responsibilities which include supervising the Interlibrary Loan section, regular reference duties, and managing the PTRC.
• On Saturday February 16, 2013, the Inventors’ Society of South Florida had its annual inventor show, “Resources 2013” at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, which in addition to the exhibit featured 6 speakers, as in prior years. The library again had an outreach presence at this very popular show. Eileen and FDL librarian Tom Fischlschweiger had a table for the Broward County Main Library’s PTRC and FDL (Federal Depository Library), with many handouts relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, the FDLP, and information about the Broward County Library system. Sixty-six exhibitors, mostly inventors, displayed this year. This was, again, a very busy event, with 180 people walking up to the library’s table to ask questions. As in previous years, questions varied in complexity from the simple to the very complex, with a total of 504 questions, 309 of which were related to intellectual property (mostly patents), 122 of which were related to Federal Depository information, and 73 of which were related to our library services. As in prior years, we also had a variety of handouts to provide to customers, and, in all, we passed out a total of approximately 530 handouts. Overall, we estimated that the event’s attendance throughout the day was approximately 600 people. In addition, there was media coverage including from the Palm Beach Post, which ran an article with a photo in which our library’s table can be seen in the background. This article can be found at http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/south-florida-inventors-strut-their-stuff-at-third/nWQ9J/. All this demonstrates the importance that inventing has for the South Florida community. More information on the Inventor show, exhibitors (including photos), speakers, and links to media coverage can be found at http://www.inventorssociety.net/expo2013.htm#pcw