Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service   July 2004
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

What's New   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

Heidi Yelk, Reference/Electronic Services Librarian, presented Essential Legal Resources for Your Library: Do I Still Need to Keep the Print Versions? during the June 4 Wisconsin Government Information Day Conference at UW-Madison Memorial Library. The annual conference was sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Association’s Government Information Roundtable (GIRT).

Peter Cannon, Senior Legislative Analyst at the Legislative Reference Bureau, was a guest instructor at WSLL on June 2. He presented the class Using Wisconsin Legislative Drafting Records.

Over 50 Madison area summer associates and law clerks attended WSLL library orientations last month, and another 14 attended our legal research class for summer associates, SOS: Start Out Smart. Connie Von Der Heide, Reference/Outreach Services Librarian, led the orientations and she co-presented the SOS classes with Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian.

WSLL welcomes new MLRC Library Assistants Andy Mayer and John Sieracki. Andy graduated from UW-Madison with degrees in history and geography and worked at the Robinson Map Library. John received his Master’s Degree in Information Science in May from UW-Milwaukee, where he also worked at the Golda Meir Library.

Reader Comment In response to the June WSLL Web column on digitization projects, Don Litzer at McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids brought to our attention a recently published article about their local history digitization project. Thank you, Don!


Recovering Files After Microsoft Word Crashes

When it comes to word processing, few things are more upsetting than losing a document. You may be happily typing along when suddenly, to your dismay, Word crashes and your unsaved document is gone. Your first impulse may be to call technical support immediately. But wait – you might be able to solve this problem on your own.

When you re-start Microsoft Word, the AutoRecover feature should automatically kick in and attempt to open files that were in progress when Word crashed. If nothing happens when you re-start Word, check the AutoRecover folder for the file. To learn where your AutoRecover folder resides, open Microsoft Word; click on the Tools menu and then go to Options. From here, click the File Locations tab and note the location of the AutoRecover files.

Although you may be lucky enough to salvage your document, the AutoRecover feature does not guarantee that the most recent version of the document will be saved. To better your chances, set AutoRecover to save every few minutes. To do this, click on the Tools menu; go to Options and click on the Save tab. Ensure that the AutoRecover box is checked and then set the number of minutes in the box to the right.

Send your suggestions for future legal research Tech Tips to the editor.

WSLL Web -- Amy Crowder   Learn @ The Law Library -- Connie Von Der Heide

The Lighter Side of Google

Julie Tessmer and I have taught several Google classes at the State Law Library. After focusing on using the search engine for legal research, we sometimes take a break and look at simple, timesaving searches for common needs. This seems to be a popular section of the class. In celebration of “the lazy days of summer,” here’s a look at Google’s lighter side. You can use it as a ...

Instead of digging through your desk drawer for your calculator, use Google's calculator feature to get answers to your mathematical queries. Use +, -, * , / and other symbols to construct your search.

Try these examples: 365 / 4 and 20% of 259.99

It also does conversions: feet in 1 mile; meters in 1 kilometer; cups in a gallon

You could reach toward the bookshelf or try to remember the URL for Merriam-Webster OnLine, but why? Simply type "dictionary:" or "define:" and then the term.
Compare results of dictionary: fungible and define: fungible

Reach for the giant directory and thumb through its many pages, or simply type in a name or phone number. Try these sample searches:

phonebook: James Doyle Madison WI
phonebook: 608-267-9696

Tip: You can do all of the above searches even more quickly using the Google Toolbar -- it's the best timesaving feature of Google! For more search strategies and tips, visit Google Web Search Features. Or, if you'd rather not have to remember how to set up all the different searches, use Soople. Simply type your information in the appropriate search box and press Enter, and Soople will do the Google advanced search for you.

For all you hungry readers eager to get out the grill (or just eat!), check out Cookin' With Google. Enter a few ingredients you have in your refrigerator or pantry, and grab a recipe! It won't make dinner for you, but it will save you some time so you can get out and enjoy summer.

  There are still a few spaces remaining in each of our upcoming hands-on classes. In July we’ll tour the Wisconsin Court System website, and two guest instructors will present Using the Internet for Case Preparation. In August, join us for a look at the many resources available on our own WSLL website. All class details and registration information are on our Classes & Tours webpage.

Legal Research Tip o’ the Month: Using the Wisconsin Administrative Code

Last month I provided a tip on how to determine which “department” is being referred to in a given chapter of the Wisconsin Statutes, and a reminder to also check the Wisconsin Administrative Code (Admin Code) for any regulations that department follows in order to carry out its statutory duties. Here are some tips on using the Admin Code.

Maintained by the Revisor of Statutes Bureau, the Admin Code is arranged alphabetically by department name, from Accounting Examining Board (Accy) through [Dept. of] Workforce Development (DWD). Chapters and sections are cited by an abbreviated form of the department name plus a number; for example, Chapter DWD 40 or section ATCP 134.06. Print copies of the 18-volume Admin Code are available in many libraries including WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC, and a keyword searchable version is also available on the web. (Note: only the print format is considered official.)

If you know the exact chapter or section you need, enter it in the “Go to” box on the Admin Code homepage. If you know which department’s regulations you need and want to browse a list of their chapters, use the Composite Table of Contents. Otherwise, use the Folio (keyword) search option, setting up your queries as shown in the online “Help” information. Another tip: to search varying forms of a word, use the * symbol; for example, child* will retrieve the words child, child’s and children.

Timesaving search tip: If you’ve identified a Wisconsin Statutes section that gives a particular department the authority to create rules or carry out a particular function, try using that section number as your search term in the Admin Code. It just might retrieve the exact information you need.

Odds 'n' Endings

I scream, you scream…for ice cream!
The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream during the course of a year. For more fun facts about this favorite summertime treat, visit www.icecream.com.

What are you afraid of?
Did you know that “liticaphobia” refers to an abnormal and persistent fear of lawsuits? See that and more in About.com’s Glossary of Phobias.

Notables for July

1 – On July 1, 1971 the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Ratification took just four months—the shortest period of time of any Constitutional amendment in U.S. history.

4 – Independence Day. Here are websites providing images of the original Declaration of Independence and fireworks laws and safety tips.

31 – On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first U.S. patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. The patent was signed by President George Washington.

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!