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

Government Information Day 2015 Round Up, Part II

Below is a summary by Keely Merchant, Wisconsin Government Documents Librarian at the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, of her presentation on the new Legislative Reference Bureau Digital Collections:

In early 2015, The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Library launched a digital repository for legislative publications and reports. We have created collections for each of the Wisconsin legislative agencies as well as a collection for press releases and one for legislatively mandated reports. You are likely familiar with the publications from legislative agencies that are in their respective collections, so I would like to draw your attention to the latter two collections.

The Press Releases and Public Relations collection is for capturing legislative press releases before they disappear off the internet. We are currently adding the press releases that are already in our print collection, of which we have the years 1999-2003. We are also going through our News Clippings collection (available on the legislative network only) to find press releases and move them to the new collection. Going forward we would like to capture press releases from legislators’ websites as they come out. This collection has been getting a lot of interest from patrons researching political history.

The Legislatively Mandated Reports collection contains reports mandated by the Wisconsin Statutes and are submitted to the legislature by state agencies. We are especially excited about this collection because many of these reports have not been readily available outside of our library before. We are adding metadata to each record for the Wisconsin Statute and the law that created the statute, as well as which legislative biennium the report covers. For example, this issue of the Concealed carry annual report is for 2013, so 2013-2014 is in the “Biennium” field. You will also see that the statute and the act that created the statute are entered into the “Law & Legislation” field. Another metadata field to note is “URL”, clicking on the link there will open another window or tab that lists all the issues of this report.

The browse all mandated reports page allows for sorting by agency, biennium, law & legislation, subject, and date. Some statutes require more than one agency to submit reports so when you expand the “Law & Legislation” facet you will see that it is organized by quantity (and that there are always two that have the same number because they are in the same records). If you select “1991 Wisconsin Act 273” or “Wis. Stats. s. 1.11(2)(j)” you will get a list of reports submitted under that law/statute. If you then expand the “Agency” facet you will see that we have reports under that statute from five agencies. [screencast]

Many of the newer items in our digital collections will be on the Wisconsin Document Depository Program Digital Shipping List, all items have OCLC records that can be added to your library’s catalog. If your library has a page for government information, please add a link to the entire digital collections and/or to individual collections themselves:

Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Digital Collections

Legislatively Mandated Reports

Press Releases and Public Relations

Please contact the LRB library if you have any questions about the digital collections!


Government Information Day 2015 Round Up, Part I

Government Information Day was held on Friday, May 29, 2015, in Madison. The conference was well-attended, with approximately 30 participants. For the afternoon program, we asked fellow GIRT members to submit ideas for short (20 min.) talks, sharing interesting resources or practices that they use in their daily work, that they think others might find useful. This “best practices exchange” format allowed for discussion between the audience and the presenters, and we hope it helped broaden everyone’s knowledge of what’s happening around the state, as well as presenting useful ideas. Presentation summaries and/or links to PowerPoint slides for the afternoon sessions can be found below.

Wisconsin Document Depository Program (WDDP) Update, Abby Swanton, WDDP Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: PowerPoint slides

County Legal Resources Database, Carol Hassler, Web Services Librarian at the Wisconsin State Law Library: PDF of PowerPoint slides, handout.

Knowledge sharing at the reference desk with wikis, Lisa Winkler, Outreach Services Librarian at the Wisconsin State Law Library: PDF of PowerPoint slides.

County and municipal Archive-It collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Eileen Snyder, Wisconsin Government Publications Librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society: PowerPoint slides.

Part II of the Government Information Day summary will include a description of the program given by Keely Merchant of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau.


Government Information Day: Researching Legislative History in Wisconsin

The final speaker of the day at Government Information Day was Kristina Martinez from the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, who spoke about researching legislative history in Wisconsin. This was Kristina’s second presentation to Government Information day; last year she presented a lightning talk on the work she does at the LRB as their bibliographic instruction librarian.

Kristina gave an excellent and engaging presentation on how to research legislative history in Wisconsin, pointing out that it is a very different process from researching federal legislative history. She chose particular statutory language, removing the requirement for a special license to make Limburger cheese, to demonstrate how to find legislative history. The PowerPoint slides for her presentation are available here (the slides are also available in PDF format). She also co-authored a guide to researching legislative history in Wisconsin, which is available from the LRB website.

Government Information Day – WISEdash Presentation and Demo

Melanie McCalmont and Tessa Michaelson Schmidt of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction gave an excellent and informative presentation on DPI’s new database for public school statistics, WISEdash. It replaces the old WINNS system. DPI has not yet migrated all the data from WINNS to WISEdash, but the WINNS data is easily accessible through the WISEdash portal. It is clear that a lot of hard work, thought, and care went into creating the database and its interface, making a vast array of data about Wisconsin public schools readily available at your fingertips.

The demonstration was all done on the live site, so there’s no PowerPoint presentation for me to post. But WiseDash is available from DPI’s website: http://wisedash.dpi.wi.gov/Dashboard/portalHome.jsp – take a look and try it out for yourself!