Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service October 2018


Six sources we love (Part 2)

Last month we shared six sources you can use for free with a Wisconsin State Law Library card. Here are some more of our favorites.

library card

  1. Wisconsin Attorney General Opinions
    In the not too distant past Wisconsin Attorney General Opinions were difficult to access online. Now you can find them in a number of different databases and websites.
    HeinOnline (1902-2018)
    These are organized by year and by OAG number, not by citation. The collection is searchable, with complex search syntax available, and it’s easy to print pages. Get search tips under the drop down "Search Help" menu or the Advanced Search Syntax User Guide.
    LLMC Digital (1902-1976)
    Organized by volume and year, this collection contains images of the bound volume pages. You can easily download specified page ranges. Individual volumes are text searchable but the collection is not searchable as a whole.
  2. Session laws
    Available in HeinOnline, Wisconsin Acts 1836-2015, Wisconsin Statutes (with gaps) from the 1800’s to mid 1900’s
    Access session laws for all 50 states and territories from the territorial period to present, and Federal acts from 1789 to present. This database includes an incomplete collection of historical statutes for each state as well. If you have a citation to a state law, it’s easy to jump to it with the Session Laws Quick Locator at the top of the State Session Laws page.
  3. Federal Register
    Available in HeinOnline, Full text coverage since 1936, including indexes
    Using the Federal Register on HeinOnline includes an easy-to-use citation navigator and powerful search capabilities that let you pinpoint relevant pages. Citations within the pages are linked as well, helping you connect to related Federal Register documents or Code of Federal Regulation sections quickly. This is a great example of open access government information enhanced by customized search capabilities.
  4. Martindale Hubbell Law Directory
    Available in HeinOnline, 1836-1963
    This directory has long been a useful resource for information on law firms and lawyers. These days, it’s often used for genealogical research or historical research about judges’ legal careers, law firms, or attorneys. While the library does have a historical print collection, use HeinOnline to make searching through old volumes a quick process.
  5. Bar journals library
    Available in HeinOnline
    This collection has more than 130 state and local Bar publications. Pair your bar journal search with the Law Journal Library to research a wide collection of article and journal sources.
  6. Slavery in America
    Available in HeinOnline
    This collection brings together “all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world, as well as materials on free African-Americans in the colonies and the U.S. before 1870.” An introduction to the collection discusses the scope of the collection and provides a general historical overview. While the collection is available to library users and cardholders, anyone can register with HeinOnline for free access to this collection. Visit the HeinOnline collection guide for more information and to register.

Watch our blog for in-depth articles showcasing these resources and giving helpful search tips.

Use your library card to access databases such as HeinOnline from your office, request items using interlibrary loan, and borrow library materials at one of the libraries. Signing up for a card is easy - fill out our online form or give us a call at 608-266-1600.

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New books – Kari Zelinka

New Book! Success Tips for Lawyers Leaving Practice: Rewire, Refire – Do not Retire, by Marilyn Tucker
Call Number:  KF 297 T73 2018

Retirement doesn’t have to mean winding down your practice and turning over clients to your coworkers while you ride off into the sunset. It can be a time to shift gears and move towards new challenges. Marilyn Tucker has experience counseling alumni at Georgetown University Law Center and advising people moving or considering a move mid-career on how to shape the next stage of their career. 

Highlights include:

  • Attorneys’ stories about their preparation for retirement
  • Exercises to help you evaluate your readiness for retirement
  • List of resources and career coaches to help you achieve success in your new stage of life

New Edition! Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials, by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Call Number: KFW 2831 H36 2017

This handbook provides general background information on key local government issues. The most current update reflects major legal changes since 2012. It also provides information on topics important to Wisconsin such as home rule authority, open meetings, public records, budgeting, municipal borrowing, contracts, and parliamentary procedure.

Other chapters include:

  • Municipal governments in Wisconsin
  • Municipal officers
  • Governing body and other specific offices, commissions, and boards
  • Municipal employees
  • Conflicts of interest, compatibility of office, and liability
  • Public safety
  • Licensing and regulation

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

Free PDF editor


We’re always on the lookout for free and useful technology tools. Thanks to a tip from CCAP, our IT support, we’ve recently started using ilovepdf.com. This website features fifteen free PDF converter tools.

Often our users need to convert word-processed documents to PDF. The good news is ilovepdf.com handles large files. I converted several files of fifty or more pages. It was easy to use and the PDFs are also keyword searchable after conversion. The bad news is that formats such as “rich text” (.rtf files) and WordPerfect are not accepted. The document must be in Microsoft Word in order to convert it to PDF.

Another frequent request is merging or splitting PDF documents. Ilovepdf.com also handles these tasks nicely. In addition, the “watermark” option can be useful if you need to add text to a PDF, such as an author, date, or URL that does not appear on the PDF document.

Ilovepdf.com has been available since 2010 but is continually improving. Founder Marco Grossi recently spoke to IdeaMensch about this product and discussed his commitment to quality and technical detail.

Ilovepdf.com is a great option for quick, free PDF management, particularly for users who do not want to install new software on their computer.

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Local government research guide – Michael Keane

We often get questions from citizens trying to understand their local government, as well as government employees and leaders who need to research an aspect of municipal law. These sources include handbooks, analysis, and model laws and forms available in our collection and online. Download the printable guide from our website.

local government guide



Annual Wisconsin town lawyers conference
Continuing Legal Education of WI, 1995-2016
KFW 2832.5 .A75 T681

Wisconsin town officers handbook
Wisconsin Towns Association, 2017
KFW 2831.5 .S3 2017

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Conduct of common council meetings
CD is available on David T. Prosser Library and Milwaukee County Law Library computers

Conduct of village board meetings
CD is available on David T. Prosser Library and Milwaukee County Law Library computers

Handbook for Wisconsin municipal officials
KFW 2831 .H36 2017

The powers and duties of Wisconsin mayors
KFW 2831.7 .P69 1996

The powers and duties of Wisconsin village presidents
KFW 2832.5 .P68  2002

Special assessments in Wisconsin
KFW2879.3 .S47 1996

League of Wisconsin Municipalities legal resources
Searchable opinions and manuals produced by the League
CD is available on David T. Prosser Library and Milwaukee County Law Library computer

General Research

Municipal legal forms
Callaghan/West, last updated 2018
KF 5305 .A3 M6

McQuillin’s Law of Municipal Corporations.
Callaghan/West, last updated 2018
KF 5305 .M34

Municipal law deskbook
American Bar Association, 2015
KF 5305 .S34 2015

Shepard’s Ordinance law annotations
Shepard’s, last updated 2018
KF 5313 .O74

Articles & Journals

Philip Freeburg. Annexation: fact sheet. University of Wisconsin Extension (2015)

Brian W. Ohm. Is there a law of regional planning? 4 Belmont L. Rev. 35 (2017)

Susan C. Paddock The changing world of Wisconsin local government. 1997-98 Wisconsin Blue Book, p. 99-172

Robert D. Zeinemann. Overlooked linkages between municipal incorporation and annexation laws:  an in-depth look at Wisconsin's experience. 39 Urb.Law. 257 (Spring 2007)

Current municipal problems
1959-present, includes cumulative index
KF 5305 .A2 C8

The Municipality, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Located in periodicals, Current year in current periodicals


Ordinances and Codes, Wisconsin State Law Library

Municipal Clerks, Wisconsin Elections Commission

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Library News – Carol Hassler

Patti Bishop

Welcome Patti Bishop!

Please join us in welcoming Patti Bishop to the David T. Prosser Jr. Library’s circulation staff. Patti has extensive customer service experience at local banks and offices around Madison. She can be found at the circulation desk, so stop by and say hello!

iSchool orientation

Librarians reach out

Jaime Healy-Plotkin, librarian at the Wisconsin State Law Library, and Kris Turner, librarian at the UW Law Library, helped welcome new students at the UW's iSchool orientation and organization fair in August.

Together, Jaime and Kris are a part of the Wisconsin Library Association's Association of Wisconsin Special Librarians (AWSL). AWSL is a membership organization for librarians like those at the Wisconsin State Law Library. Jaime promoted the Wisconsin State Law Library's study space and research collection for the aspiring librarians.

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 September:

Fall classes

Don’t miss out on our remaining fall classes!

In Madison: New Features in Westlaw
Tuesday, October 16, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
The objective of this course is to update and refresh attorneys on Westlaw and show new tools, features and content available. The new tools and content enhancements will also assist the attorneys in providing more cost effective researching to their clients.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online | Print Registration Form

In Milwaukee: BadgerLink
Thursday, November 1, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Meeting Room 1 at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
Legal research often involves using more than just legal resources. When you need background information from newspapers or magazines, you need BadgerLink. This class will show you how to use BadgerLink's databases to search thousands of magazines and journals, and hundreds of newspapers, full text and all for free.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is suggested through the Milwaukee County Law Library and space is limited. Call 414-278-4900 or email mcll.ref@wicourts.gov to register. These are demonstration classes.

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October snapshot

Golden Bucky

Golden Bucky
Photo by Carol Hassler

The “Golden Bucky”, which traveled around Dane County this past year, was in attendance at the Wisconsin Ironman competition on September 10th. Bucky cheered on competitors from its position outside the Monona Terrace convention center in downtown Madison, just a block from the library.

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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