Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin State Law Library and Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers will be closed Monday, January 21, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

What's New - Amy Crowder

State Law Library Catalog Debuts New Look, More Features

After months of preparation, our Library Catalog's new interface debuted on January 3rd. In addition to the updated look, it now provides greater functionality and more interactivity with our website. It also offers several new user-friendly features that allow you to customize and save your searches and alert you to new materials added to our libraries' collections:

  • Quick Search Tab
    Use the pull-down menu to choose your preferred search strategy: Title, Keyword, Author, or Subject.
  • Sort Your Search Results
    You can select the order in which your search results are displayed.
  • Advanced Keyword:
    Limit Your Search
    Limit search results to display only currently available items, items in a specific library location, format, or publication year.
  • Renew Your Books
    Easily renew items you have on loan.
  • Search History
    Return to previous searches performed during your current search session.
  • Preferred Search
    Save your searches and re-run them the next time you log in.
  • Email Alerts
    Receive an email whenever we add new items related to your searches.
  • New Titles
    View our monthly list of new items, or receive immediate updates using the New Titles RSS feature.

These new features are designed to help you locate items in our collection and access our electronic resources even more easily than before. To get you started searching the new catalog, here's a brief online tutorial

The next two articles provide additional information on using both Preferred Search and New Titles, and future newsletter issues will cover all the other new and improved catalog features. In the meantime, please contact our Reference Desk for any assistance you may need.

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Preferred Searching - Amy Crowder

"Preferred Search" Helps You Save Time and Stay Current

Now you can optimize your valuable research time by saving your Library Catalog searches.  Preferred Search lets you run a search, save it, and return to it at a later time. 

To save your Preferred Search:

  1. Before creating your search, login by selecting My Record.  To use this feature, you will need a library card.
  2. Do a search for an author, title, or topic.
  3. Select the “Save as Preferred Search” button on the search results screen.
  4. Click "Return to Your Record” to retrieve your list of Preferred Searches.  

Next time you can simply log into your My Record account and retrieve your “Preferred Searches.”  For quick identification they're arranged by search type (author, title, topic). Simply click the “Search” link adjacent to the preferred search you want to run again.   As your research needs change, you can easily remove searches by checking “Mark to Remove” and selecting “Update List."

Email Alerts

Preferred Search can also alert to you to new library materials.  If you choose to use this feature, you'll automatically receive an email alert anytime we add a new item associated with an author, title, or topic you've saved as a Preferred Search.

To set up Email Alerts:

  1. Login to My Record using your library card.
  2. To verify that your email address is current and correct, select the “Modify Personal Info” button.
  3. View your current list of preferred searches, or save a new preferred search.
  4. Check “Mark for Email” and select “Update List.”
  5. When a new item arrives that matches your search, you'll receive an email message.  Please verify that the item is available by clicking on the web link in the message.

To learn more, view this Preferred Search online tutorial or visit the Help section of our Library Catalog.

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Got Milk? How About a Library Card? - Connie Von Der Heide

If you're like me, you probably can't imagine life without some of Wisconsin's state beverage on your morning cereal or with your favorite cookies. Having a WSLL library card is pretty important, too. It allows you not only to take advantage of all the new timesaving and "work smart" features of our Library Catalog, but it also gives you remote access to some of the legal research databases we offer - anytime, anywhere, and from any Internet-equipped device.

Wisconsin State Law Library cards are unique to our libraries. This means that even if you already have a card from your public library or another law library, you'll need one of our cards in order to borrow books from any of our three locations, or to take advantage of remote access to LegalTrac and HeinOnline.

Who's eligible for a State Law Library card?
Borrowing privileges are extended to Wisconsin Court System judges and staff, private attorneys and their staff, and attorneys and staff employed by any federal, state, county or local government agency in Wisconsin. If you're not eligible for a card, please remember that anyone may visit any of our three locations to use library materials on site, and anyone may contact us by phone, fax or email for reference assistance.

How much does a library card cost?
Nothing - it's the best deal around!

How do I get one?
If you're eligible for a card, visit any one of our three locations to register in person - it takes just a few minutes. Or, to receive your card by mail, simply contact WSLL and provide us with your name and complete office address information.

Yes, it's really that simple. So stop in, pick up the phone, or send us an email today! Oh - and on the way home, don't forget the milk....

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This Just In... - Pete Boll

Brand New! WSLL's New Titles List

This month, instead of featuring two or three specific new titles added to our collection, I’m pleased to highlight an exciting new feature of our re-designed Library Catalog - New Titles lists.

Each month we will now post a list of new titles added to our collection that month.  Each list will be divided into as many as 40 general topic areas, with a user-friendly "Jump” feature that lets you go directly to the titles in your particular topics of interest.  Examples of topics include:

  • Administrative Law
  • Law Profession
  • Contracts
  • Military Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement, Social Security
  • Intellectual Property
  • Taxation
  • Labor Law
  • Torts

To make them even more useful, each listed title will be hyperlinked to its full Library Catalog record. This means you can simply click on the title to see detailed information such as which volumes the library has and whether they're currently available, and access an electronic version of the publication if there is one.
Titles related to Wisconsin law will also be marked with this symbol Wisconsin Title allowing you to quickly identify materials which might be most relevant to your research needs.

Monthly lists will be archived for one year, allowing you to go back and quickly review all new titles added over the past 12 months.

Don't worry, next month I'll resume my regular in-depth summaries of selected new titles, editions, and supplements. But I encourage (and will remind) you to check New Titles for complete listings.  It's yet another great way to stay informed on what's Just In!

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WSLL, MLRC, DCLRC exhibit at Solo/Small Firm Conference - Connie Von Der Heide

Lisa Winkler demonstrating the websiteWith the help of Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW), five Wisconsin public law libraries were able to exhibit their resources and services during the 2007 Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference held at Milwaukee’s Italian Conference Center on November 29 and 30. Hosted jointly by the Milwaukee Bar Association and the State Bar of Wisconsin, the conference attracted over 200 solo and small firm practitioners and featured two full days of programming in four different tracks: substantive law, practice management, technology, and ethics/quality of life.

Over thirty vendor-sponsors exhibited their products and services, including an LLAW-sponsored booth featuring Marquette University Law Library, UW Law Library, Wisconsin State Law Library, and the Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers. Each library provided a laptop, display materials, and staff who worked the booth in shifts. LLAW publications were also on display. Many conference attendees stopped by during program breaks to view the libraries’ web sites and electronic resources, register for borrower cards, and learn about the services these libraries offer.

Connie Von Der Heide, Wisconsin State Law Library, coordinated the exhibit booth staffing, equipment and setup. The following WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC staff worked at the booth and/or assisted with displays and equipment: Jane Colwin, Amy Witt Crowder, Ben De Young, Carol Hassler, Rebecca Knutson, Kate Roherty, Art Saffran, Julie Tessmer, and Lisa Winkler. We sincerely thank LLAW for providing the exhibit space funding, and Marquette and UW Law Libraries for their contributions and participation.

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Learn @ the Law Library

Register now for these upcoming hands-on legal research classes. All classes are held in the Wisconsin State Law Library's computer training room.

Using LegalTrac and HeinOnline to Locate Law Reviews Online
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
The number of full text law review and journal articles available electronically continues to increase exponentially, making it more convenient than ever to find what you need.  Come and learn how to access and use LegalTrac and HeinOnline, two databases available through WSLL that can enhance your law journal research.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.

Tax Resources On The Web
Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Tax research giving you headaches?  Come spend an hour unraveling the maze of tax-related websites.  See what’s available for free in the way of forms and tax help for Wisconsin, other states and the IRS.  Jane Colwin, a tax librarian in a former life, will lead you in a hands-on tour. 
FREE Class.  1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.

For additional information, see our Classes & Tours webpage or contact Tammy Keller, Program Assistant, at 608-261-7553 or tammy.keller@wicourts.gov

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Odds 'n' Endings - Julie Tessmer

Notables for January

1st -- Happy New Year!

17th -- The Dane County Legal Resource Center marks its 2nd year in the new Dane County Courthouse.

21st -- Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. It’s both a federal and state holiday so banks, post offices, and government offices will be closed, including the Wisconsin State Law Library and Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers.

22nd -- WSLL marks the 6th anniversary of opening in the Risser Justice Center. Reminisce along with us by taking a look at our Jan.-Apr. 2002 "grand opening" issue.

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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!


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