October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness month to highlight the work state government does to protect Wisconsin’s infrastructure and to educate Wisconsin residents about how to be safe online and how to protect themselves from things such as malware, identify theft and data breaches.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the strategies state government has in place to protect our state’s infrastructure. Click on the following links to view the strategies:

Additional resources about cyber security awareness are available directly through state agency websites:

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


Flood Resources from State Government

As some Wisconsin residents continue to face the threat of flooding and many are trying to move forward to begin the cleanup process, I wanted to put together a list of resources about flood hazards and recovery provided by state government.

Wisconsin Emergency Management’s (WEM) ReadyWisconsin webpage provides current incident reports related to flooding throughout Wisconsin. ReadyWisconsin also has information about how to get emergency cell phone alerts and ways to prepare and plan for emergencies.

The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) provides information about how farmers, private property owners, and businesses should report flood damage. DATCP also provides information about other topics related to flooding including food and produce safety, planning for home repairs, harvesting animal feed from flooded fields, issues related to manure runoff, dealing with flooded farmland, keeping pets and livestock safe during flooding, and how to handle flood contaminated water and fuel storage tanks.

The Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) provides information for private well owners to ensure the safety of their drinking water if the well was contaminated by floodwater. There is guidance for how to properly dispose of debris and waste after flooding, including what to do with sandbags no longer needed.  Information is available for how to contact DNR staff who can assist farmers who need help storing or safely spreading manure in order to prevent run off into streams and rivers to prevent pollution and potential fish kills.

The Dept. of Health Services (DHS) provides information about potential health hazards related to flooding. The Wisconsin Flood Toolkit contains valuable information designed to keep you safe when flooding occurs and during the cleanup process.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance provides information about flood insurance.

Post written by: Abbigail Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Inattentive Driving in Wisconsin

Legislation was passed in 2009 to address inattentive driving in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) however, even with inattentive driving laws in place, accidents, injuries, and deaths related to inattentive driving have continued to rise. DOT statistics show an 8.2% increase in crashes involving distracted drivers between 2014 and 2015. According to a news article, even though alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin are on a downward trend for the last 30 years, there were still over 11,300 injuries in Wisconsin from distracted driving in 2016, a 6 percent increase over 2015.

In 2017, Wisconsin lawmakers updated inattentive driving laws primarily due to the advancement of cell phone technology. Wisconsin lawmakers expanded the inattentive driving laws beyond just texting to include Facebook posting, tweeting, and snapchatting. It also increased the minimum penalty for data-distracted driving from $20 to $100.

DOT publishes statistics about inattentive driving in Wisconsin on an annual basis. These statistics are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Currently there are statistics for 2012-2016. With the updates made to the inattentive driving laws, the 2017 statistics, due to be release later in 2018, should be interesting to analyze to see what the impact the new inattentive driving laws have had. As soon as the 2017 statistics are available, they will be added to the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Visit the DOT website to learn more about the dangers of inattentive driving.

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

Researching Wisconsin’s Labor Market

The Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development publishes Wisconsin County Profiles to provide a snapshot of the labor market for every Wisconsin county. Each profile includes analysis of the current and projected population dynamics, the effect on the labor force, county industries and employers, occupational patterns within industries, and average wages. Wisconsin County Profiles are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives from 2005 to current which is the 2017 profiles. DWD also has additional information on their website about how the data was collected and the data sources for the County Workforce Profiles.

For more information about Wisconsin’s economy, visit DWD’s Wisconomy website. Labor Market Economists are available to answer questions related to analyzing and interpreting labor force and economic data.

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

Wisconsin’s Government Information Day, June 8

If you have an interest in government information, the Government Information Special Interest Group (GISIG) of the Wisconsin Library Association is hosting Wisconsin’s Government Information Day on Friday, June 8, at UW-Madison’s Memorial Library.

It’s your chance to learn about basic legal resources, the latest websites and tools from the Dept. of Workforce Development and Dept. of Health Services, gov docs in the Hathi Trust, FRASER, and updates from the Wisconsin Document Depository Program/Wisconsin Digital Archives and Federal Depository Library Program. A full schedule of presentations for the day is available online.

It’s not too late to register online. Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m., June 6, but you can register (& pay) on site as well. Registration is $10, which includes a continental breakfast.

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

Tracking Water Use and Withdrawal in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tracks and reports water use from around the state. The Water Use Program gathers data about how much water is being pulled from the ground and from surface sources such as wells, ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. All property owners in Wisconsin capable of withdrawing 100,000 gallons of water per day are required to register and report these withdrawals to the DNR.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives makes available the annual water use reports that the DNR publishes. The reports provide statistics about how much water is withdrawn by industry, maps of where the water is being pulled from and information about water being withdrawn from Lake Michigan.

The DNR also makes available a searchable database of people and companies that have registered with the DNR because they withdraw over 100,000 gallons of water per day. The information provided is much more granular and details water withdrawal and use specific to the person or company from 2010 to current.


Posted by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Resources to Help People with Dementia, Their Families, and Their Communities

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are already straining Wisconsin’s long-term care system, and the number of people affected is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boom generation ages. DHS estimates that in 2015 there were 115,000 Wisconsin residents with dementia. By 2040, the percentage of individuals with dementia in Wisconsin is expected to increase to 242,000.

In 2014, DHS created the Wisconsin Dementia Care System Redesign Plan. The plan made improving care for people with dementia and their families one of DHS’ top priorities. The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the redesign plan and other documents and resources to support the implementation of the plan.

In 2018, DHS and partner organizations will be working on a new state plan to help people with dementia, their families, and their communities. Stay on top of the development of the new plan by visiting the DHS website. As new documents are published they will also be made available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

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

Reintroduction of elk to Wisconsin

In 1989, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) was directed by the state legislature to explore the feasibility of successfully reintroducing elk, moose and caribou. It was determined that an elk reintroduction could succeed in Wisconsin, while reintroductions of moose or caribou likely would not. The reintroduction of elk began in 1995 with 25 elk from Michigan to the Clam Lake area of southern Ashland County. The herd has grown since 1995 to about 200 animals in 2018.  After extensive monitoring that helped guide elk herd management decisions, it was determined by the DNR that there could be a limited harvest. The first elk hunting season will be introduced fall 2018.

If you’re interest in learning more about the reintroduction of elk and elk management in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. There you will find state documents specifically about the elk herds in Wisconsin and updates about the herds’ growth

For more information about the elk season dates, how to obtain a harvest tag and regulations about the elk hunting season can be found on the DNR website.

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

When you need to know more than the news tells you

News coverage of topics lawmakers in Wisconsin are debating and proposing in the current legislative session only provides basic information.  If you’re like me, the news often leaves me wanting to know more background information about topics of proposed legislation. Where can you turn to get that information? The Wisconsin Digital Archives is your source for background information about legislative topics!

For instance, lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering an open-road tollway as a way to possibly fix the funding issue for the state’s roads. A quick search of the Wisconsin Digital Archives using the term ‘tolling’ returns 6 results for state documents about the policy and legal framework for tolling in Wisconsin. These state documents provide in depth information to better understand the feasibility of implementing open-road tollways in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides in depth background information in the form of reports, studies, statistics, and economic, policy and legal analysis published by state agencies. These publications provide important background information about topics reported by news outlets so that you can be an informed resident of Wisconsin and can understand how legislation will impact your life.

When you need to know more than the news tells you, search the Wisconsin Digital Archives!

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

Researching Taxation in Wisconsin

It’s tax season and Wisconsin residents can stay informed and do research about taxation in Wisconsin by searching the Wisconsin Digital Archives.  As tax laws continue to change, access to information about how taxation impacts Wisconsin residents is important. The Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue does extensive reporting about how taxes in Wisconsin impact the economy. There are reports and statistics about topics such as sales tax, property tax, tax assessment, income tax, and the taxation of goods such as alcohol and beer, automobiles, and fuel just to name a few.

Click on this quick search link to access all publications in the Wisconsin Digital Archives published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue. To learn more about searching by publisher and format, access the Search Tips guides online.

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