Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

Skip to content

Website Catalog

What's New Connie Von Der Heide

New DCLRC Library Associate

Ashley BrownWe’re pleased to introduce Ashley Brown, Library Associate at the Dane County Legal Resource Center. Ashley joined the staff in late June, filling the position vacated by Lisa Winkler who is now DCLRC Branch Librarian. Ashley provides assistance to DCLRC users, processes information requests received from inmates of the Dane County Jail, and files and shelves updates to the legal research materials located in the Dane County Circuit Court Judges’ courtrooms and chambers.

This fall Ashley will begin her sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she’s majoring in journalism. In addition to her work and studies, Ashley writes for the Daily Cardinal campus newspaper, sings in the UW Gospel Choir, and serves as a Junior Girl Scouts troop leader.

Jane Colwin and Catherine Lemann

During the 2007 AALL annual meeting, Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian (left) was presented with a 20-year membership certificate by Catherine Lemann, Alaska State Law Librarian and Chair of the State, Court & County Law Libraries Special Interest Section.

Welcome, Ashley!

WSLL Staff Members Attend AALL Meeting

Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, Julie Tessmer, Deputy Law Librarian, and Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, attended the 2007 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) July 15-18 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

They each attended substantive programs on a variety of issues facing today’s law librarians, including serving the needs of pro se litigant library users; best uses of technology in providing legal reference service; preservation of legal information in the digital age; and how best to deal with the ever-increasing cost of legal materials.

They also met with vendors to learn about new legal research products and services, and attended meetings of the various AALL sections, committees and roundtables to which they each belong.

Up to Top

This Just In... Pete Boll

This month’s featured titles include:

New Title: Prestatehood Legal Materials: A Fifty-State Research Guide, including New York City, and the District of Columbia, edited by Michael Chiorazzi and Marguerite Most.
Haworth Information Press, 2005
Call Number KF 240 .P688 2005

Prestatehood Legal Materials is a one-stop guide that identifies the sources of law for colonial and territorial jurisdictions prior to statehood. The comprehensive, two-volume set identifies a wide range of available resources from each state, which reveal the underlying legal principles that helped form the United States. Nearly 70 of the nation's foremost legal research professionals share their wealth of knowledge with the research community, providing brief overviews of state histories from colonization to acceptance into the U.S., as well as information on how foreign countries originally controlled the laws of the territories and how states eventually broke away to govern themselves. Special sections focus on the legal resources of colonial New York City, and Washington, DC - which is technically still in its prestatehood stage. The guide also covers legal issues with Native Americans, inter-state and the Mexican and Canadian borders, and the development of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government.

The book has received praise from legal researchers and scholars alike. Most recently, the American Association of Law Libraries selected it as the recipient of the 2007 Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award. Named in honor of Joseph L. Andrews, reference librarian at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the award is presented each year in recognition of a significant contribution to legal bibliographic literature.

New Edition: Wisconsin Civil Litigation Forms Manual. 2nd edition, by Angela B. Bartell, et al.
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2007
Call Number KFW 2930.A65 W71

Published as a new edition for the first time since 1995, this practical, how-to book provides annotated sample civil litigation forms designed to simplify the litigation process. Because many changes have occurred in civil litigation since the 1995 publication, this second edition is being released in two parts. The first part updates chapters 1 through 24.

The sample litigation forms provided in the Manual are drafted in plain and accurate language without legalese and redundancies. Each form is designed to reflect a representative situation. Users may need to modify the forms depending on the circumstances of their specific case. Each chapter also addresses the specific rules that apply to the forms, as well as filing and serving them.

Up to Top

Click to It! Legal Research at Your Fingertips – Amy Crowder

In previous installments of this column, we focused on accessing electronic journals through the WSLL Library Catalog and the Journals & Legal Databases page. This month’s column highlights the federal primary law and legislative history resources accessible on HeinOnline.

HeinOnline Main Page Screenshot
HeinOnline Supreme Court Library Screenshot
HeinOnline Federal Register Screenshot

Federal Primary Law

Searching the web for sources of free federal law can mean spending valuable time jumping around to a number of sites trying to locate what you actually need – frustrating, right? Instead, try using HeinOnline - it can save you a great deal of time and trouble.

You may already know and use HeinOnline for its extensive law journal library. Did you know that it also provides one-stop shopping for many federal primary law resources? You can access the Code of Federal Regulations from 1938 to 1983, and the Federal Register from 1936 to 2007. Are you looking for U.S. Supreme Court cases? HeinOnline’s Supreme Court Library includes U.S. Reports back to 1754, and U.S. Supreme Court slip opinions from 2002 to the present. Other federal primary law resources include published U.S. Attorney General Opinions from 1791-1982, and the U.S. Statutes at Large back to volume 1 (1789).

Federal Legislative Histories

If you’ve ever had to compile a federal legislative history, you know how time consuming it can be. If only you could find a source that has already done it! The databases in HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library just might be your ticket. The U.S. Federal Legislative History Title Collection contains full text legislative histories of "some of the most important and historically significant legislation of our time” including the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Davis-Bacon Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and the USA Patriot Act, to name a few. Don’t find what you need there? The Sources of Compiled Legislative History Database provides bibliographic citation information for government documents, journal articles and books that contain compiled legislative histories. Armed with that information, search your local library’s catalog, or inquire with them about borrowing the document, article or book from another library for you through Interlibrary Loan.

How Can You Access HeinOnline?

Authorized WSLL library cardholders can access the HeinOnline database remotely through our Journals and Legal Databases webpage. Simply enter your name and library card number as prompted. (Note: some access restrictions apply.)

If you don’t have a WSLL library card and are eligible for one, visit any of our three libraries to register. If you’re unable to register in person, contact the Wisconsin State Law Library to request a card by mail. For more information, please visit our Circulation webpage.

If you aren’t able to access HeinOnline remotely, visit the Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, or the Dane County Legal Resource Center, where HeinOnline is available on all public computer workstations.

Learn More About HeinOnline

To learn more about effectively searching the many databases available on HeinOnline, visit this tutorials webpage.

Up to Top

Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

What’s my password? I know it’s here somewhere…

What's My Password Key Image

How many passwords are you required to use on a daily basis? If you’re like most computer users, it’s probably between five and ten. If you factor in the passwords you use once a week or a few times a month, you might have 10-15 passwords you need to use and safeguard.

The hardest part of using passwords is remembering them and, unfortunately, the strongest passwords are often the most difficult to remember. With this problem in mind, I went in search of tips on how to remember (or manage) your passwords.

My favorite tip comes from Rod Turnham, an IT analyst working for the Charlotte Observer. Turnham recommends assigning security levels to your passwords. Some passwords, like your online banking password, must be given a high security classification. This password must be very strong, not shared, not written down, not saved on the computer. Others, such as the password you use to read the online version of the newspaper or view photos on Snapfish, can be given a low security classification. This password can be easy to remember (or even obvious) and saved on the computer. You can even use the same easy-to-remember password for several sites. This reduces the number of passwords you have to remember. To determine if a password deserves a low security classification, ask yourself whether it protects any sensitive or personal information, says Turnham. If not, feel free to use your dog’s name - Rover and Rover again.

What about writing down your passwords and/or keeping them in a file on the computer? Most experts caution against this. However, in my opinion, this can be done as long as you employ some safeguards. You might keep the written list in a locked drawer. Or, rather than writing down the actual password, you might write down your own security question or hint and keep that on your computer or in a safe place.

Memory tricks are useful when trying to recall passwords. I like to visualize an object and create a password from it. For example, perhaps you covet your neighbor’s car. You might create a password using the make, her initials and part of her phone number or address: VetteLH@1578. Now, when you use your online banking site, visualize your neighbor’s corvette and (hopefully) you’ll remember your password.

Some programs require you to change your password on a regular basis. There’s some debate about whether this contributes to security. Frequent password changes may encourage users to choose easy passwords or make it more likely that they will write down their password. If the program allows, you might try choosing a strong password and building upon it or changing part of it each time you need to set a new password.

If you’re simply overwhelmed by too many passwords, there are tools known as “password managers” that can store them for you. But don’t use just any password manager you find through a simple web search. Read more about them and check reputable reviews before selecting one.

Do you have a tip on creating or remembering passwords? Can you recommend a good password manager? Please email your comments to the editor.

See also this related Tech Tip, “How to choose and use secure passwords” in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of WSLL @ Your Service.

Up to Top

Odds & Endings – Carol Hassler

Coffee Table Reading

The library has added a new book to leaf through while relaxing during your visit:

Women in Congress Women in Congress

Women in Congress, 1917-2006

Read essays describing various eras of Congresswomen, while enjoying the bulk of the book: profiles of the legislative careers of 145 women, including full page photographs for each. You’ll find this book on a coffee table in our comfortable reading nook.

Notables for August

August is National Inventors Month, first observed in 1995. Here are some famous inventions patented in August:

Other notable dates this month:

Up to Top

Ask a Librarian: 800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); wsll.ref@wicourts.gov
Library Hours/Locations: WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov

Editor: Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!


Popular Library Services