Since 1991 the Evansdale Library at West Virginia University has served inventors and innovators. Our patrons are not only from campus’s engineers, agriculturists, designers, health professionals, business students, scientists, and young entrepreneurs but also from across our state reaching entrepreneurs and innovators. Working as a part of WVU’s IDEA Hub, the Library is an important part of the University’s services to entrepreneurs and innovators who are students, faculty, and citizens of West Virginia. Although I have been working remotely since March 2020, I continue to be able to serve these constituents. I meet innovators via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. These meetings involve more work since a lengthy summary follow-up email is required. We continue to have participants in the USPTO Virtual Assistance Program for Pro Se Inventors although the method of connecting inventors with examiners has changed.
This year I provided instruction to Horticulture and the students of the Law School Entrepreneurship & Innovation Law Clinic. I was also able to present twice to Engineering graduate students. I was invited to be a judge for a “New Ventures Creations” class. Although I am not currently working with Engineering 101, they continue to utilize the intellectual property modules that I developed for that class. Each semester I hold a four-lecture series on intellectual property. This year, I have extended an invitation across the state to attend these lectures because all the sessions are held on Zoom. My involvement in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps continues. My work with our LaunchLab allows meet to work with student entrepreneurs and I am able to attend their pitch contests. I continue to work with our Technology Transfer Office, often working with them with questions of trademarks. I wrote two articles this year, Engaging First Year Students with Intellectual Property and Innovation for the Engaged Librarian (about my involvement with the NSF I-Corps program) both of which are available https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/ and https://peer.asee.org/
Because of budget and precautions, our library bindery budget was cancelled. This affected our plant patents, since I have them bound. Since this is temporary, I have boxed and labeled the plant patents so that they are not only accessible, but also will be easily bound in the future.
I look forward to reopening this year and greeting inventors in Morgantown and online.