WSLL @ Your Service May, 2005
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library
|"Keep Because They Are Old and Getting Older" -- the WSLL Rare Book Collection -- Amy Crowder|
Dennis Austin, a former WSLL Deputy Law Librarian, wrote those words in a note and taped them to the cover of a book in the Library’s Rare Book Collection. While they were meant to describe the rare works within that particular multi-title volume, they also recount the history of the State Law Library's entire Rare Book Collection.
Built over the years through purchases, exchanges with other states, and private donations, the Rare Book Collection was, until recently, inaccessible to library users. Inadequate space in the Library's previous quarters in the State Capitol building, and renovations to the Capitol, required the rare books to be stored and relocated numerous times, from one inhospitable nook or cranny to another--closets, vaults, basements--none of which was fit for books of any kind. Conditions ranged from blistering summer heat to frigid winter cold, and sometimes the spaces came with “amenities” such as bugs, birds or bats. With the Library’s 2002 relocation to the Risser Justice Center, the Rare Book Collection finally gained a permanent and suitable space in the new Rare Book Room. The room is temperature and humidity controlled and glass-front wood bookcases provide security and elegant display.
However, one problem still remained. Since many of the rare books had never been cataloged, we didn’t know exactly what the collection held. The mystery was finally unraveled earlier this year when our staff carried out a major project to catalog, inventory, value and organize every item in the collection, as well as perform minor preservation tasks on some of the books. Now, for the very first time, the collection is truly accessible. The next step will be to try to obtain funding to properly preserve some of these rare gems, on which time and previously poor conditions have taken their toll.
The Rare Book Collection contains more than 1,100 items spanning over four centuries and includes English, Irish, Scottish and American law and trials. All items in the collection are non-circulating; those in good condition may be used in the library. While the library is not actively acquiring rare materials at this time, donations continue to be considered for addition to the collection. A few noteworthy items in the collection include:
|What's New -- Connie Von Der Heide||This Just In... -- Pete Boll|
New WSLL Employee
Neela Nandyal recently joined the WSLL staff as a part time library assistant. Her duties include shelving library materials and assisting at the Circulation Desk and in Document Delivery Services. Neela completed a Master’s degree in geography in May 2004 and plans to enter law school in the fall of 2006. Welcome, Neela!
2005 National Library Week Wrap Up
Thank you to everyone who participated in National Library Week and Legal Research Teach-In activities and events at all three of our libraries last month. We had great turnouts for our classes, tours, quizzes and contests.
Rebecca Knutson, librarian at the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, reported that they awarded a door prize each day, and they received over 100 entries for their annual quiz, including one in Braille. MLRC also held classes on using their new free Westlaw service, and on doing legal research using free and low-cost web sites.
At the Dane County Legal Resource Center, many people participated in librarian Paula Seeger’s “Wisconsin Libraries” trivia contest, and the library awarded daily door prizes. A poll of Dane County Circuit Court staff was also conducted throughout the week, to learn more about their library use habits.
WSLL gave library tours and held classes on using Shepard’s Public Access and the new free Westlaw service available to users in the library. Many library users and visitors entered the “Guess How Many Fish in the Fishbowl” contest; prizes were awarded for the three closest guesses. Staff also celebrated the week with a library scavenger hunt and Library Staff Olympics.
This month’s featured titles include:
NEW! Legal Writing Advice: Questions and Answers / by Gertrude Block. William S. Hein, 2004
Legal writing expert Gertrude Block has put together a compilation of 20 years worth of her highly regarded columns on legal writing. This practical guide covers a wide variety of language related queries and is conveniently divided into sections on meaning, etymology, style, propriety, and grammar.
Examples of inquiries which Block has addressed in her column include whether or not female attorneys can refer to themselves as “Esquire” (and whether the salutation ”Gentlemen” should be replaced) to more current issues like whether or not the words “impact”, “orientate”, “attrit”, and “disrespect” are acceptable as verbs.
UPDATED! Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law 3rd ed. / Michael A. Bowen and Brian E. Butler. State Bar of Wisconsin, 2003 (2005 supplement)
The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law took effect in 1974 as chapter 135 of the Wisconsin Statutes. It provides the same regulatory approach to a broad and loosely defined collection of supplier-reseller relationships that formally was limited largely to franchises such as automobile dealerships and fast-food restaurants.
This treatise is aimed at those who deal with chapter 135 on a regular basis, deciding whether to undertake transactions, enter into relationships or negotiate settlements as covered under chapter 135.
Developments reported in the 2005 supplement include:
|Learn @ The Law Library -- Connie Von Der Heide||Odds 'n' Endings -- Julie Tessmer|
Upcoming Hands-On Classes
FREE Access to Westlaw??!!
Did you know…?
Notables for May
National Bike Month sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. May 16-20 is Bike-to-Work Week which ends with Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 20. Dust your bike helmet off and read about Madison and Milwaukee cycling events.
Older Americans Month, originated by a presidential proclamation in May 1963. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts for Features on Older Americans includes interesting figures such as 73,000 people 65 and older are enrolled in college, and seventy-two percent of people ages 65 to 74 voted in the 2000 presidential election.
May 29 - Wisconsin Ratification Day. On that date in 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th State. (Remember that rhyme from school days?!) The library’s collection contains titles on the ratification process and the Journals of the Constitutional Conventions. For more information about these titles see this listing from our online catalog or contact our Reference Desk for assistance.
|Ask a Librarian: 800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); firstname.lastname@example.org
Library Hours/Locations: WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov
Editor: Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!