Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service June 2018


Criminal Law Research Guides

The annual Wisconsin Court System Criminal Law & Sentencing Institute took place in early May. Jennifer Waite, Branch Librarian at the Milwaukee County Law Library, shared information about our three libraries to judges in attendance.

Criminal Law Conference table

Jennifer handed out research guides, developed by our Reference Librarians, which focused on topics relating to the conference. These research guides can be read online and include lists of relevant books, articles, journals, case law, and websites. Read them here:

Consult these guides to start your research. We’ve made note of the latest updates and supplements for each book listed, as well as alternate digital access when it’s available. A librarian can help you find these materials as well as related resources from our digital and print collection.

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Bar Association Meeting Programs

Julie Tessmer

We’re ready to speak at your next bar association meeting! Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian, will present information about the library’s services and the materials which we provide for practicing attorneys. Our traveling program provides friendly, digestible information about legal research with an emphasis on what can be obtained for free or a nominal fee to our users throughout the state. Attendees can apply for CLE credit for this presentation.

We’re always excited to talk to people about the services and comprehensive professional collection we offer to our users. Contact Julie Tessmer to schedule a talk at julie.tessmer@wicourts.gov.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Book! 2017 Tax Legislation: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Call Number: KF 6276.62017 T55 2018

This book compiles the changes encompassed in the 2017 federal tax legislation. There is a detailed table of contents that goes through the effect on homeowners, seniors, parents, students, inventors, and tax return preparers. It also discusses the airline industry, health industry, insurance industry, historic preservation, and much more. The way the book is organized makes it easy to quickly get to the specific section on how the law affects your clients.


  • Complete text of amended laws
  • Congressional reports and explanations
  • Practitioner comments

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.

Sections include:

  • Leases and rental agreements
  • Subletting an apartment
  • Roommates
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Tenants’ rights to privacy
  • Dealing with unwelcome landlord intrusions.
  • How tenancies change and end
  • Rent control
  • Getting help with your dispute

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

Don’t text and drive - use an app instead

cell phone and steering wheel

More cars are on the road with the summer upon us. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 47 states now ban texting and driving. Sixteen states ban any use of a handheld device while driving. All drivers are aware of these laws and we all know we can turn off our phones while driving. However, accidents due to texting and driving continue to pile up.

One way to avoid the temptation of using your phone while driving is to install an app that handles incoming calls and texts. If you have an Android phone, there are several options available. I tested TextAssured which is a free app that allows you to create an automatic reply to incoming text messages. You can choose which contacts to reply to and customize the message. At this time, the app does not sense whether you are driving. Instead, when you activate the app, you choose a block of time to engage the automatic reply. Search the keywords “automatic text reply” in Google Play to find other similar apps.

There are fewer options for the iPhone. AT&T DriveMode is a free app that silences incoming calls and text alerts while driving. However, only AT&T customers can use the automatic text reply. Another option is “Away Messages” for iOS 10.0 or later. The iPhone also comes with a built in feature that allows you to set a text reply to incoming phone calls but not text messages. For other creative options on the iPhone see, How to Set Away Messages on your Phone.

Photo credit

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Law Day at Dane County

The Dane County Law Library once again participated in local Law Day celebrations, in cooperation with members of the Dane County Bar Association (DCBA). Visitors to the library partook in free legal consultations offered by the DCBA, which were coordinated by Bob Lopez, Branch Librarian at the Dane County Law Library.

Carol Hassler

LLAW Distinguished Service Award

Carol Hassler, Web Services Librarian, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW). Carol served as the Web Committee Chair with LLAW from 2008 until 2015 and continues to serve on the Website Committee. Said Hassler, “I've benefited from the expertise of LLAW members who have shared their knowledge and experience with me and with others. For me, this award is a reminder to work hard, think creatively, and be helpful wherever I can.” Congratulations, Carol!

Upcoming classes

Seats are still available for our summer CLE classes in Milwaukee and Madison. Don’t miss our Milwaukee classes on legislative history and Federal court websites, or our introductory Westlaw classes in Madison. Registration is encouraged. Learn more on our Classes page.

Librarians reach out

Heidi Yelk, Director of Reference, recently spoke to University of Wisconsin college librarians at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. Her topic was “Keeping up with Google.” She covered advance search features and tips, as well as useful browser extensions to make the most of Google services.

Summertime means library tours for interns and new staff and Heidi Yelk will lead several through early June. Would you like to arrange for a library tour? Email our reference desk or call us at 608-267-9696 to schedule a tour for yourself or your staff.

In case you missed it

Our blog is the place to go for updates on the library throughout the month, as well as short articles about legal research. In case you missed it, here are some posts from May:

Libraries closed on July 4

The David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library and Milwaukee and Dane County Law Libraries will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th. We will respond to questions and requests on Thursday, July 5th.

To submit a question to the Wisconsin State Law Library while we are closed, you may call us at 608-267-9696 or Ask a Librarian online.

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June Snapshot

microform readers

The Old and the New

Our new microfiche scanner is ready to use! Use it to scan, then email or save copies from microfiche or microfilm. The scanner features advanced capturing tools to help you get the best version of even the most difficult-to-read handwritten notes or faded type. Users can also keyword search the pages on the screen and save their scans with searchable text for easy keyword searching later.
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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