Wisconsin COVID-19 Coronavirus Information Webpage

The Wisconsin Digital Archives connects Wisconsin residents to state government by providing access to state agency publications and reports. Right now more than ever though I want to share the Wisconsin COVID-19 Coronavirus Information webpage. This webpage brings together very important real-time resources and updates about COVID-19 across state agencies so that the best information and resources are conveniently at your fingertips from one webpage. The resources are fluid and are frequently being updated with the latest information about COVID-19.

Covid-19 Information Webpage

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Privacy and Commercial Genetic Testing

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, roughly half (48%) said that they thought it was acceptable for DNA testing companies such as AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage to share customers’ genetic data with law enforcement agencies to help solve crimes. This survey was conducted to find out whether consumers understand and are comfortable with the use of their genetic data by police.

Commercial genetic testing services have become popular with Americans over the past decade. These at-home tests are marketed as a fun way for people to learn more about their ethnicity and health. What many consumers don’t realize however are the privacy risks involved in sharing genetic information with these companies and how few regulations there are in place to protect how genetic information is being used and what the consequences are for the use.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) recently published a state document, Genetic Privacy in the Age of Commercial DNA Testing, made available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives. This state document “outlines privacy concerns related to the commercial exchange of genetic information, traces the evolution of federal laws, and summarizes regulatory approaches adopted in other states.” Wisconsin Statutes currently do not specifically address commercial genetic testing companies.

 

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

The Impact of Obesity in Wisconsin

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine predicted that within 10 years more than half of all Americans will be obese and 1 in 4 will be considered severely obese. The Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program at the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services provides an analysis on their website of how people in Wisconsin compare with national overweight and obesity rates. Overall Wisconsin statistics are consistent with nation averages and show 64% as either overweight or obese.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to information about obesity in Wisconsin. Here are a few examples of what is available:

For more information and resources provided by the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program, visit their webpage.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wisconsin Economic Outlook Report

In a news release, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) announced that they resumed publishing the Wisconsin Economic Outlook in March 2019. Published quarterly from the late 1970s until 2015, the report provides an overview on the state’s current economic conditions and a forecast of critical economic metrics including employment, housing, and personal income.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the Wisconsin Economic Outlook for issues published from 2008-2015 then picks the publication back up again when the DOR resumed publishing in 2019.

For more information about Wisconsin’s economy and to access interactive data tools, visit the Department of Revenue website.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Model Practices for School Safety

2017 Wisconsin Act 143 created the Office of School Safety within the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), established school safety grants, and required the development of model practices for school safety that could be used by schools around the state.

The model practices are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives, Comprehensive School Security Framework : Making Wisconsin Schools Safer. According to the Office of School Safety, this publication introduces and summarizes the school security practices and procedures recommended to all Wisconsin Schools.

Visit the Office of School Safety website for additional school safety resources as well as detailed information about school safety grants available to schools.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Fish Stocking in Lake Michigan

According to a recent article, stakeholders in the $2.3 billion fishing industry in Wisconsin feel that the 40% cut back of fish stocked in Lake Michigan over the last 10 years has contributed to the decrease in business for almost all lake shore businesses. A request made by the stakeholders to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to increase stocking efforts in Lake Michigan by over 40% the next three years is being considered by the DNR.

Learn more about fish stocking in Lake Michigan by accessing plans and reports in the Wisconsin Digital Archives . Here is just some of what you’ll find in the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

To learn more about fish stocking throughout Wisconsin, visit the DNR website.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

 

Wisconsin’s Agricultural Economy

According to 2018 statistics from the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Wisconsin is home to about 7,600 dairy farms, more than any other state, and 1.28 million cows.​ The dairy industry itself contributes $45.6 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year. A recent news article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel though indicates that in the first half of 2019, a total of 449 dairy farms were lost in Wisconsin alone which is at one of the fastest rates since the Great Depression.

A recent report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) based on data from 2017, The Contribution of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy, showed a shift of economic growth over the past 5 years from dairy farming to food processing in Wisconsin. Food processing includes dairy, vegetables, fruit, beef, pork, poultry and other products. An analysis of the UW report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does emphasize that regardless of growth seen in food processing, the demise of farms is worrisome because they are the lifeblood of many rural communities and support food processors as well.

In response to the decline in dairy farms in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 was created in June 2018 as a joint effort between DATCP and the UW System to study the Wisconsin dairy industry with the goal of making recommendations on actions needed to maintain a viable and profitable dairy industry in Wisconsin. The task force released their final report in June 2019.

Access to the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0’s final report is available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives along with other agricultural reports and statistics for research:

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Workforce Data: Industry and Occupation Projections

According to a recent Forward Analytics report on employment, pay and education, Wisconsin’s economy is slowly transitioning to high-skilled, higher-paying jobs. Wisconsin Public Radio provided highlights of the report which showed jobs requiring a bachelors degree or associates degree grew almost 12 percent from 2012 to 2018. Those that require only a high school diploma or less grew 6 percent or less.

Additional workforce data published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development (DWD) is available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives. This data provides detailed information about the labor force, industry employment and wages, and employment projections broken down by county. This data is useful to better understand Wisconsin’s workforce and how it’s changing.

Here are just a couple of reports available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

For more information about industry and occupation projections, visit the DWD webpage.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The State of Wisconsin is working to promote awareness of the importance of mental health through programs designed to provide information and support to those in need.

The Dept. of Health Services has resources available online to assist Wisconsin residents understand the importance of mental health, how to talk about mental health, and where to seek help.

In 2019, the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention began to convene to study and work to address the impact of suicide in Wisconsin. According to the webpage, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Wisconsin. This bipartisan task force will travel around the state to hear from survivors, experts, advocates and families who have been impacted in order to better support those struggling and to improve resources for suicide prevention. Policy recommendations are expected to be released fall 2019.

For reports and information about the programs state agencies are implementing to support mental health, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Here are just a few reports available:

For more information about mental health and access to immediate help go to MentalHealth.gov.

 

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wisconsin Elections Commission

Spring election day is the perfect opportunity to highlight the work of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the information they make available to Wisconsin residents. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing Wisconsin elections law. They also help keep voters informed through the MyVote Wisconsin webpage by providing information about how voters can find their polling place, view ballots, request an absentee ballot, and register to vote.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the publications of the Wisconsin Elections Commission including annual reports and election manuals. Below are just a few examples of titles available in the collection. Click here to see the entire list.

Statistics are available from the Wisconsin Elections Commission webpage about voter turnout from previous partisan and nonpartisan elections in Wisconsin and monthly voter registration by ward, municipality, county, state assembly district, state senate district congressional district and age.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning