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WSLL @ Your Service September 2009

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Staff News

Peter Boll, WSLL Acquisitions Librarian and a Lieutenant in the US Navy, Reserve Component, returns to work this month after nearly a year of active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Pete was mobilized with Navy Cargo Handling Battalion SEVEN as a part of the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group out of Williamsburg, VA. Following training and exercises at Norfolk and Williamsburg, he and his unit were stationed in Kuwait for about 9 months. Pete will share more on his experiences in an upcoming newsletter. Welcome Home, Pete!

Devin Rogers, formerly a part time shelver and filer, has accepted the full time Library Assistant – Processing position vacated by Rachel Holtan last month. Congratulations, Devin!

WSLL welcomes three new part time employees. Krista Balgeman, filer, completed her political science degree in May and will begin a graduate program in international studies in the fall of 2010. Krista also works part time as an intern at a PR and lobbying firm. Laura Lay, Wisconsin briefs assistant, is currently a grad student in the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Science, and she recently completed an internship working with archival collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Rebecca Light, shelver, also works part time at the Madison Public Library doing shelving, circulation and book repair. Rebecca will begin her graduate program in library and information studies this month.

Upcoming Classes

E-filing: Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Location: Wisconsin State Law Library
Attorneys are now required to submit electronic copies of briefs and other documents when litigating matters at the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. In this one-hour session, David Schanker, Clerk of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, will explain the new rule and provide technical guidance on how to create and file electronic documents. This is an opportunity for attorneys and legal assistants to gain practical skills and an understanding of the new e-filing requirements.
Cost: $35.00. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 20. Pre-Register Online | Print Registration Form

It's Library Card Signup Month

Every September libraries across the country promote getting a library card. If you're eligible for a Wisconsin State Law Library card but don't have one yet, now's the time! Why register for a WSLL card? Having one allows you to borrow materials from all three of our libraries. And, you can use it to renew your materials online and access our LegalTrac and HeinOnline* law journal databases remotely - from any internet-equipped device! (*Some restrictions apply to HeinOnline remote access.) Signing up is easy - and free! Just go to our Borrow Library Materials page, determine whether you're eligible for a card, and if so complete the online form. We'll email your card number ASAP, and your card will arrive by mail a few days later. Or, you may register during your next visit to any of our three libraries and receive your card on the spot. Don't delay – do it today!

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A Summertime Reunion Doubleplay – Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian

Dennis Austen and Jane ColwinDennis Austin, former Deputy Law Librarian, paid us a surprise visit in early July. He also came bearing gifts – several notebooks containing various law library correspondence from the late 1880s.

One notebook contains letters mainly relating to the sale, exchange and receipt of volumes of Wisconsin Reports and other state documents, the other has envelopes, addressed to John R. Berryman [fn1] and bearing 3 cent stamps. The letters are notable for their beautiful, ornate penmanship and extreme politeness. For example, there is a personally signed thank you note from the Banks Law Publishing Co. of New York thanking the Library for paying a $53.25 invoice. I rarely see an invoice today for such a low amount, much less get a thank you note for paying it. As evidenced by these letters, the Library at one time sold surplus copies of Wisconsin Reports for the princely sum of two dollars per volume – but only to lawyers, who had to submit an affidavit to that fact along with their payment.

There are many letters from State and Territorial Librarians from around the country acknowledging receipt of various volumes of Wisconsin Reports. My favorite is an 1880 acknowledgment from the Library of Congress, signed by no less than Ainsworth Rand Spofford, the sixth Librarian of Congress. Appointed to the position by President Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Spofford served as Librarian from 1864 to 1897, and is credited with transforming the Library from a strictly congressional collection to a national institution. Spofford was responsible for the Copyright Law of 1870 [fn2], which required all copyright applicants to send to the Library two copies of their work. This resulted in a flood of books, pamphlets, maps, music, prints, and photographs and assured that the future growth of the library was guaranteed by law.

Ainsworth Rand Spofford Letter Feb 1879Answorth Rand Spofford Letter Oct 8, 1880

Dennis, who was always our unofficial historian, said that these letters were destined for the trash at one time, so he rescued them and kept them safe. But he thought we would enjoy having them back – and he was right! We will keep them in the locked case in our main lobby. Please take a look the next time you stop in. And as for Dennis, who is happily retired in Mobile, Alabama, far away from snow and ice - he doesn't look a day older than the day he retired!


[footnote 1] State Law Librarian, 1876 – 1906
[footnote 2] ch. 230, 16 Stat. 198 (1870)


Click letters to enlarge

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This Just In… – Julie Tessmer

Wisconsin Titles on Topics in Today's News

Indoor Smoking Ban in Wisconsin, by Clark Radatz and Dan Ritsche.
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, 2009
Call Number: KFW 2420 .L44 LB 09-1

Navigating Local Land Use Laws and Approval Process, by Mark Hazelbaker.
National Business Institute, 2009
Call Number: KFW 2858 .A75 N28 2009

Real Property Foreclosure: a Step-by-Step, by Christina E. Demakoapulos.
National Business Institute, 2009
Call Number: KFW 2530.5 F6 R42 2009

Stopping the Revolving Door: Reform of Community Corrections, by Kate Mize.
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, 2009
Call Number: KFW 2990 .J3 M59 2009

New Editions

Black's Law Dictionary, Bryan A. Garner, editor-in-chief
West, 2009
Call Number: Reference K 50 .B53 2009

Look for the latest edition in its green leather binding. For additional information on the original author, Henry Campbell Black, visit the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library.

Discovery Practice, by Roger S. Haydock
Aspen Publishers, 2009
Call Number: KF 8900 H42 D55

A Judge's Guide: Making Child Centered Decisions in Custody Cases, Diane Boyd Rauber, editor
ABA Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project, 2008
Call Number: KF 547 .J82 2008

Government Documents

Reporting Tip Income: the Jill & Jason Show, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service, 2009
Call Number: Media Collection KF 6410 .R47 2009

This DVD “Provides information for people in service industries regarding why they should report tip income, the way to report tip income, and the benefits of reporting tip income.”

Ten Steps to Better Case Management: a Guide for Multidistrict Litigation Transferee Judges.
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation & the Federal Judicial Center, 2009
Call Number: KF 8900 .T462 2009
Also available on the Federal Judicial Center

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 in Brief – Heidi Yelk

What's in a Browser? More than you might think

If you haven't been keeping up with the browser wars, Firefox recently announced it is celebrating one billion Firefox downloads.

According to trend-watchers, Microsoft's Internet Explorer now has about 54 percent of the market. That's down from 90 percent just a couple of years ago. Competing browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari are coming on strong and making major dents in IE's market share.

You may be thinking “A browser is a browser is a browser. It doesn't matter which one I use.” However, as web-delivered applications become more common in the workplace, a company's browser does matter. Employees must be able to use applications to their fullest. An incompatible browser can gum up the works.

Until recently, many web applications were written for IE and would only work with IE. That has changed. With the development of new browsers that offer different strengths and features, companies are re-thinking their browser of choice.

A recent review by eWeek tested five browsers in areas including web app compatibility, standards support, security, platform support and performance. It turns out that lesser known browsers Google Chrome and Opera outperformed IE and Firefox in several areas. Firefox received high marks for being the most compatible with web applications. IE offered more “lock down” features, popular with companies that want more control over the browser. Chrome and Opera fared well ahead of IE and Firefox when it came to standards support and performance. (A recent review from PC World found Chrome to be the fastest among four competing browsers.) None of the browsers scored well on security features. To read Jim Rapoza's review, “Browsers Battle for Enterprise Dominance,” see the June 15, 2009 edition of eWeek.

As the article notes, there's no one clear browser choice for any business. Firms need to analyze their own needs in light of a browser's capabilities. In the legal setting, considerations might include which browsers are required for Westlaw and Lexis and recommended browsers for e-filing with federal and state courts. In addition, user opinions are always worthwhile. See “Why Firefox Is The Best Internet Browser For Lawyers and “Eight Mac Web Browsers for Your Consideration.

Next month, Carol Hassler, our resident Firefox expert, will share some favorite Firefox add-ons.

A Trick for your Mouse Wheel

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel and are using a browser with “tabbed browsing,” you can use the scroll wheel to click on a link and it will open in another tab. This is a lightning-fast way to browse the web.

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Odds ‘n' Endings – Amy Crowder

Back to School and Back in Session

September means two things. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is back in session and, to the relief of parents everywhere, kids are returning to school. In honor of these occurrences, this month's column offers some court and school related facts.

  • Electa Quinney, a Stockbridge Indian, was the first professional teacher in Wisconsin. She taught during the 1820's near where the city of Kaukauna is today.
  • Performance data for Wisconsin school districts can be viewed on WINSS. It lets you compare your community's schools to other state schools in the areas of math, reading, social studies, science, and language arts.
  • In 1848, the Wisconsin Constitution divided the state into five judicial districts. The voters selected a judge from each district to sit on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with judges “reviewing their own cases.” In 1852, the legislature created a new separate Supreme Court allowing for “independent review of lower court rulings.” Three men were elected to the bench: Abram D. Smith, Edward V. Whiton, and Samuel Crawford. Their salaries were $2,000 per year. See The Wisconsin Court System: Demystifying the Judicial Branch for more facts about the Court.
  • A 1907 book, The School Beautiful, proposed that “schools should be both beautiful and sanitary.” Realizing that, “at first blush, the task may seem beset with many difficulties,” the book offers advice on such things as raising funds for the betterment of the school, maintaining walls, hanging pictures, and planting trees in the school yard.

May your September be beautiful.

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