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WSLL @ Your Service March 2011

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Upcoming Class

"I need the legislative history of a Wisconsin statute. Where do I start? What do I do?" Get answers to these questions and more by attending our next hands-on class, Researching Wisconsin Legislative History: Sources and Strategies. Participants will look at the primary resources used to research Wisconsin legislative history, navigate the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files, and learn some time saving tips and tricks along the way. For complete details and registration information, please visit our Classes page.

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1836-2011: Celebrating Our History – Amy Crowder & Julie Tessmer

"I Remember When..." -- Collecting State Law Library Memories

Over the past few months, we have searched through our files and explored other library collections to compile a more complete history of the State Law Library. Something that just can't be found in the historical record are the personal memories people have of the library.

Help celebrate the State Law Library's 175th anniversary by sharing your memories of the library. Whether you've been a library user for decades or just a few weeks, please tell us in your own words a favorite recollection or two. Throughout the year we'll highlight your submissions on our new 175th Anniversary page.

Some members of our staff have shared a few memories:


Mondale / Ferraro rally at Wisconsin Capitol buildingJane Colwin, State Law Librarian

"During the 1984 Presidential race, Walter Mondale, accompanied by his running mate Geraldine Ferraro, spoke at a rally on the Capitol steps. For security reasons, the Secret Service had closed the Library and instructed that we shut all the windows and blinds. Not wanting to miss out on this historic event, we cracked the windows open and peeked out the blinds. It was exciting to be an eyewitness to history."

Note paperConnie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference and Outreach Services

"One warm summer day in the late 1990s, I was on the 4th floor of the library doing research in the stacks. The book I needed was on a shelf near a low, open window. At that time, the Capitol was not air conditioned and there were no screens on the windows. Just after I'd laid my research notes on the table next to the bookshelf, a short gust of wind blew one of my papers out the window. It came to rest several feet away on the gravel-covered roof of the story below. I really needed that piece of paper - it probably contained the research requester's name and contact information - so I quickly climbed out the window and retrieved it. How's that for a real-life paper chase?!"

Judicial opinionsJulie Tessmer, Deputy Law Librarian

"Before the internet existed, attorneys and newspaper reporters would wait in the library for the release of Supreme Court Opinions. Generally, Dennis Austin, Deputy Law Librarian at that time, would get the phone call that opinions were ready to be picked up. I'd run down the internal marble staircase to the Clerk of Court's office to pick up copies for the library. If it was an especially "hot" opinion, we'd immediately start making multiple copies so they were ready for sale."


Do you have a story to tell? Share it by filling out our simple online form, or send an email to Julie Tessmer (Julie.Tessmer@wicourts.gov).

Celebrating 175 years of service

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

New Edition! Negotiating a Labor Contract, by Robert M. Cassel
4th edition
BNA Books, 2010
WSLL Call Number: KF 3408 .L69 2010

Cassel's latest edition is a step-by-step guide to all aspects of negotiations, from assessing the bargaining climate to drafting the final contract document. In between, it covers topics such as preparation for negotiations, presenting proposals and counterproposals, costing demands and offers, ways to avoid impasse, labor law issues, preparing for strikes, and working with mediators. The book includes coverage of:

  • Typical subjects employees and employers bargain over through spokespersons or union representatives
  • How to learn the necessary information about the subjects under negotiation
  • Special words and techniques negotiators find helpful to use at the bargaining table
  • Constructive methods for disagreeing with other negotiators without causing hard feelings and completely breaking up the bargaining process

New Edition! Compensation Plans for Law Firms, by James D. Cotterman
5th edition
American Bar Association, 2010
WSLL Call Number: KF 315.Z9 C66 2010

Since the recent economic downturn beginning in late 2007, the law firm labor market - like most other markets - has been under tremendous pressure. Cotterman's latest edition takes into consideration changing compensation decision philosophies in light of the changing economic climate. This 5th edition is divided into five chapters, one for each of the following groups: partners or shareholders, of counsel, associates, paraprofessionals, and support staff.

Other subjects addressed in the book include:

  • Compensation theory
  • Art and science of compensation
  • Bonuses, increases and incentives
  • Debt, taxes, retirement, and withdrawal
  • Evaluations, fairness, and flexibility

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

Repair scratched DVDsScratched DVDs – Fix or Toss?

Repairing a scratched DVD is easier than you might think. There are several "how to" columns on the web that explain the steps. Home remedies include using toothpaste, silver polish, metal polish, furniture polish and a variety of other everyday materials. DVD and CD manufacturers also sell scratch repair kits in the $10 - $20 range. For this article, two methods were tested: a repair kit from a manufacturer, and a liquid non-wax furniture polish.

The repair kit came with a helpful tray to hold the disc in place during the repair. As with many of the websites listed above, the directions emphasized the importance of cleaning and polishing the disc from the center outward to the edge. Do not rub in circles. In addition to the "scratch remover" (a small bottle of a semi-liquid substance) the repair kit also came with a spray bottle of cleaner and sealer – that was step two. The commercial kit worked very well on two DVDs. The first had just one deep scratch, which no longer caused problems after the repair. The second had several minor scratches that caused skips during playback. Again, after the repair there were no more skipping problems.

The furniture polish method worked almost as well. It didn't eliminate all the skips, but it did improve the discs' overall performance. When using polish or another home remedy, it's important to thoroughly clean the disc with a glass cleaner or similar substance to remove any residue.

These methods were both easy and fairly inexpensive. So before giving up on a DVD, it's worth trying a home remedy or scratch repair kit.

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WSLL Recommends…

This monthly column highlights a legal research tool, in print and/or electronic format, that is not freely available on the internet. We hope it will increase your knowledge of sources with which you might already be familiar, and help to expand your legal research toolkit.

Commercial Real Estate Transactions in WisconsinThe new State Bar title Commercial Real Estate Transactions in Wisconsin made its debut in our collection last month. This publication provides the perspectives of both the buyer and the seller and guides you from the beginning of a commercial real estate transaction through the closing. It features:

  • Variety of sample contracts: residential, farm, vacant land, condominium, commercial, business
  • Sample offers to purchase: commercial & vacant land
  • Sample rider
  • Property survey standards: WI minimum & ALTA (American Land Title Association)
  • Environmental site assessment
  • Financing considerations
  • Insurance issues
  • Leasing information
  • Tax strategies
  • Closing checklist & statement

The companion CD-ROM contains fillable sample forms & contracts. Visit the Wisconsin State Law Library today to review this new title. The State Law Library, the Dane County Legal Resource Center, and the Milwaukee Legal Recourse Center all provide on-site electronic access to this title through Books Unbound on our patron computer network.

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Odds 'n' Endings – Connie Von Der Heide

The month of March brings warmer temps, wearin' o' the green, and maybe some extra spring to your step! Here are some notables for the calendar.

8 – Mardi Gras, also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday - don your favorite purple, green and gold attire and feast on pancakes!

11 – Johnny Appleseed Day

13 – Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time. Set clocks forward one hour.

14 – International Ask a Question Day

15 – Ides of March - a great day to brush up on some Shakespeare

17 – St. Patrick's Day

20 – The vernal equinox, the official beginning of spring, occurs at 6:21 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) – making March 21st the first full day of spring.

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