Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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WSLL @ Your Service May 2018


Congratulations New Graduates - Michael Keane

library card in book

The Wisconsin State Law Library congratulates May graduates of Wisconsin's law schools. In the legal profession access to information can mean the difference between success and failure. Our library card will greatly enhance your access to information which will prove invaluable as you begin your new careers. All Wisconsin licensed attorneys are eligible for a free library card.

Cardholders have borrowing privileges at the David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library in Madison and our two other locations: the Dane County Law Library in the Dane County Courthouse and the Milwaukee County Law Library in the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Most items can be checked out for a one week loan. For card holders who are not able to visit us because they are practicing in other parts of the state, we offer a Borrow by Mail service to ship books to your office.

Cardholders are also able to access a number of online databases esteemed by the legal community by logging in with their card number: HeinOnline (with some restrictions), Index to Legal Periodicals, and several others.

Visit our website or, if you are in Madison or Milwaukee, stop in and see what we have to offer. Call our reference line at (608) 267-9696 for help finding information - there is a good chance we have answered a similar question. We are the library for Wisconsin's legal professionals. Join us by applying for your free library card.

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New Flyer for Public Service Desks - Carol Hassler

pro se flyer

Self-represented litigants often need more information than front-line staff can provide. Librarians at the Wisconsin State Law Library help by providing access to legal information and assisting litigants with locating organizations which provide legal services.

The Library is making it easier to refer people to our services with our public service desk handout. Our new half sheet flyer gives a brief description of the type of help we can provide along with essential contact information. The handout can be printed in black and white or color, and can be cut in half for easy distribution at public service desks, such as Clerk of Court service windows or public library desks.

Part of the Wisconsin State Law Library's mission is to facilitate equal access to the law by providing access to trusted sources. Over half of our research requests originate from the general public, who need information on a wide range of topics. Use this handout for a quick and easy referral to the Library's services.

Find the latest versions of this flyer and our other handouts on our Publications page.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Edition! Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Cara O'Neill
Call Number: KF 8769.O54 2018

The 17th edition, just published in March, includes the latest procedures for small claims court in every state. Check out the chapter on settling your dispute to see if things can be worked out without going to court. If you do decide to go to court, use this book to learn how to choose the best witnesses and prepare meaningful evidence. If you succeed in winning a judgment, learn about the various methods to collect the money.


  • Sample letters
  • Legal forms
  • Statute of limitations chart
  • Case studies

New Edition! Renters' Rights, by Janet Portman and Marcia Stewart
Call Number: KF 590.Z9 P673 2018

Janet Portman specializes in residential and commercial landlord/tenant law and has coauthored several NOLO books, including the latest edition of Renters' Rights. From applying for a rental to collecting your full security deposit when you move out, this text has advice for every situation you may encounter while renting. This book includes discussion of subletting an apartment or dealing with unwelcome landlord intrusions, and a variety of other rental situations.

Chapters include:

  • Leases and rental agreements
  • Roommates
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Tenants' rights to privacy
  • How tenancies change and end
  • Rent control
  • Getting help with your dispute

New Database Collection: Gun Regulation and Legislation in America
This new compilation in HeinOnline collects over 500 titles which deal with gun regulation in America. Use this collection to search across key journals, federal legislative histories, congressional hearings, several Congressional Research Service reports, court briefs, and more. In addition to hundreds of full text resources, researchers can also make use of an extensive bibliography and links to relevant websites.

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

Jumping to the top of the page

Jumping to the top of a page to get to a website's menu or search tools is useful when browsing long webpages. Learn how to jump to the top of the Wisconsin Legislature's website, and get general tips for skipping to the top of just about any website.

One of the many great features of the Wisconsin Legislature's website is the database of statutes. The HTML version of the statutes uses infinite scrolling which continually brings up more statute text as you scroll down the page. Problems arise, however, if you're deep into a statute chapter and need to get back to the top. Using the same never-ending scrolling to get to the top is frustrating.

This is where the "Question Mark" button comes in. This menu enhances the functionality of the database. It is activated when you left mouse click on the small question mark button on the left side of the page. This expands a menu of options, one of which is "Go to top of document." Select this to quickly jump to the top of the page.

Jump to top

This kind of tool can be useful on other sites like a really long Twitter page or something like this timeline of the 19th century. You can add extensions or add-ons to your browser that make it easier to jump the top or bottom of almost any webpage. There are numerous options available. To find these in your browser extension catalog, search keywords such as "scroll to the top" or "jump to the top."

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Law Day

Celebrate Law Day with the Dane County Bar Association on Tuesday, May 1st. The theme for this year is "Separation of powers: framework for freedom." Tour the Supreme Court and attend free CLE programs. Free legal consultations for self-represented individuals are offered in the Dane County Law Library from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Assistance will be provided in English and Spanish.

Law Day flyer

New Microfiche Scanner


We're pleased to announce the arrival of our new microfiche scanner! Replacing our old equipment is our new Crowley touch-screen scanner. This machine scans microfiche and microfilm, searches the full text of displayed pages, and allows you to zoom in and out of pages easily. Microfiche can be scanned page by page, and microfilm can be scanned using an automatic scroll feature.

Use a wide array of cropping and editing tools to ensure that you capture the optimal image for your saved scan. These tools, such as contrast and exposure settings, allow you to enhance portions of pages. This can be particularly useful for Legislative drafting records, which often include handwritten notes that may otherwise be faint or hard to read when saved or printed.

Scanned pages can be saved to a USB flash drive, cloud storage services such as Dropbox, printed, or saved to the computer and emailed. The scanner includes a quick tutorial, and a librarian is always happy to help you make the best use of this machine.

Upcoming Classes

Spring is often a time for planning. Add our CLE classes to your spring and summer calendar. Hone your Westlaw and legislative history skills with our free classes in Madison and Milwaukee.

LegalTrac Access

LegalTrac will no longer be available to library users after May 22, 2018. We canceled our subscription due to duplication of content with other databases we offer to our users, and the lack of broad full text availability. Researchers can search HeinOnline and Index to Legal Periodicals for articles from law reviews, legal news, and bar journals.

Librarians Reach Out

Two student groups visited the library in April. On April 17, the Advanced Legal Research class at UW Law School toured the library and met with Heidi Yelk to learn about library collections and services. On April 19, students with the Ripon College Pre-Law Society made the snowy trip to Madison for a library tour with Jaime Healy-Plotkin, followed by a trip to the Capitol to hear oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

On April 18, library staff participated in a round-table discussion with other Wisconsin state agency librarians. Librarians gathered at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library for lunch followed by a demonstration of the law library's new microfiche scanner.

National Library Week

National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries and promote library services. This year our theme was "The Art of Law." Our David T. Prosser Library location featured several displays. You can read some of the displays on our blog and website:

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May Snapshot

Lady Justice and art display

Lady Justice contemplates the National Library Week theme, The Art of Law
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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