March 27, 2012

Get Ready for April 3rd Election with the Interactive Online Voter Guide

The Wisconsin State Journal has compiled an interactive online voter guide for the spring general elections in Dane County.

It allows Dane County residents to type in their address and call up a ballot with only those races that apply to their address. Then the ballot shows the candidates, their races, and their own statements about their candidacies. Readers can use this for research only, or can create a customized ballot with notes and indications of which candidates they wish to choose.

Read this article for more. Thanks to my law school colleagues for sharing the information about this site.

February 15, 2011

What's on the Ballot?

Today primary election day and I must admit, I wasn't sure what all the races on the ballot were. Fortunately, with the State of Wisconsin Voter Public Access system I was able to view a sample ballot for my community.

You can also look up your voter record to check your voter status and to check the polling place location, voting history, absentee ballot status, and more.

August 26, 2010

New Rules for Gift and Credit Card Now in Effect

This past Sunday, August 22, certain changes relating to gift cards went into effect thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Now @ MPL highlights some of the changes:

Store gift cards and gift cards with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover brand logo sold on or after August 22, 2010 will be good for at least five years from the date the card is purchased. You can still be charged inactivity fees, but only if you haven't used your card for at least one year. Additionally, if the physical card expires before the five years is up you can get the balance transferred to a replacement card for free. For more details see the complete list of new rules for gift cards from the Federal Reserve Website.

There are also new credit card rules that went into effect this week. And in case you missed it, in February of this year there was another set of new credit card rules.

August 24, 2010

WI No Call List Deadline Approaching

Want to add your cell phone or land line to the state no-call list to block phone calls from telemarketers? If so, the deadline is Sept 1st to have your number blocked starting Oct 1st. The next chance to sign up won't place numbers on the list until Jan. 1st.

Remember that registration must be renewed every two years. If you've forgotten when you last registered, you can sign up again just to be safe.

Sign up at the WI Dept of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection web site or call 1-866-9NO-CALL.

August 5, 2010

Forget the Weather - What's the Mosquito Activity Forecast?

Here's a fun one from The Weather Channel: the Mosquito Activity Forecast. Ok - maybe not fun. More like scary... useful... educational...

Thanks to Bev Butula for passing it on in her WLJ blog.

October 2, 2009

A Look at the Brighter Side of Furloughs

Congratulations to my UW Law Library colleague, JennyZook for her well written article in this month's AALL Spectrum.

In the article, "Buddy, Can you Spare the Time?," Jenny explores the bright side of furloughs - something many of us may be able to appreciate.

September 25, 2009

This Saturday is Museum Day - Free Admission to Select Museums

This Saturday, September 26, 2009, is Museum Day. Enjoy free general admission for you and a guest to hundreds of museums and cultural venues nationwide.

There are a number of Wisconsin museums participating in this program. See the complete list which is available on

Source: LifeHacker

August 17, 2009

Ten Years and a New Adventure

This week marks my tenth anniversary at the University of Wisconsin Law Library. I feel fortunate to have received the opportunity to work at a great institution, doing a job that I enjoy with a wonderful group of colleagues. Not many people can say that they truly love their job, but I am one of them.

And now on to the next great adventure... law school. In just two weeks, I'll be starting as a 1L here at the UW Law School. I'll be a part time student and continue my position in the library. It will be interesting, and eye-opening I'm sure, to experience things from the student perspective. I'm very much looking forward to it.

June 2, 2008

Google Introduces Health Care Tracking Service

Google has introduced a free health care tracking service called Google Health.

From the site:

Google Health puts you in charge of your health information. It's safe, secure, and free.

* Organize your health information all in one place
* Gather your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies
* Keep your doctors up to date about your health
* Be more informed about important health issues

Read more at the New York Times.

December 6, 2007

Free Services to Help Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

I went to an excellent program the other day by the Wisconsin Office of Privacy Protection about protecting yourself from identity theft. It was very enlightening.

In addition to a lot of best practices, like not carrying around your social security number in your wallet and shredding all unwanted personally identifiable documents, I learned about several free services which can help you protect your privacy. And you can register for of them all right now from the comfort of your computer or phone.

You may already know about these, but they are definitely worth repeating.

  • Stop pre-approved credit card offers by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT or visit Complete the registration to opt out for five years. You can also opt out permanently by mailing the Opt-Out Election form available through the website.

  • Wisconsinites can register their phone numbers for Wisconsin's No Call list which limits the calls received from telemarketers. Call 1-866-9NO-CALL or sign up online at NoCall.Wisconsin.Gov. Your number will remain on the list for two years. It was suggested that you put a reminder on your calendar to re-register annually so you don't ever risk falling off the list.

  • Check your credit report regularly. You can get one free report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may request them by calling 1-877-322-8228 or going online at

    It was recommend that you not request them all at once form all three agencies, but rather, that you stagger them every four months. So, for example, you'd request one from one company in Dec, another from the second company in April, and another from the third company in August.

There are lots of other good tips on the Office of Privacy Protection web site at They also have tips on what to do if you are ever a victim of identity theft.

October 30, 2007

Gingerbread Haunted Mansion

This item came up today in one of the blogs that I read and thought it was too cool not to share - a gingerbread haunted mansion. Librarians will appreciate the "Return Your Books or Die!" sign at the top. Now that's harsh!

We love Halloween at our house. It's so fun to see the kids get all dressed up, especially when grandma makes all the costumes! This year my daughter is going as a witch and my son as a purple crayon. So, of course, we just had to read Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Source: Boing Boing

August 31, 2007

The View from Mars

Last night as we were snuggling up in our favorite rocking chair, my three-year-old daughter invited me along on her rocket ship. "Where are we going?" I asked. "To the moon?" "No," she said, "to Mars. It's a planet." Surprised that she knew this, I continued, "And what will be see when we get there?" expecting some fanciful response. Instead, she replied simply, "The Earth... and the moon."

Woah, when did she get so big? I find myself asking that a lot these days.

August 24, 2007

If I Were President, My New Rules Would Be

This morning I was looking through my six-year-old son's backpack and found his journal from summer school. I was struck by one of the entries.

The topic posed by his teacher was: If I were president, my new rules would be. This was his response:

1. No sadnis (sadness)
2. No pets
3. No polushun (pollution)

Ok - I'm right there with him on #1 and #3, but what's up with #2, no pets? I asked him and he said that it was so dogs wouldn't bark and wake you up. I just smiled and shook my head at that one. Yeah - our dog, Jake, can bark with the best of 'em. But I don't think my son really meant that one - six-year-olds tend to be a bit short sighted. We all still love Jakie dearly.

In fact, my son's favorite book these days is Smartypants (Pete In School) about a dog who eats everything in the school - including an encyclopedia, rendering him superintelligent and able to speak. Silly dogs are something we know a lot about.

August 23, 2007

Best Time to Buy Everything

From LibrarianInBlack:

SmartMoney offers advice on the Best Time to Buy Everything, from clothing to gas to groceries. There are some good ideas there, and some interesting take-away tips.

June 29, 2007

American Lotus in Bloom

Lisa Pfaff, our Acquisitions Assistant, snapped this lovely photo this morning of a blooming American lotus at the UW-Madison Botany Garden.

April 30, 2007

Wonders of Wisconsin

The Shepherd Express, an alternative weekly Milwaukee newspaper, has announced the winnders in their Wonders of Wisconsin contest. Both natural and human-created wonders are listed. Looks like I need to do some in-state traveling this summer.

Source: Check It Out

March 15, 2007

Life Comes First for Gen Xers

Findlaw has a very interesting article on Why are Women -- and Generation X and Y Attorneys Generally -Leaving Large Law Firms? The piece is a follow-up to a provocative article in the California Lawyer.

From the article:

On average, almost a fifth of associates (male and female) leave their law firms each year -- a record high. Within five years of entering a firm, over three-quarters of associates will depart. The associates who are leaving are disproportionately female.... Unlike the Baby Boomers who preceded them, Generation X and Generation Y women, she says, are less willing to sacrifice the rest of their lives for their careers.

As a Gen Xer myself, I totally concur. While I absolutely love my career as a law librarian, its just one part of my life. I'm also a mom, a wife, and an individual with interests outside my job. But unlike the high pressured attorneys featured in this article, as a law librarian I can have both a rewarding legal career and a life.

I've been invited to speak a couple times to our Women's Law Student Association about careers in law and this is something I always mention. And I've talked with others about it, too. In fact, in the last few months, three people in my life have seriously contemplated mid-life career changes to librarianship. I guess librarians aren't so nerdy after all - or maybe it's just OK to be nerdy.

December 27, 2006

Five Little Known Things About Me - One of Which Isn't True

I've been tagged by Steve Matthews over at Vancouver Law Librarian Blog to share five things little known things about myself. Only four of them are true. Can you guess which one isn't?

  • I had a lot of nick-names as a kid. One of the longest lasting was "bruiser"
  • I'm a big fan of sci-fi movies and TV shows. Stargate Atlantis is my current favorite.
  • I married my high-school sweetheart whom I started dating at age 14.
  • I have close to one hundred first cousins.
  • I am 100% of Swedish descent.

I tag Barbara Fullerton, Diane Murley, David Badertscher & Harvey Morrell

July 18, 2006

Barry Manilow & Doris Day Drive Out Hooligans

From BoingBoing: "To rid a park of hooligans in a Sydney suburb, the town council began playing Barry Manilow and Doris Day music at high volume from 9-midnight every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. The tactic worked, but now the people who live near the park can't sleep at night and are unhappy about it."

Other than the late hour, I wouldn't mind this a bit. I like Barry Manilow and Doris Day. My parents had an old 78 record of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera" and I wore that thing out. Now I sing it to my kids. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I've seen Barry live in concert.

July 17, 2006


My toddler loves to ask questions. "Papa, are you big?" "Mama, are you dressed?" "You like broccoli?"

The other night we were snuggling the in the rocker while settling down for bed. I was gently caressing her head and arms when she looked up and asked, "Mama, are you softing?" It's pretty awesome being a mom.