Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service February 2018


2017 Year in Review - Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian

When people ask me what I do as a librarian they often assume that I spend all my time reading books - a common misperception of librarianship. While writing this article I reflected on library staff as they helped people in the library, maintained our print and online collections, updated our website, provided classes, and answered your legal research questions.

Librarians are:

Information providers

People visited our website wilawlibrary.gov over 500,000 times with the most traffic seen on our Legal Topics relating to family law, legal assistance, local and state law, landlord/tenant law, and firearms.

Through our monthly online newsletter WSLL @ Your Service we’ve kept you informed with timely articles on topics on Fake News and Community Raffles.


We brought in field experts to provide training classes on Ballotpedia and Identify Theft & Data Breach Awareness and our in-house experts kept you up-to-date on legislative history research and our collection of Wisconsin Briefs and Appendices.

infographic of classes

Web navigators

In addition to helping users find information in our newsletter, we also helped people find online information on state and federal agency websites, legal forms, non-profit organizations, and legal assistance resources.

reference statistics infographic


Over the past 12 months we updated more than 2,500 items and added close to 200 new titles and new editions to our print collection including:

Databases and books infographic

Tech Savvy

One of the most popular columns on our website was Heidi Yelk’s Tech Tip where each month she brought you information on useful tools like free online calculators, password managers, and expense tracking apps for attorneys.

As you can see, the Librarians at the Wisconsin State Law Library are multi-faceted!

Looking forward to 2018, we’re planning to serve you even better with:

  • Improved Wi-Fi strength throughout the Library
  • New equipment for using our microfiche collection that will allow users to email PDFs of resources like drafting files
  • Hands on classes on Lexis Advance and Westlaw
  • New outreach initiatives including a public service desk handout

The Library Staff are here for you! I invite you to visit the library in the way that is most convenient to you. Our highly trained professional staff are ready to provide you with the best access to information.

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Milwaukee County Law Library Year in Review - Jennifer Waite

In 2017, the MCLL had some staffing changes. We lost our veteran Library Associate, Diana Sirovina, who went to join MCLL alumna, Lynne Gehrke, at Von Briesen & Roper down the road. Brittany Lee switched from being a part-time Library Associate to full-time; she is now our veteran and lead on the reference desk. Erik Johnson and Jamie Neuendorf joined the MCLL in 2017 as part-time Library Associates.

Branch Librarian, Jennifer Waite, is now assisting pro-se patrons with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's online Electronic Real Estate Return. Patrons can call or walk in and make an appointment for assistance.

MCLL patron information

MCLL continues to work closely with the Milwaukee Justice Center to help pro se patrons navigate the courthouse. Jennifer presented along with Diana Koppang (Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP) and Lisa M. Winkler (Northwestern Pritzker School of Law) to present Legal Clinics, Libraries, and Law Schools - Collaborations that Work at the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries in October in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The presentation is also being pitched for the AALL Annual Meeting in July.

In 2017, the MCLL continued partnering with the Milwaukee Public Library to offer monthly CLE classes to attorneys and the public. The CLE classes are led by local law librarians and continue to be popular as a budget-friendly CLE option.

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Dane County Law Library Year in Review - Bob Lopez

2017 was another fantastic year for the Dane County Law Library.

The Dane County Law Library was awarded a $400 Worthy Causes grant from the Dane County Bar Association. The money will be used for the creation and printing of new signage for the Small Claims Assistance Clinic (SCAP) in English and Spanish. The signs will be located in the clinic room and the second floor of the courthouse.

In response to the growing need for small claims assistance, Librarian Robert Lopez, along with a group from the Dane County Bar’s Delivery of Legal Services Committee, visited Cuna Mutual to recruit new attorney and paralegal volunteers for SCAP. This resulted in securing nearly a dozen new volunteers. New volunteers are instrumental in allowing the clinic to expand to two and a half hours.

The Small Claims Assistance Program (SCAP), continued to fill the need for legal assistance for self-represented parties. The weekly clinic, staffed by attorneys and paralegals, assisted over 500 pro se litigants with money, eviction, and return of property cases.

DCLL infographic

In May 2017, the American Bar Association once again sponsored Law Day, a celebration of the Rule of Law. The theme for 2017 was The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy. The Law Library participated in the event by again hosting a free, day-long legal assistance clinic where volunteer attorneys assisted dozens of visitors.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Edition! Stand Up to the IRS, 13th edition, by Frederick W. Daily and Erica Good Pless
Call Number: KF 6324 D345 2018

It’s tax time and before you let the IRS cause you heartache, read this new NOLO edition, co-written by a tax attorney with over 40 years of experience. If you need advice on how to file a late return, work out a payment plan, or determine if bankruptcy offers a solution, check out this book today! The authors cover a range of issues most frequently faced by tax payers.

Topics include:

  • Communicating with the IRS
  • Consequences of not filing
  • Filing a return when you can’t pay what you owe
  • What to expect at an audit
  • How to appeal an audit
  • Using the bankruptcy code to stop the IRS
  • Liens and levies
  • Death and taxes
  • If you are caught cheating
  • Finding and using a tax professional

New Title! Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law, by Joseph A. Ranney
Call Number: KF 2478 R355 2017

Joseph Ranney, a Wisconsin attorney, scholar and author, sets out to answer two main questions in his new book - How was Wisconsin’s law shaped by other states and how did Wisconsin influence them in turn? The book is arranged chronologically around important periods in our state history. Ranney delves into fugitive slave laws and how Wisconsin defied them. Ranney covers civil rights for immigrants, women, Native Americans, and minorities. More recent issues such as school vouchers, voting, and abortion rights are discussed as well. He points out that many areas of our daily lives are governed by state laws, but not much has been written about them. Here he has shed light on how Wisconsin laws have influenced the American legal landscape.

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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Start Here: A Guide to Tax Law Research - Amy Crowder

The first major reform to the U.S. tax code since 1986 was recently signed into law. P.L. 115-97 makes changes to tax rates and modifies policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses. Our library subscribes to several sources that will help you keep up with these changes. In next month's newsletter we will feature selected titles and their tax law updates.

Download our updated Tax Law guide to help you start your research.

Start Here Guide thumbnail


Estate, Tax and Personal Financial Planning
KF 6297 .E87
Edward Koren
Thomson Reuters (updated monthly)

Federal Estate and Gift Tax Reporter
KF 6571 .A8 F43
CCH (updated semimonthly)

Federal Income Taxation of Individuals
KF 6369.B57
Boris Bittker
Warren, Gorham & Lamont of RIA (updated semiannually)

Federal Income Taxation of Partners and Partnerships in a Nutshell
KF 6452 .B87 2017
Karen C. Burke
West Academic

Federal Tax Practice: A Treatise on the Laws and Procedures Governing the Assessment and Litigation of Federal Tax Liabilities
KF 6320 .C371
Laurence F. Casey
Thomson Reuters (updated semiannually)

Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations
KF 6449 .H6 2015
Bruce R. Hopkins

McGaffey Legal Forms With Tax Analysis
KF 6450 .A65 M33
Jere McGaffey
Thomson Reuters (updated semiannually)

Merten’s Law of Federal Income Taxation
KF 6369 .M4
West (updated monthly)

Partnership Taxation
KF 6452 .W558
Arthur Willis
Thomson Reuters (updated quarterly)

Stand Up to the IRS
KF 6324 D345 2018
Frederick M. Daily

Standard Federal Tax Reporter
KF 6285 .S75
CCH (updated weekly)

State Tax Handbook
KF 6750 .Z95 C6
CCH (updated annually)

Tax Court Reporter
KF 6285 .T35
CCH (updated weekly)

Tax Management Portfolios Series
U.S. Income KF 6289 .A1 T35
Foreign Income KF 6289 .A1 T34
Estates, Gifts & Trusts KF 6289 .A1 T353
BNA (updated monthly)


International Journal KF 6289 .A1 T342

Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal KF 6289 .A1 T352

Memorandum KF 6289 .A1 T355

Weekly Report KF 6289 .A1 T357
BNA (updated weekly - bimonthly)

U.S. Master Tax Guide
KF 6285 .S75 O U5
CCH (updated annually)

U.S. Tax Court Reports
KF 6324 .A51
U.S. GPO (updated semiannually)

Wisconsin Tax Reporter
KFW 2870 .A6 W5
CCH (updated monthly)


National Tax Journal (updated quarterly)
Practical Tax Lawyer (updated quarterly)
Tax Adviser (updated monthly)
Tax Executive (updated bimonthly)
Tax Law Review (updated quarterly)
Tax Lawyer (updated quarterly)
Wisconsin Tax Bulletin (updated quarterly)

For other tax focused journals, search HeinOnline

Internet Resources

Visit the Wisconsin State Law Library’s Legal Topics Page on Tax Law for a growing list of internet resources including forms, laws, revenue rulings, private letter rulings, publications and more:

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Caitlin AciernoCaitlin Acierno joins Library Staff

We are excited to welcome Caitlin Acierno as our new afternoon circulation assistant. Caitlin recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in History and Religious Studies. Please join us as we welcome Caitlin to the Library!

February Classes

This month we have two great classes in Milwaukee and Madison.

In Milwaukee, attend our class on Filing an Electronic Real Estate Transfer on the Department of Revenue's Web Site. CLE classes in Milwaukee are offered at the Central branch of the Milwaukee Public Library. Registration is suggested through the Milwaukee Public Library and space is limited. Call 414-286-3011 to register.

Time: Thursday, February 1, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee Public Library - Central branch, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave
Class description:
In addition to a transfer document, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue now requires electronic submission of the real estate transfer return pursuant to Section 77.22(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Whether you are a private citizen or an attorney, this course will show you how to successfully maneuver through the Department of Revenue's website for a real estate transfer involving owner-occupied property.

In Madison, perfect your Westlaw search technique in Advanced Westlaw. Classes in Madison are offered in the David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room. Registration for this hands-on class is limited to 8 attendees. Register online to save your spot.

Time: Tuesday, February 20, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Class description:
Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in this course by: Learning about advanced search and field searching on content category search pages; Harnessing the power of advanced annotation features such as highlighting and foldering; Incorporating Key Numbers and Key Number Searching into your research; Exploring headnotes and other editorial enhancements, such as notes of decisions and statutes index; Covering advanced options for Alerts and Automated searches; Utilizing advanced customization features for "Copy with Reference", Highlighted terms, Result list display, and Document Delivery; Learn how to access Westlaw from other devices.

Upcoming Holidays

Monday, February 19th is President’s Day and, as with other Federal holidays, many people often assume that the library is closed. With the exception of our two branch libraries we only have special closures on state holidays. We’ll be open and ready to help you on February 19th!

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February Snapshot

book spine poetry

Book spine poetry is the art of stacking books to convey an idea that is usually entirely unrelated to the books’ contents. Legal titles can be particularly difficult, given their tendency towards exact, detailed titles.
Photo by Carol Hassler

Books pictured:
What’s it worth? KF 1257.W67
Living together KF 538 .I35 2017
Now & then F PARKER
Weep no more, my lady F CLARK
It’s your ship HF 5549 .A64 2002
Dividing western waters KF5569 .W39 1988
The water’s lovely F RENDELL


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Image credits: computers, magnifying glass, bookshelves, people, people, form

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