The Central Library is undergoing some major changes over the next five years or so. Divisions are being re-located, we’re creating a Technology Lab and Computer Center, and the Science and History Division will be housing 100% more computers than we currently have. Amidst all this change, I am delighted to say the Carlson Patent and Trademark Center will remain within the Science and History Division where it’s been since we became a PTRC in 1999. Perhaps more computers on our floor will open the possibility for more traffic within the Carlson Center. And in spite of our changing relationship with the Finger Lakes Invention Convention (FLIC), and the Inventors Society of Western New York continuing to hold their monthly meetings outside the library, the Carlson Center continues to thrive.
FLIC is a program for children in grades 1 through 8, and is designed to encourage scientific problem solving as well as to promote creative thinking in elementary and middle school age students. It is sponsored by the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and by Rochester Intellectual Property Law Associates. Because FLIC is not a school district program, material cannot be distributed to students as it has been in the past. Because of this, interest has dwindled. Good news though, this summer FLIC is reaching out to BOCES and other organizations that work with special needs children. Participation is expected to soar, giving renewed interest to the program. The library will continue to host a reception for the winners of the program, as children’s inventions are judged on creativity and usefulness.
Other good news, we’ve been keeping track of statistics for a few years, and now have data to compare. Over the past year, our number of webpage views has increased 84% (from 620 to 1139), foot traffic has increased 11% (from 66 to 73), email has increased 150% (from 10 to 25), snail mailings have increased 400% (from 1 to 5), and our outreach has increased 34% (from 50 to 67). The number of phone calls has decreased by 17% (from 18 to 15), but I believe this to be due to the increase in email. That being said, I am pleased with our numbers and the continual good work of our staff in the Carlson Center.
I believe another indicating factor of how well something is doing is feedback. We have received a lot of positive feedback from people, and continue to hear of their progress. This year, I’ve had more people come to the Center following a class I did offsite. It’s a continual relationship, and not just a statistic.
Deb Nevin and Steve Nash will attend this year’s USPTO program. It’s Deb’s first time attending, and Steve attended a few years ago. We are very fortunate to be able to send two attendees, and they are looking forward to the wonderful seminar and great information to bring home to staff here.