Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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March 25, 2020

Tracking legislation by alert

In our current news cycle, information written just last week may already be out of date. How do you stay on top of updates to legislation?

The Library of Congress has put out a research guide on how to use alerts on Congress.gov, the website used to track Federal legislation.

Congress.gov Keeps You Up To Date With Email Alerts explains the different types of alerts you can set up on that website to get the most recent updates.

You can also simply do a keyword search and use the RSS and share features at the top of the results page to stay on top of general topics.


Presidential proclamations can be tracked on the WhiteHouse.gov website.

For Wisconsin legislation, create an account on the Legislature's website to set up keyword or bill alerts. From the home page, look for the notification service link. On many pages, look for the RSS symbol near the top of the page to get RSS updates on particular bills or the current legislative session.

For Wisconsin Executive Orders, get to the most recent orders on the Governor's website. You can also sign up to get emailed press releases from this site.  

Ask a librarian if you need help tracking down information! We're happy to help. Contact us using our online form, or send an email to wsll.ref@wicourts.gov.

March 16, 2020

Libraries Closed March 17 - April 3

The David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library, Milwaukee County Law Library, and Dane County Law Library will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17 and going through Friday, April 3rd. During this time, we will temporarily transition to providing online and remote services only.

During efforts to contain COVID-19, our three libraries may be reached by email. Our goal is to respond within 48 hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Send research requests to: 

wsll.ref@wicourts.gov or use our online form 

Both county law libraries may be reached by email: 

Milwaukee County Law Library: mcll.ref@wicourts.gov
Dane County Law Library: dcll.ref@wicourts.gov 

We wish you health and safety, and will do our best to help you while we are closed.

March 13, 2020

Milwaukee County Law Library Closed to Visitors

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Milwaukee County Clerk of Court has closed the Milwaukee County Law Library and Milwaukee Justice Center to the public for three weeks, from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3.

The Milwaukee County Law Library will still be answering phone calls and emails during this time and will be able to send information to users through email. The library will be staffed during its regular business hours, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Users can contact Milwaukee County Law Library staff for help:

Call us: 414-278-4900
Email us: mcll.ref@wicourts.gov

During this disruption of in-person services, we are ready to help you remotely!

(Updated March 16 to reflect no phone access.)

Absentee Voting in Wisconsin

Did you know that registered Wisconsin voters can request an absentee ballot? An absentee ballot is an option a registered voter may use to vote if they cannot appear at their polling place on election day.

The next statewide election is the 2020 spring election and presidential preference vote, on Tuesday, April 7.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission,
"Any qualified elector (U.S. citizen, 18 years of age, who has resided in the district in which he or she intends to vote for at least 10 days) who registers to vote is eligible to request an absentee ballot.  Under Wisconsin law, voters do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee. Any voter who prefers to vote by absentee ballot may request one. You have several options for requesting an absentee ballot and casting your vote."
You may request an absentee ballot by mail, e-mail, or fax to your municipal clerk. "Your application must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you."

Early voting (in-person absentee ballot) may also be available at your local municipal clerk's office. Contact your municipal clerk's office to learn more about availability and hours, or check their website. If you're not sure who your municipal clerk is, check this complete directory of Wisconsin Municipal Clerks. We're happy to help as well! Call us at 608-267-9696 or toll free at 800-322-9755 with questions.

You can also check your voting status and start the process to request an absentee ballot through the MyVote Wisconsin (myvote.wi.gov) website.

February 14, 2020

Job Posting: Branch Librarian

The Wisconsin State Law Library is seeking an innovative and enthusiastic Branch Librarian to direct the Milwaukee County Law Library’s programs, services, and administrative staff. The Milwaukee County Law Library serves state, county and local government, the legal profession, the general public and collaborates with other state, county and local libraries. If you are forward looking and service minded we encourage you to apply for the Branch Librarian position at the Wisconsin Court System (WCS).

The Branch Librarian oversees the day-to-day operations for the Milwaukee County Law Library. The Wisconsin State Law Library is composed of the David T. Prosser Jr State Law Library, Milwaukee County Law Library, and the Dane County Law Library. The library's mission is to serve the legal information needs of the officers and employees of the state, and of attorneys and the public. It provides the highest quality of professional expertise in the selection, maintenance and use of materials, information and technology in order to facilitate equal access to the law.

Learn more and how to apply: https://www.wicourts.gov/courts/employment/index.jsp

In order to be assured consideration, applications must be received by 11:59 PM on March 8, 2020. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

February 11, 2020

Researching treatment courts

The most recent issue of The Third Branch talks about the growth of treatment courts in Wisconsin. These "problem-solving" courts work to address underlying issues related to criminal behavior. According to the article, Treatment court growth driven by strategy, 90 specialty courts already operate throughout Wisconsin, with seven more under development for 2020.

Treatment courts are a growing area of scholarship, and a growing collection in our library. In 2005, the library began to collect drug court research materials at the Dane County Law Library. Now, we've added more to our print collection, as well as through online databases.

The Library's recent research guide, Drug and alternative treatment courts, is a quick start guide to researching these specialty courts. Get links to current standards and reports, as well as recent articles and additions to the library. This guide complements and expands on our Drug & Alternative Treatment Courts legal topic page.

Drug and alternative treatment courts research guide

February 5, 2020

WSLL @ Your Service February 2020

The February issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Your comments are always welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.



In this issue:

State Law Librarian Julie Robinson recaps some of the Library's outreach and collection achievements for 2019. Read more

Lloyd Barbee is an unforgettable member of the Wisconsin Bar. He had a long career as a crusading attorney, an innovative legislator, and a tireless civil rights activist. Read more

Our two featured titles this month are Motivational Interviewing with Offenders: Engagement, Rehabilitation, and Reentry and Therapeutic Justice: Crime, Treatment Courts and Mental Illness. A link to our complete new book list is also included. Read more

“Copy and paste” is probably one of the most useful conveniences in day-to-day life (at least for computer users). A quick work around for formatting issues with Adobe Reader is the “Take a Snapshot” tool. Read more

Learn about our Black History Month display, our latest spring classes, and new research guides. Read more


The Wisconsin Women in Government event on January 28, 2020 honored “Women who raised the bar.” Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Rebecca Bradley, along with First Lady Kathy Evers attended to celebrate “the past and present women of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the many women who have "Raised the Bar" of Wisconsin's judicial system.” Read more

January 30, 2020

Job Posting: Library Assistant

Are you a detail-oriented individual looking for part-time work? The Wisconsin State Law Library is searching for a Library Assistant, 10 hours per week. Flexible scheduling available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. This is a technical services position that works mainly with the appellate court briefs collection.
Duties include: scanning, processing, and shelving appellate court briefs; data entry, bindery prep, and other collection maintenance activities including shelf-maintenance and shifting of library materials.
Skills include: exceptional organizational skills, above average computing skills, and the ability to follow written directions. Scanning experience is preferred. A demonstrated ability to do multiple tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail is required! 
Pay: $11.25/hour.
Start date: March 2nd, 2020
Location: The Wisconsin State Law Library is located on a bus line, just off the Capitol Square at 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Madison.
To apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to Angela.Humiston@wicourts.gov. You must include your hours available for work, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Employment will require a criminal background check.
Deadline for applications: Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

January 21, 2020

Women's suffrage in the latest Wisconsin Counties

The January 2020 issue of the Wisconsin Counties magazine features a collection of articles commemorating 100 years of women's right to vote in the United States. Learn about Wisconsin's role in ratification, get an overview of important milestones, and find a list of classroom resources.

Wisconsin Counties January 2020

January 17, 2020

Libraries Closed on January 20

The State Law Library, and Milwaukee and Dane County Law Libraries will be closed on Monday, January 20th in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday.

To send a question to the Wisconsin State Law Library while we are closed, you may call us at 608-267-9696 or Ask a Librarian online.

We will respond to questions and requests on Tuesday, January 21st.

January WSLL @ Your Service

The January issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Happy New Year! Your comments are always welcome. 



In this issue:
The Wisconsin Briefs database houses more than 100,000 appellate briefs and appendices, and recently moved to a new website. Read more

New Books
This month's featured titles are Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn and Divorce & Money: Making the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce. Don't miss this month's new book list as well! Read more

Tech Tip
This month features two tech tips: resources for the new California data privacy law and a Google Scholar button for your browser. Read more

Library News
Catch up on library staff news and be sure to check out our first CLE classes for the new year. Read more

January Snapshot
Julie attended the annual Beacon & Eggs breakfast to benefit The Beacon. The Beacon is a resource center for individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Madison. Read more

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