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WSLL @ Your Service February 2020


Marco Polo – Julie Robinson

Last year, I set out to read the Book of the Marvels of the World, a compilation of the travels of Marco Polo. Every time I picked it up, I smiled as I was reminded of my childhood playing the game “Marco Polo." 2019 was a lot like that children’s game as the Library embarked on a journey to reach out to more potential library users. Our version of the game went like this:

“We’re the State Law Library. Come use us!” and the replies came back, “What can you do for me?”

We created a number of Start Here Research Guides and flyers to reach out to students, public library users, and courthouse visitors. Our focus was to get the word out about our services and collections.

Some notable connections we made were with:

  • Sauk County Bar Association
  • State Agencies, including the Department of Revenue and Employee Trust Funds
  • Judges at the Judicial Conference
  • Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians
  • Librarians at the Wisconsin Library Association’s Annual Meeting

2019 collage

We also devoted a lot of staff time towards improving access to our print and online collections to help users wherever they were located. This year library staff:

  • Reviewed and assessed our Government Documents print collection, adding online access where available and keeping titles which were only available in print.
  • Collaborated with the UW Law School Library to migrate the Wisconsin Briefs collection to their Digital Repository
  • Completed a detailed shelf reading project to ensure the most heavily used parts of the collection were in good order. Over 11,000 items were examined in the stacks!  

Just as Marco Polo continued to explore, we also have several new goals on our horizon for 2020: 

  • Lengthening our book circulation loan periods
  • Adding materials donated by retired Justice Shirley Abramson to our collection
  • Enhancing our constitutional law collection with funds donated by retired Justice David Prosser
  • Expanding our books and resources on Drug and Alternative Treatment Courts

For a comprehensive review of our 2019 activities and what’s on the horizon for 2020, look for our 2019 Annual Report in April.

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Lloyd Barbee, Wisconsin Leader – Michael Keane

Lloyd Barbee, student photo

Lloyd A. Barbee student photo, 1955
UW Law School Digital Repository

Lloyd Barbee is an unforgettable member of the Wisconsin Bar.  Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1925, Barbee served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then graduated from Le Moyne College in Memphis in 1949. He moved to Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he obtained his J.D. in 1956.  This began a long career as a crusading attorney, an innovative legislator, and a tireless civil rights activist.

Although active in civil rights issues during law school and early in his career as an attorney, Barbee first achieved renown for his efforts to integrate Milwaukee’s public schools. Barbee led a group of activists to advocate for affirmative attendance modifications to achieve greater racial integration in Milwaukee schools. He spearheaded the founding of MUSIC, the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee, which, beginning in 1963, petitioned the school board, engaged in protest, and organized school boycotts, during which students attended independent “freedom schools.”

Ultimately, the failure of the school board to move towards integration led Barbee to file a suit in federal court, arguing that Milwaukee’s “de facto” segregated system was just as unconstitutional as the “de jure” segregated schools in southern states, already condemned by the U.S. Supreme Court. As sole counsel for a small group of plaintiffs, Barbee laid out an exhaustive study of the school district’s attendance, construction, and personnel policies to establish a pattern of action that was discriminatory in its effect. After years of legal wrangling, Barbee won his case (Amos v. Board of School Directors of the City of Milwaukee, 408 Fed. Supp. 765 (1976)). The court appointed an official to oversee the integration of Milwaukee schools in 1976.

“As a black human struggling in this period of utter madness, I consider myself almost like John the Baptist, alone at times, and I try to speak in the wilderness, rather than cry.”
- Lloyd Barbee (The Milwaukee Journal, June 13, 1969)

Barbee served as a state legislator from 1965 to 1977. He championed the civil rights issues of that time, such as open housing and school integration. He earned the esteem of his colleagues, resulting in his appointment to the Joint Committee on Finance and as Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary committee. However, what Barbee was best known for at that time was for introducing bills that took a revolutionary tack on social issues of the day. Although Barbee’s more controversial proposals did not pass, he viewed these bills as part of his job as a legislator and a lawyer. “I educate as I legislate,” he said in a 1973 interview. (Racine Journal-Times, June 27, 1973)

Long before the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision overturning state abortion laws, Barbee offered legislation to legalize abortion in Wisconsin. He offered bills legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriage. Another proposal eliminated prohibitions on narcotics and dangerous drugs. Barbee also introduced bills to eliminate restrictions on felons’ voting rights and the right to hold office. Another bill called for reparations for the descendants of slaves and Native Americans. Another provided for free tuition at the UW system for resident undergraduates.

Some of his proposals radically reformed the criminal justice system, relating to phasing out imprisonment for crime, and the sale of state prisons. Another bill made it an unfair labor practice to inquire about an applicant’s arrest record; yet another called for the expungement of criminal records.

Barbee left the legislature following the 1975 session, returning to private practice and dedicating himself to working with Milwaukee to implement integration policies in conformity with the decision in Amos v. Board of School Directors of the City of Milwaukee. He later served as a professor of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His civil rights contributions have been recognized by the Wisconsin ACLU and a Milwaukee street was named in his honor. He died in 2002, leaving behind a legacy of service.

Learn more

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New Books – Kari Zelinka

New Book! Motivational Interviewing with Offenders: Engagement, Rehabilitation, and Reentry, by Jill D. Stinson and Michael D. Clark, 2017
Call Number: HV 6556 .S75 2017

Stinson and Clark are involved in academia and have experience in sex offender treatment programs, forensic mental health hospitals, probation, and court settings. In this easy-to-read text, the authors give background on Motivational Interviewing and how it can be applied in correctional settings.

Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based approach that goes beyond superficial changes and helps offenders achieve meaningful behavior change. Instead of telling subjects what they must do, this approach aims to change the subjects’ behavior, taking into account their values, goals, and strengths.

If you are a student or professional interested in the following topics, then you should read this book:

  • Correctional Rehabilitation
  • Probation and Parole
  • Offender Reentry
  • Restorative Justice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

New Book! Therapeutic Justice: Crime, Treatment Courts and Mental Illness, by Karen A. Snedker
Call Number:  KF 3828.5 .S64 2018

The goal of mental health courts is to reduce jail time and contact with the criminal justice system, and to enhance public safety. Snedker interviewed judges, prosecutors, probation officers, and other court participants to understand what works in mental health courts and what doesn’t. She summarizes her findings using narrative stories to show the potential and limitations of these courts. Snedker offers suggestions for possible reforms and best practices in these courts and sheds light on the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system.

Chapters include:

  • Mental Health Courts as the “New Generation” of problem solving courts
  • Beyond Adversarialism? Collaboration and Therapeutic Goals
  • Clients and Therapeutic Agents: Court Selection and Team Dynamics
  • Therapeutic Justice in Action: Court Process, Reviews and Sanctions
  • Reducing Recidivism and Pathways to Success
  • Stories from Clients: How Mental Health Courts Can Change Lives

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

Take a snap shot

“Copy and paste” is probably one of the most useful conveniences in day-to-day life (at least for computer users). As librarians, we are often gathering information from many sources and moving it to one document, copying and pasting content and citations as we go.  However, rudimentary “copy and paste” does not always work well, particularly from PDF documents. Formatting and coding from the source document can be an issue. Pasting text sometimes results in jumbled words and odd spacing.

A quick work around for Adobe Reader is the “Take a Snapshot” tool. This is found under the Edit menu.  Simply click “Take a Snapshot” and select the text you wish to copy from the document.  Then, paste the image into your document. It’s important to note this will be an image and not editable text.

Adobe Reader screenshot

The Adobe Reader Snapshot tool is similar to Firefox’s Screenshot tool, discussed in the November 2017 tech tip. This is another way to capture information from one source and easily transport it to another document.

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Library News – Carol Hassler


Black History Month

Recently, the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers began compiling a detailed history of Black lawyers in Wisconsin. Inspired by their work, our display this month celebrates the achievements of Wisconsin’s Black attorneys, legislators, and judges. Stop by to check out our display, which features photos, biographies, and items from our collection like Wisconsin briefs and historical Supreme Court attorney rolls.

Spring Classes

We just opened registration for several Westlaw classes at our Madison location. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online or print a Registration Form Check out our Classes page for more dates and details.

Advanced Westlaw
Tuesday, February 18, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room

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.
FREE. 1 CLE credit.

In Milwaukee, space is still available in the following sessions. 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.

Introduction to Westlaw
Thursday, May 7, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Conference Room 2A. Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in this course by: Finding Specific Cases, Statutes and Regulations by citation; Learning how to quickly find and search specific resource; Learning about plain language searching on Westlaw; Utilizing result list filtering to narrow your search results; Exploring document features, including new "Copy with Reference"; Learning about new Westlaw history; Reviewing the basics of the Westlaw Citator - KeyCite.
FREE. 1 CLE credit.

Introduction to Wisconsin Legislative History
Thursday, June 11, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Conference Room 2A. Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
I need the legislative history of a Wisconsin statute. Where do I start? What do I do? Participants will look at the primary resources used to research Wisconsin legislative history, learn about the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files, and learn some helpful tips and tricks along the way. This introductory class covers basic research strategies and sources.
FREE. 1 CLE credit.

Librarians Reach Out

Carol Hassler presented information on public records law and research to members of Legal Personnel of Southern Wisconsin in January. At this presentation, Carol gave an overview of public record research to attendees.

Library staff regularly create research guides and other materials in response to trending topics and conference themes. This month, we’ve updated or created the following:

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February Snapshot

Women who raised the bar event

Women Who Raised the Bar
Photo by Julie Robinson

(Left to right: Amy Crowder, Jaime Healy-Plotkin, Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet, Chief Justice Patience D. Roggensack, Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, and Julie Robinson) The Wisconsin Women in Government event on January 28, 2020 honored “Women who raised the bar.” Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Rebecca Bradley, along with First Lady Kathy Evers attended to celebrate “the past and present women of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the many women who have "Raised the Bar" of Wisconsin's judicial system.”

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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