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WSLL @ Your Service  no. 9/10, Sept./Oct.  2001  
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

Focus On:  BadgerLink

In the course of doing legal research, it is sometimes helpful to read articles from general news resources like magazines and newspapers.  These can explain the context in which legislation was passed or court cases were argued, or provide background information on people, companies and legal issues.  Until recently, Wisconsin researchers had to consult a number of different indexes to identify articles from various print news sources, and then locate the actual magazines or newspapers to read them.  BadgerLink has changed all that. 

BadgerLink is a project of the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning (DLCTL) of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).  Its goal is to provide increased access to information resources for Wisconsin residents in cooperation with the state's public, school, academic, and special libraries.  The concept of BadgerLink was a key discussion issue at the February 1998 Library Technology Planning Conference, sponsored by DPI and the Department of Administration.  The first two major recommendations from the conference were to secure statewide licensing of databases and to provide access to information resources regardless of a library's location.  These recommendations form the core of the goals and objectives of the BadgerLink Project. 

BadgerLink is not a telecommunications network or an Internet service provider (ISP).  It focuses on providing access to information resources via existing networks and ISPs. Probably the most heavily used BadgerLink resources are the magazine and newspaper databases, which provide access to over 6,000 titles, many in full text. DLTCL has entered into statewide contracts with two major vendors, EBSCO and ProQuest, to provide these resources. The EBSCOhost database includes magazines and newsletters in the areas of general reference, business, medicine, health, and more. The ProQuest newspaper database contains full text of over 300 U.S. and international new sources, including 12 Wisconsin newspapers. Coverage varies by title, but many go back to 1986. Currency is excellent; most newspaper issues are available within 1-2 days of publication. Both EBSCOhost and ProQuest are searchable by keyword, author, article title, journal or newspaper name and date.  Search tips are available onscreen.

BadgerLink also provides access to WISCAT, Wisconsin's statewide library catalog.  WISCAT contains information on over 6.5 million titles and lists over 30 million holdings of the 1,265 contributing libraries. The Wisconsin State Law Library is a WISCAT contributor.  Other BadgerLink resources include links to the Wisconsin Library Directory, Wisconsin library web sites and online catalogs, and extensive lists of web sites for government information, general reference, education, and sites for kids.  

Access to most BadgerLink resources is open to anyone.  Because of licensing restrictions, EBSCOhost and ProQuest require user authentication.  If you are a Wisconsin resident and use a Wisconsin-based ISP that has registered its Internet protocol (IP) addresses with the DLTCL, you can access all BadgerLink resources directly.  For your convenience the WSLL web site has a link to BadgerLink. On our homepage, click on Legal Resource Index/BadgerLink. If you use a registered Wisconsin ISP, simply click on the BadgerLink header and then choose Magazines or Newspapers.  If you don't use a Wisconsin registered ISP or can't access directly, and you are a registered borrower at the Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, or Dane County Law Library, you can access the EBSCOhost database using your library card number. ProQuest is not currently available in this manner. Many Wisconsin public libraries have also set up BadgerLink access on their web sites for their registered borrowers.  Check with your local library for this option. 

For assistance with accessing and using BadgerLink, please contact the WSLL Reference Service at 608-267-9696, or toll free 800-322-9755.  

-- Connie Von Der Heide

WSLL @ Your Service thanks James Leaver, BadgerLink Coordinator at the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction, for his contributions to this article.

Future Focus On:  topics include "Judicial Council Materials : A Very Special Collection" and "Using the Internet for Background Checks"

WSLL Web -- Elaine Sharp   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk
Finding the News Online
News resources on the web proliferate. Sites may provide current stories, headlines with links to particular stories, or news archives. Sites may act as directories or search engines for news resources or provide a combination of services.

Current news may be found in a variety of ways. Many newspapers have an on-line presence. National (ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN) and local television stations often have a news portion.  Some sites, such as 1st Headlines, compile current headlines which link to the original story. NewsNow has breaking news every 5 minutes which is arranged by topic with a country's flag indicating the story's origin. NewsHub also arranges headlines by topic and posts the time/source beside each. NewsCorridor links to headlines, news wires, and news portals.

Some sites act as directories and/or search engines for locating news. ABYZ News Links is a portal to online newspapers, news media and news sources from around the world. Newsdirectory links to over 3,600 newspapers; Paperboy links to 5277 newspapers in 176 countries. PandiaNewsfinder has both a news metasearch engine and a directory to newspapers and other news resources.  Daypop searches 2700 news sites and weblogs for current events.

The above-mentioned sources are useful for current news. If you're looking for older news, you'll need some different resources.

Archived news is often accessible only via fee-based services. Wisconsin residents are fortunate to have free access to over 500 local, state, and national newspapers as a result of a state-wide contract between the Wis. Dept. of Public Instruction and ProQuest.  Newspapers are available as one portion of DPI's Badgerlink Projcect. (See "Focus On: BadgerLink" above.) ProQuest may be searched by keyword within three date ranges: Current (1999-present), Backfile (1986-1998), and Deep Backfile (prior to 1986). Using the drop down menu labeled "Search Methods" allows you to choose basic or advanced searching as well as view the complete list of titles covered. The menu labeled "Search Guide" provides a handy reference to truncation characters, boolean operators, and other tools. Using ProQuest is an excellent way to search a large number of newspapers simultaneously.

The Special Library Association's U.S. News Archives on the Web is a guide to online news archives. Arranged alphabetically by state and city, this guide links to a newspaper and its archive site, and indicates dates covered and costs for retrieval. This site also has a guide to Non-US Newspaper Archives.

The America's Chronicles project hopes to digitize over 20,000 community newspapers as far back as the 1600's. The Edgerton (Wis.) Reporter will be the second newspaper added to the site. America's Chronicles, a partnership between Cold North Wind Corporation and the National Newspaper Association, is expected to be available later this year.

Tangentially related to news archives is Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles. Thousands of newspaper articles published primarily between 1860 and 1940 are in the process of being digitized and made available by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

If you need help finding news on the web, please contact our reference staff.

What is Internet2?
Talk of high speed networks and the future of the Internet often leads to discussion of Internet2.  Internet2 is a consortium of researchers developing new applications and networking technology that will someday be deployed on the Internet.  Consortium members include over 180 universities (including UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee) and a number of corporations. Internet2 allows researchers and scientists to exchange data and multimedia at connection rates 3,000 times faster than a dial-up modem.  It serves as a testing ground for new applications, such as tele-immersion, virtual laboratories, digital libraries and distributed instruction.  Internet2 relies on two major backbone networks, Abilene and Backbone Network Service (vBNS). One recent test saw the successful, simultaneous transmission of voice, video and medical data between the Georgia Institute of Technology and Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.  In addition to the live video link, the patient’s heart and lung sounds were transmitted.  Dubbed “telehealth,” it is hoped this type of exchange will enhance the delivery and receipt of healthcare services.  For more information about Internet2, see the Internet2 Homepage


I want to buy a home computer.  How do I decide among the many products available?
One of the first considerations when buying a home computer is how that computer will be used.  Will it be used for entertainment (games, multimedia) or business (word processing, accounting) or both?  What type and how many programs do you hope to load and run?   Do you have existing hardware, such as printers or scanners, that need to integrate with the new system?  The answers to these questions will provide answers to how much memory, hard drive space, ports, expansion slots, etc. you will need.  There are several web sites offering advice and product reviews.  See Buying a Computer; Computer Reviews at About.com; and the How to Buy Index from ZDNET. 


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

What's New at... -- Amy Crowder & Elspeth Gordon Odds 'n' Endings -- Connie Von Der Heide
*WANTED!* New or gently used legal fiction books, audio books, and videos.  WSLL has created the Prose & Cons Collection, a collection of crime fiction that relates to courts and the criminal justice system.  The collection is supported solely by donations. Items are ready for circulation; search the collection to see if the Library has something by your favorite author.  If you would like to donate items or make a cash contribution, please contact Connie Von Der Heide.  There will be a donation box at the Wisconsin Judicial Conference in Delavan, October 24-26.  

With the recent addition of Internet access for library users, the Dane County Law Library has a new electronic resource -- Shepard’s Public Access.  A web-based product from LexisNexis, Shepard’s Public Access allows retrieval of opinions, statutes, and other materials by their citations and Shepardization of those materials.  There is no charge to users for searching the database; the only cost is for printing.  This resource is also available at WSLL and the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center.

Julie Tessmer attended a free Military Legal Assistance Seminar at the State Bar of Wisconsin on October 4th. Julie is a First Class Petty Officer in the Naval Reserve and serves as a Legalman with the Legal Service Office at Naval Training Center Great Lakes. The program explained how interested attorneys can provide pro bono legal services to military personnel who are called to active duty.  The program, sponsored by the Government Lawyers Division and local bar associations, will be rebroadcast in several cities on October 24. Check the State Bar's website for a list of locations and times. To register or volunteer call 800-728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.

Connie Von Der Heide, along with Cheryl O'Connor of the UW Law Library, presented a program on "Accessing Legal Resources" at the recent Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS) annual meeting.  Attendees learned about deciphering legal citations, accessing legal materials, and the resources and services of WSLL and the UW Law Library.

Julie Tessmer traveled to West Africa in September to serve as a library consultant to the Nigerian Court System.  The trip was part of the National Center for State Courts’ Rule of Law Project in Nigeria. During her two-week visit Julie met with judges, court registers and law librarians in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna.  Julie will be sharing her experiences during the October 25 Comparative Justice System Breakfast at the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. 

Jane Colwin will present "Using the Internet for Legal Research -- What's New?" during a breakout session at the Judicial Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 24th.  Search engines, LoisLaw on the web, and free legal research sites such as LexisOne will be discussed.

During the Wisconsin Library Association's annual conference Oct. 24-26, Connie Von Der Heide and Pam Noyd, librarian at Foley & Lardner's Madison office will present "Wisconsin Legal Research on the Internet." The program is cosponsored by the WLA Association of Wisconsin Special Librarians and the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin.

Building Update   Beginning in mid-December, office furniture and equipment will be moved into WSLL's new facility in the Risser Justice Center.  Books and shelving will be moved during the first three weeks in January. 

WSLL will remain open through the end of December. Any changes in our normal operations that might occur after that time will be announced as far in advance as possible. The Library will be settled into its new home by the beginning of February. 

For updates on WSLL's upcoming move, please consult the News page on the WSLL website. 

ABA Offers New Guide  In February 2000, the ABA's House of Delegates passed the resolution "that the American Bar Association encourages every lawyer to consider it part of his or her fundamental professional responsibility to further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the American system of justice."  In response to this, the ABA's Division for Public Education has written Educating the Public About the Law: Guide for Individual Lawyers

This 16-page guide is intended to introduce opportunities for participating in public legal education,  provide practical advice on how lawyers can effectively communicate with public audiences, and identify resources that can assist lawyers in fulfilling this important obligation to the profession and the public it serves.  Existing programs are highlighted and personal insights of legal professionals are included.   

You can download a free copy (Adobe Acrobat required), or order a print copy from the ABA. Call 800-285-2221 and ask for product number 235-0204.  Cost is $2.50 each with quantity discounts available. For more information, see the ABA Division for Public Education's Tips on Volunteering web page.

Happy Anniversary Email, and Thanks, Ray!      This year email celebrates its 30th anniversary. Here's how it all started.

Ray Tomlinson worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman, the company hired by the U.S. Dept. of Defense in 1968 to build ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.  In 1971 Tomlinson was working on an experimental file transfer protocol (ftp) system and tinkering with a separate message-sending system.  He adapted the ftp system so it could send messages to remote machines.  The first messages he sent were tests to himself, from one machine to another sitting side by side, but via ARPANET. What did they say?  Something fairly forgettable, like QWERTYIOP.  But when he saw that it worked, Tomlinson emailed others on the network. Upon delivery of the application to other sites, it caught on instantly.  Within two years, 75% of the traffic on ARPANET was email.  For the full story, read Todd Campbell's article, "The First Email Message: Who sent it and what it said," on the PreText Magazine web site.

In 2001 it's almost impossible to imagine life without email.  CNET's News.com observed the anniversary by querying technology executives, venture capitalists, poets and the White House on the significance of the medium.  Here are excerpts from some of the responses:

"I cannot remember life before e-mail, and I cannot envision a life without e-mail." -- Guy Kawasaki, chief executive, Garage Technology Ventures

"E-mail is the first new peer-to-peer communication system adopted by the masses since the telephone. Having an e-mail address today is often even more important than having a telephone number." -- Philippe Kahn, chief executive, LightSurf

"I avoided it for the longest time, feared it would complicate my life. It makes many communications simpler, especially work-related ones. I fear it has taken a bit of an edge off of my daily writing practice however, because often I begin the day answering e-mail, when in the past I used to begin it answering the muse by writing poetry." -- Wayne Koestenbaum, poet

"E-mail is fully part of the mainstream. It's part of the lifeblood of our economy and our lives."  -- The White House

Ask a Librarian:  800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); wsll.ref@wicourts.gov
Library Hours/Locations:  WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLL (Dane Co. Law Library), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov

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