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WSLL @ Your Service   Dec. 2003
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

Lucille Busse Retires  

Lucille Busse, Library Assistant - Circulation, will retire at the end of this year. Lucille joined the staff in January 1988, when the library was in the east wing of the Capitol building. For nearly 16 years she has been the face and voice of the State Law Library, greeting both telephone and in-person users and assisting them with checkout and photocopying of library materials.

When asked what she will miss most about her job, Lucille said she will truly miss seeing all of the library users, most of whom she greets by name when they enter the library. She also said she has enjoyed working at the library because she was always learning new things.

Lucille will keep busy in her retirement. She and her husband, Fritz, plan to do some traveling, and she’ll be helping their youngest daughter, Chris, prepare for her wedding next April. She’s also looking forward to spending more time on her hobbies, which include tracing genealogies on six different families, reading, needlepoint, knitting and spending time with her family. Lucille and Fritz have three children, Rick, Teresa and Chris, as well as four grandchildren and one great-grandson.

We invite you to join us in celebrating Lucille’s years of service during our holiday party on Friday, December 19, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the State Law Library, 120 MLK, Jr. Boulevard in downtown Madison. A special presentation to Lucille will take place at 4:00.
Congratulations and Best Wishes, Lucille!
WSLL Web -- Elaine Sharp   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk
Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service
A new state legislative bill tracking service is now available. Users may register to receive daily or weekly email regarding specific legislative activity. Choices include notification of bills introduced on a specific topic or by a specific legislator, activities of a particular committee, every action affecting a specific proposal, and more. For additional information, visit the FAQ page.

California Opinions 1850-present
CA published opinions from 1850 are now available free of charge. Opinions may be retrieved by party name or citation, or users can do natural language searching with the ability to limit by date. For a small fee the case may also be Shepardized using the Make Sure Your Case is Still Good Law feature.

Electronic Access to Criminal Files
A study by the Federal Judicial Center is summarized in the article, Few Negatives Reported on Electronic Access to Criminal Files, which was recently published in The Third Branch, the federal courts newsletter.

Medical Research
Researching Medical Literature on the Internet, an LLRX.com article, has just been updated. For those who occasionally need to research medical topics, this informative guide provides a useful overview of reliable medical websites and databases. Additional links to health-related topics may be found on WSLL's Medical Law page

Taping Conversations
Can We Tape? A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C. is prepared by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It includes a state-by-state guide to wiretapping and eavesdropping laws, a chart Tape-Recording Laws at a Glance, information about interstate phone and cellular or cordless phone taping, citations to court cases, and more.

With the Holidays coming...
…many of us will be shopping online. If you're looking for product reviews, you may want to start with ConsumerSearch. This resource reviews products and services, analyzes other reviews, lists top-rated products, and provides where-to-buy information. Categories include: Automotive, Computers, Electronics, Family, Health & Fitness, House & Home, Kitchen, Lawn & Garden, Office, Personal Finance, Photo & Video, Sports & Leisure.

Additional product review and gift suggestions are available at Consumer Reports, PCWorld, and Cnet.com.

You might also find our Consumer Law page useful. See especially the section on Internet Shopping.

Wireless portability: Is it for you?
Now that the great mobile phone switch is underway, you may be asking whether a switch in cell phone providers is right for you. Consumers have been bouncing from carrier to carrier for years but with each switch, they were forced to get a new cell phone number. The new rules (at 68 FR 43009 and 47 CFR 52) allow you to keep your cell phone number when switching carriers. This is expected to entice thousands of customers into new contracts with new providers. The new rules also allow consumers to move a landline phone number to cellular service. The first barrier for most Wisconsin consumers is that only two areas in our state are currently eligible for wireless portability. The first phase of implementation, which began in November, involved the top 100 markets in the United States. See this map for the locations of those markets. The rest of the country will have to wait until May 24, 2004 to be eligible.

What should you consider when switching cell phone carriers? Experts suggest consumers first study their current plan and contract. Is there a termination fee? Generally, termination fees range from $100-$250, with some as high as $1000. If you decide to switch, experts say you should take a recent phone bill along with your contract to your new provider. The new provider completes all the work related to the change. Expect to purchase a new handset. Experts also say you should not cancel your current service until the new service is working. The FCC expects wireless providers to complete the switch within 2 ½ hours but unforeseen problems could lead to delays, which could lead to missed calls.

What about switching a landline phone number to a wireless phone? Industry observers believe this option holds fewer benefits for consumers. One problem is that wireless phones are less reliable than traditional phones. In addition to “bad cells,” Emergency 911 service is not perfected for wireless phones. Telemarketers who have your home phone number will follow you to your cell phone and Internet users who rely on a dial up connection or high speed DSL will still need a landline phone. Changing a landline number to a wireless number may take up to four days or longer. Nonetheless, phone number portability from landline phones to wireless will be possible, which puts local phone companies on notice. They may have to start competing for your business.

Overall, the new wireless portability rules are expected to bring better pricing plans, better service and more flexibility for consumers. For more information on the wireless portability rules, see the FCC’s Number Portability page. See also cellupdate.com, a consumer advocate site for cell phone users, and easyporting.com, a website managed by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

Send your suggestions for future Tech Tips to the editor.

Learn @ The Law Library Odds 'n' Endings -- Connie Von Der Heide

Legal Research Tip o’ the Month
Q. I need to see the Wisconsin Statues on ... , but I don’t know which chapter to look at. How can I find my topic quickly?
A. Try using WSLL's Legal Topics A-Z page!

For example, when you select a topic such as Landlord/Tenant, you will find applicable chapters of both the Wisconsin Statutes and Wisconsin Administrative Code among the listed resources.

Other topics, such as Employment Law, have a range of applicable Wisconsin Statute chapters. For multiple chapters, a link to the Table of Contentsis provided instead. You may then scan the various chapters and select the most appropriate ones. For an example of this technique, see:
WI Statutes: ch. 101-109, 111 "Regulation of Industry"

Some topics also include links to applicable sections of the USC and CFR.

For assistance using the online Wisconsin Statutes, please contact our Reference Service at 608-267-9696, 800-322-9755, or wsll.ref@wicourts.gov.

Upcoming Classes
More learning opportunities await you in the coming months. Register today to secure your spot! Please visit our Classes & Tours page.

Using Loislaw.com @ the State Law Library -- How Does It Work?
Wednesday, January 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

BadgerLink: What It Is and How To Use It
Wednesday, February 4, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Tax Resources on the Web
Wednesday, March 3, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

The Wisconsin Legislature Web Site
Wednesday, April 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Are You Among the Tech-Savvy?
A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 31% of Americans are “highly tech-savvy.” They favor cell phones and the Internet over home phones and television news, and they’re more likely to have cancelled a home phone line since going cellular. And a third of them are also the biggest spenders on information technology such as broadband connections, cable or satellite TV, tech gear like cell phones, and Internet content. To find out where you are on the tech-savvy spectrum, see the full report.

Test Your Digital IQ
And while we’re on the subject of technology, you can find out what your Digital IQ is by taking this brief MSNBC Digital IQ Test (takes about 5 minutes).

Data, Data, and More Data
Winter Corporation, a database consulting company, recently conducted a survey to identify the world’s largest databases and has released its Top Ten lists. France Telecom currently has the largest database, with 29,232 gigabytes, or expressed differently, 29.2 terabytes. That’s equal to about 30 million books. And you thought you suffered from data overload?!

Notables for December

Dec. 10: Birthday of Melvil Dewey, born 1851. He developed the Dewey Decimal Classification System used by many libraries, and was a founder of the American Library Association.

Dec. 15: Bill of Rights Day
Officially signed into practice in 1941, it marks the anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights in 1789.

Dec. 22: The Winter Solstice occurs at 1:04 a.m. CST, marking the beginning of winter. Here’s some information on Solstice celebrations, both past and present .

Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan. 1: WSLL is closed for holidays

~~ Happy Holidays from all of us at WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC ~~
Amy, Angela M, Angela S, Anna, Connie, Elaine, Elspeth, Heidi, Jane, Julie B, Julie T, Lucille, Molly, Paul, Pete, Rachel, Rebecca, Richard, Tammy

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

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