Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service December 2017


Upcoming Events

Holiday Open House

Please join us for our annual Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 14th from 3-4:30 in the reading room of the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. Enjoy refreshments while you mingle with staff and other library users and try your hand at some fun activities. Complete our trivia game and return it to the library by 4 p.m. on December 14th to be entered for a chance to win a prize!

Winter open house banner

Identity Theft & Data Breach Awareness Seminar

A representative from the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection will present information on identity theft and data breach awareness on Tuesday, December 5th at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. This free, one-hour program includes a look at recent data breaches and their common causes. The program will also explain the different types of identity theft, how to recognize it and how to prevent it - including information about Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes. This free program is open to everyone. You can register online or drop in the day of the program.

identity theft class

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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft - Carol Hassler

Last December I missed a connecting flight and the airline put my family up at a complimentary hotel. The hotel room and meals were provided - but we still had to swipe a credit card at the front desk to cover any additional costs we might incur during our stay. It was the tiniest thing - just a brief, unplanned stay at a relatively nice hotel on our way to our planned destination. There weren't even any purchases on our credit card so we moved on without giving it too much thought. Several months later I got an automated alert from my credit card company that some purchases were being made with my credit card at an online retailer. Minutes later, I called my credit card company about these suspicious purchases and we took care of the fraudulent activity. A few months after that, I got a form letter in the mail informing me about a compromised card swipe reader at one of the hotel chain's locations. By then, we were confident that our vigilant monitoring had taken care of the initial vulnerability. While we hadn't suffered full identify theft, we experienced credit card fraud - a frequently reported form of identity theft.

The winter holiday shopping and travel season is a great time to make sure you're ready to defend against identity theft. Consumer agency websites are great places to start when you're trying to defend yourself against theft, or you need to learn more about steps to take once your identity has been stolen. Here are some essential resources:

Identity Theft.gov
The Federal Trade Commission's one stop website for reporting and recovering from identity theft. This website creates recovery checklists and also provides form letters which may be used to communicate with businesses.

Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection
Works with Wisconsin residents to educate and help recover from identity theft. This agency operates a consumer hotline which can be reached at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or 800-422-7128. Several resources for businesses and consumers can be downloaded from this website.

Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell
This nutshell guide covers credit card fraud and identity theft, as well as other consumer issues that you or a client may face. Check this book out.

Effectively Represent Your Client Before the IRS
In recent years the IRS has rejected or suspended millions of dollars worth of tax returns that were suspected to be fraudulent. Learn more about working with the IRS with this book's chapter on resolving identity theft. Check this book out.

Identity Theft Legal Topic
Our Identity Theft legal topic page links to these resources and more and helps you to locate relevant agencies and guides, as well as laws which protect victims of identity theft.

Identity theft isn't something you plan to happen to you, but there is a lot you can do to prevent or minimize your risk. Whether you're setting up preventative measures or recovering from identity theft, it's always a good idea to brush up on the basic threats and strategies to overcome them. Take just an hour of your time to attend the Identity Theft and Data Breach Awareness seminar on December 5th at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. This class, presented by a representative from the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection, will discuss data breaches, identity theft, and prevention.

identity theft class

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Title! Consumer protection law in a nutshell, by Dee Pridgen
West Publishing, 2016
Call Number: KF 1610 M37 2016

Consumer protection laws have changed to adapt to the way people obtain credit, pay their bills and make purchases. In addition to using cash and writing checks, consumers pay bills electronically, use credit cards and utilize ATMs. This book includes statutes and case law at the Federal and State level. Both traditional areas in consumer protection as well as new state and federal laws are highlighted.

Chapters include:

  • Consumer Privacy
  • Credit Reports, Identity Theft and Equal Access to Credit
  • Credit Disclosures: Truth in Lending Overview and Closed-End Transactions
  • Default and Debt Collection
  • Credit and Debit Cards and Other Modern Consumer Payments

New Edition! Fair Credit Reporting, Ninth ed, by Chi Chi Wu and others
National Consumer Law Center, 2017
Call Number: KF 1040.W8 2017

This updated edition discusses changes in credit reporting with recent developments from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau actions and state attorneys general. It also covers the Credit Report Organizations Act and state credit reporting statutes.

Topics include:

  • Identify Theft
  • Credit Card Freezes and Thaws
  • Fraud Alerts
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Changes in the Reporting of Public Records Data and Medical Debt
  • Reporting of Mortgage Debt

new book shelf
New Titles RSS Feed See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.


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Tech Tip - Heidi Yelk

Easy eBooks

Zinepal screenshot

Recently I've been exploring ways to re-package information into PDFs and/or eBooks. For example, I've looked for an easy way to create a PDF document containing newspaper articles on one topic or a way to bundle several issues of newsletters into one document. There are dozens of applications on the web for creating digital magazines which can also be used to generate a PDF or eBook.

One easy-to-use solution is Zinepal, a tool that allows you to take website content and feed it into PDF, ePub, or Mobipocket format. A simple step-by-step tutorial walks you through the process of creating an eBook. After creating an eBook, you can save the PDF file or get a link that can be shared with others. As noted on their "who uses it" page, Zinepal reaches audiences that prefer a "printed" format while also meeting the expectations of mobile device users. The application adequately handles text and photo content from most websites.

Zinepal's free account gives you limited features. Editing and basic clean up is a bit tricky and Zinepal branding is required on any document you create. Also, when using the free account you will be presented with an offer to purchase your finished document for $5.00. To get your free copy, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the small link that says "Create free eBook with limited features."

If you're looking to package and present information from the web, Zinepal is a good, free option.

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After Hours Signup Starts Now - Carol Hassler

reading room lamp

Would you like the convenience of using the Wisconsin State Law Library later in the evening or on weekends? If so, subscribe now to our After Hours Service. Are you already a subscriber? Now is the time to renew for 2018! Our After Hours service is available to all attorneys licensed to practice in Wisconsin.

A calendar-year subscription includes access to the David T. Prosser Jr. Library from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and a key fob for convenient entry into the building.

As an After Hours subscriber:

  • Gain access to the general library collection
  • Use the databases available on our public access computers and wifi
  • Make photocopies and use our free scanner
  • Check out circulating library materials

See our After Hours page for more details, or download a first-time subscription or renewal form now.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Staff News

We're pleased to announce that Michael Keane has joined the Wisconsin State Law Library as our new Reference and Instruction Librarian. Michael comes to us with years of reference experience from the Legislative Reference Bureau's Theobald Legislative Library. Michael will provide research assistance at our reference desk as well as manage the library's training program. Welcome, Michael!

Michael Keane

Librarians Reach Out

Staff from the State Law Library spoke to the Multitype Library Services group on November 11th. Julie Tessmer, Jaime Healy-Plotkin, and Carol Hassler presented on the library's services to librarians and members of the public, and provided a tour of the website. We also gave an overview of how to provide legal reference help to library users while avoiding giving legal advice.

Julie Tessmer presented at the Paralegal Association of Wisconsin meeting on November 13th. Julie provided a tour of the Wisconsin State Law Library's website and gave an overview of the library's services to paralegals.

This year's Judicial Conference took place from November 15th through 17th. The Library had a table at the conference. State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer and Deputy Law Librarian Amy Crowder met with attendees and provided information on the library's services and collection.

Charity Drive for Beacon House

We are collecting donations in any size of hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks for The Beacon, located in downtown Madison. Drop off your donations at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library; there will be a collection box set up in the reading room alcove. Donations will be collected through January 12th.

Libraries Closed for Holidays

All three library locations will be closed on Monday, December 25th and January 1st. Call the Reference Desk at 608-267-9696 and leave a voicemail, or Ask a Librarian online while we are closed. We will respond to you the next business day.

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December Snapshot

Sunrise in Downtown Madison

Sunrise before the library opens on the day after Thanksgiving. Lights are on full display as part of the "Shine On Madison" event.
photo by Carol Hassler

We are accepting snapshots! Do you have a photo highlighting libraries, attractions or points of historical interest? Send your photo the editor at carol.hassler@wicourts.gov to be included in a future issue.


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