Hints on Working with Questions about Technology

Although some patrons do want explanations of technological processes (see pages 13.8-13.11), the majority of technology-related requests are for copies of standards or patents. You may be asked for:

  1. Copies of ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) standards D-149, D-15- and D-257 for a company.

  2. Department of Defense standard #2000 on soldering lead on electronic components for a company with a defense contract.

  3. A copy of patent 3,387,396 for a "Lava Lite" for a high school science teacher who wants to talk about how and why the light works.

These requests are not as difficult as they may appear. Patrons almost always know the number of the patent or standard (at the very least they will know the issuing agency). Filling one of these requests is usually a matter of requesting a copy of the patent or standard on interlibrary loan.

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The page was updated December 5, 2003.