Bringing New “Life” to a PTDL: Easing the Burden
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Having attended over a dozen PTDLA annual conferences as a member since the mid-90s, I am always astounded by the knowledge along with the loyalty and camaraderie evidenced by the PTDLA Librarians at these yearly sessions. In fact, there is an incredible core of several dozen members who bring real authentication to the benefits experienced by our patent & trademark users from all over the country. I’m proud to say that one of these is my co-worker, Jim Miller who has many more years of experience than myself at this along with his participation in a USPTO fellowship in 2001-02. <p> But, our numbers are dwindling due to various or expected reasons. Despite a very capable and bright set of potential “upstarts” already coming into the Program as replacements, there is a concern that they will not be nearly enough to fill the expected gap - sooner than we think. So, at the University of Maryland’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Library (College Park PTDL), Jim and I have been recruiting and enlisting new members as of late ---- our graduate assistant Maureen Cech, who will be going to her second conference this April, and librarians Damon Austin and Nedelina Tchangalova. <p> It is imperative to keep an area as critical as Patents and Trademarks from becoming a seeming information “dark hole” to the rest of our library staff. Thus, we have set up training sessions beginning in January for these three newbies to introduce them to major databases such as USPTO, Espacenet, and even Google Patents. They will study some of the outstanding tutorials that have been authored (and we suspect underused) by our very own PTDLA Librarians. We intend this introduction to boost their confidence when encountering patrons with patent & trademark queries.
Presentation given at the Patents and Trademarks Depository Library Association (PTDLA) Annual seminar, Arlington, VA, April 2, 2009.