Minneapolis, MN

Hennepin County Library

The Minneapolis Central Library (Hennepin County Library system) was designated as a PTRC in the fall of 1980.

Walt Johnson began working at Minneapolis Central in 1994 and was the 13th PTRC Fellowship Librarian from Oct 2002-2004.

Amelia Cohoes began working at Minneapolis Central Library in 2017 and was the 30th PTRCP Fellowship Librarian from August 2018 – July 2019.

Like everyone else, we weathered the unexpected changes COVID hath wrought onto our PTRC this past year. Our community is also permanently transformed from the uprising after the murder of George Floyd.

Early in 2020 we were hoping to have a program/seminar with the wonderful folks from the Alexandria and Detroit Offices to celebrate Minneapolis Central's 40th anniversary as a PTRC. Sadly we couldn't, but it's still a milestone to commemorate! We were also working with USPTO staff in the Office of Patent Training to host a three-day STEPP training for attorneys at Minneapolis Central, which was also postponed.

Overall, IP inquiries are down, but we're still connecting with entrepreneurs and inventors via phone, video conference, and email. Several patrons we've assisted prior to the shutdown are appreciative that we're still accessible. We often get inquiries about the availability of PubEAST, but alas, not at the moment.

Amelia developed an online trademark searching class and has offered it 4 times. Like with any new program attendance has been low at first, but we hope to see the numbers increase as word gets out. The people who did attend it have found it very helpful. Thanks, Amelia, for putting this together!

We continue to partner with LegalCORPS to present their Filing a Provisional Patent Application class, but now online. Although we miss the in-person classroom setting, we are getting more attendees (about 40) for the class online, plus Kelli O'Malley from the Milwaukee Public Library joins us to promote our PTRCs.

Other local organizations like the Hennepin County Law Library, Joule, the Inventors Network, and the Saint Paul Public Library have been good at promoting our PTRC services and inviting us to speak at their online events.

While working from home we’ve taken advantage of the many online presentations from the USPTO HQ in Alexandria and our Detroit regional USPTO office to stay up to date.

In August 2020 Chad Helton was selected as our new Library Director. Prior to accepting this position Mr. Helton was director of branch services at the Los Angeles Public Library.

We miss you all! Let's hope we're together again in 2022!

Respectfully submitted,

Walt Johnson

Amelia Cohoes