Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service September 2023

Leverage this Online Reference Shelf for Your Practice - Carol Hassler

Several years ago at the reference desk, I was asked about the meaning of a "day." Questions like these can sometimes read like poetry. What is the meaning behind how we spend our time on Earth? While I always enjoy a little armchair philosophy; for legal definitions, there are many more concrete sources for uncovering meaning.

Dictionaries are helpful when you can't find a definition in the text of the law, or you need more context about how a word is used. The library has several print dictionaries, with some dating all the way back to the 1600's. New to our online collections are many more historical and contemporary sources to find definitions. Get to this treasure trove of dictionaries in Spinelli's Law Library Reference Shelf on HeinOnline.

Log in to HeinOnline with a library card, and open up Spinelli's Law Library Reference Shelf. Choose "Dictionaries" from the list to browse the book titles, or search through all of them at once.

Spinellis screenshot

HeinOnline is available with a library card to most users, except for those in firms with 25 or more attorneys. Anyone can use HeinOnline on a computer in one of our three libraries - no library card required.

Sign up for a card

Libraries are lauded as money and time saving resources. With a free library card from the Wisconsin State Law Library, you can check out eBooks instantly from Lexis Digital or get a head start on untangling taxes with CCH AnswerConnect, a tax-focused database. Check out specialized books on a cornucopia of topics to help you bolster your current knowledge, or grow your practice into new areas.

Attorneys, court staff, and Wisconsin government employees and officials, can all sign up for a free card. Fill out an application today to get started.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

book cover

New Book! Health Law Essentials, edited by Jessica L. Bailey-Wheaton, 2023
Call Number: KF3821 .H4347 2023

If you are a new lawyer to the field of health care law, check out Health Law Essentials. This is just a starting point for health law research and touches on fraud and abuse laws, payor laws, and some state specific laws. Health care organizational and operational issues are discussed along with patient care issues, health care financing, and telehealth.

Topics include:

  • Entity licensure
  • Medicare conditions of participation and conditions for coverage
  • CMS-approved accrediting organizations
  • Risk mitigation
  • Physician licensure and certification
  • Physician staff peer review
  • Medical malpractice
  • Informed consent
  • Accommodations
  • Complaint/Arbitration demands
  • Medicare, Medicaid, and appeals
  • Stark law
  • False claims act
  • Pharmacy and drug law
  • Emergency medical treatment and labor act

book cover

New Book! Trauma-informed law: a primer for practicing lawyers and a pathway for resilience and healing, edited by Helgi Maki and others, 2023
Call Number: KF297 .T73 2023

Experts in law, psychology, and similar fields have come together to write Trauma-informed law: a primer for practicing lawyers and a pathway for resilience and healing. The cases discussed intersect with trauma and cover race, class, gender, disabilities, and sexual orientation. Scenarios that impact the facts in these cases could include addiction, substance abuse, poverty, developmental health issues, community safety, and more. The authors discuss practice implications to guide future cases. This text would be beneficial for lawyers, judges, educators, students, and others impacted by the court.

Chapters include:

  • Legal practice and trauma
  • Trauma & healing in legal systems: courts and judges
  • Legal education and trauma
  • Systems change and trauma: the legal system and systemic or collective trauma


New books

Browsing new books can be so satisfying! The next time you stop by the library, check out our rotating display of new and recently updated books.

new book display

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

Digital magazines & newspapers - format matters

In the past several years, full images of scanned magazines and newspapers have been making their way into online databases. This format change (and technological advances using optical character recognition) is an important step forward for researchers. Prior to scanned images, periodical content in databases was generally limited to a text file (just the words) of a particular article -- devoid of page layout, design elements, advertisements, photographs.

Today, more and more publications are available in databases that consist entirely of scanned images. There are several reasons why this is this important to researchers.

  1. Scanned images are an exact copy, including all the elements of the printed publication, from the masthead to the tiny advertisements in the back. With the scanned version, it's possible to review the table of contents of an issue. This can help researchers identify bad citations and verify the exact content of a particular issue.
  2. Article sidebars and important author information may not be included in a text-only database, which may leave out ancillary content. To discover this information, researchers need the hard copy or a scanned version.
  3. Photographs, charts, and graphs are seldom represented in text databases. These integral components are included in the scanned article database.
  4. Advertisements. Sometimes, it's not the articles researchers are after, but the other content, such as advertisements and cover art.

Badgerlink logo

How can researchers access scanned magazines and newspapers? Many publications are available remotely and at no charge from public library databases. This month's feature article already discusses the benefits of a State Law Library card. By also using a public library card, you can expand your reach to even more content. Statewide, all public library cardholders have access to the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. (WPLC) and Badgerlink. WPLC provides access to scanned popular magazines (issues generally date back three years). Badgerlink provides nearly 20 years of scanned community newspapers, and is also available to access with a State Law Library card.

Check your local library website for additional databases such as PressReader, Flipster Magazines, Hoopla, and Access Newspaper Archive. All of these databases provide scanned versions of proprietary magazines and national newspapers. They're a great reason to keep your public library card handy.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Probate research tips

In last month's State Bar of Wisconsin InsideTrack, librarian Carol Hassler surveyed free and printed sources for understanding probate court. Read Legal Research 101: 7 Sources for Planning Probate for an overview of some of our favorite books and search tools.

Fall webinars

Webinars for Fall 2023 are now open. Registration for each webinar is limited to 100. Registrations will be approved weekly by the moderator. Once your registration is approved, you will get an email confirmation with connection information. Please reach out to Heidi Yelk with questions.

Researching the Wisconsin Administrative Code
Thursday, September 21, 2023, noon - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Researching the Wisconsin Administrative Code
Discussion and instruction of the history and function of the administrative code, with tips and examples to show how to research the history of a rule.

Introduction to Wisconsin Legislative History
Thursday, October 19, noon-1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Introduction to Wisconsin Legislative History
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.

Missing or Repealed Statutes and other special problems in Wisconsin Legislative Research
Thursday, November 16, noon-1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Missing or Repealed Statutes and other special problems in Wisconsin Legislative Research
This class introduces sources that can untangle unusual problems that can be quite vexing when they come up, such as finding repealed statutes, tracing non-statutory laws, and determining when and to what extent a non-codified session law has been amended.

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September Snapshot

Monroe County Justice Center

Monroe County Justice Center
Photo by Laura L. Endres

A summer rainbow illuminates the entrance to the Monroe County Justice Center, located in Sparta, Wisconsin.

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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Comments Welcome!

  • Contact Carol Hassler


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