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Public User's Meeting

Public Records Division/Public Information Services Division
Public User's Meeting
October 17, 2007 2:00 p.m.
Jefferson Building Conference Center

The Public User's Meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. in the 1st floor conference room 1D70/1D80 of the Jefferson Building at 500 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Martha Sneed, Manager of PISD, chaired the meeting. There were 6 members of the public in attendance.


No new announcements.

Lighting in the Public Search Facility (PSF)

The results of the Public Search Facility lighting survey have been tallied. Phase 1 of the lighting experiment covered the 1st floor in the PSF and Phase 2 covered the 2nd floor. For the first floor, 21 respondents wanted all lights to remain on, 29 wanted reduced lighting, 3 had no opinion and 2 wanted only emergency lights. For the second floor, 19 respondents wanted all lights on, 39 wanted reduced lighting, and 4 had no opinion. It was found that over 90% of respondents use the PSF 12 times a month or more and average 5-8 hours of searching per visit. On average 200 – 220 people use the PSF on any given day, so we had roughly a 27% response rate for the first floor, and a 31% response rate for the second floor. The survey results show that while more users desired less light, there were still users who preferred full lighting. This was also borne out in the comments. Also, 70% did not respond to the survey at all, even though it was conveniently placed at every workstation. To address the initial complaint, the agency will look to increase the lighting options available to the public in the PSF. The first floor is essentially ready to launch with a checkerboard pattern of lights on and lights off pending final rewiring that will result in a combination of full and reduced lighting on the first floor. The second floor options will be presented by John Hassett, Director of Corporate Services.

Question: What ways has USPTO addressed energy consumption, especially as it relates to the lighting situation? USPTO conducted an across the board study of what could be done with respect to the reduction of lighting. The main result was to reduce the amount of lighting in the common areas of the campus, e.g. hallways and open access areas. Lighting in individual offices was not directly affected. However, employees were encouraged to reduce the amount of lighting utilized in their work areas in order to conserve.

The two PSF lighting options being explored for the second floor include: turning off lights in every other row of lighting, or using a checkerboard pattern of lighting where banks of lights in one string are on or off. Either option would result in light levels may be reduced by approximately 50%.

User Comments:

• The checkerboard pattern doesn't address the distraction of lights shining in a person's face and eyes from neighboring workstations. Pick one area of the PSF to have lights on and another area to have no lights. The Dept. of Energy performed a more scientific study of the effects of lighting in the workplace. Based on a comparison of the results of the DOE study and the situation in the PSF the lighting measurement is too high at 80 ft. candles. (DOE contact information was provided to USPTO by this user).

• Consider using half wattage lighting tubes or allow users access to portable lights they can place on workstations if extra illumination is needed. Also the use of indirect lighting could be considered.

Question: Will results/comments from the lighting survey be posted on the website? They will be made available to customers when decisions on lighting have been made and a notice is posted.

Question/Comment : There are no emergency lights on one side of the 2nd floor in the PSF. Martha Sneed indicated that the situation is being addressed.

Public Search Facility Update

Doug Salser asked if the flip rate has improved. Some of the public indicated that there has been some improvement, but it varies. Doug asked for feed back on flip rate times by noting the workstation number, time of day and the database being accessed to give a better idea of the cause of the problem.

Public Records Update

Construction work outside of South Tower is causing disruption with building access and shuttle service. No improvement is in sight at this time.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:40pm.

Note: Next meeting is November 21, 2007, at 2:00 pm in the Jefferson building conference room 1D70/1D80.

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Last Modified: 9/29/2009 4:11:29 PM