Wendt Commons Library serves the departments of Engineering, Computer Science, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, and Statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The library has been a PTDL since 1976.
The PTRC representative is Nancy Spitzer. Our other patents librarian, Amy Kindschi, retired in October after 18 years as head of Public Services at Wendt. Her hard work and substantial expertise are greatly missed. Collections Librarian Jody Hoesly is now learning the ropes and joins Nancy in providing patent information services. We answered about 100 patent inquiries in person, by phone, email and chat last year. People also find us through our web pages and Patents Libguide: http://researchguides.library.wisc.edu/patents
Nancy continues to teach patents in undergraduate and graduate classes in engineering professional development, mechanical engineering senior design, biomedical engineering, and Masters in Biotechnology program. Every semester 4-5 Wendt librarians include patents instruction along with other library resources for 14 sections of an undergraduate engineering class. This year we experimented with making two short videos on patents basics that the students view prior to class. This frees up more time in the class for students to explore the patent databases and try out searching techniques.
In 2011 the library went through a re-organization and library services are now integrated with the UW College of Engineering’s teaching, learning and media services, now called Wendt Commons. Wendt Library staff also completed a major project to repurpose an entire floor of book stacks and study space into a high-tech commons for innovative teaching, tutoring and group study. Staff worked to find new homes for 90,000 volumes via off-site storage, condensing collections on other floors and through the University book sale.
Last May we weeded 706 volumes of the Canadian Patent Record, and the Trademark Journal from our stacks. Not finding any takers for these sets in Canada or the US, we ended up sending the volumes off to Google for “destruction scanning” – a win/win situation for us and Google. They are now part of the digitized patents material in the HathiTrust.