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The Third Branch

Law Library reveals redesigned website

By Carol Hassler, Wisconsin State Law Library

This fall the Wisconsin State Law Library redesigned its website, wilawlibrary.gov. The website offers new features and flexible pages that can adapt to both mobile devices and desktop displays.

WSLL website

Mobile use of wilawlibrary.gov has tripled in the last four years with over a quarter of website visitors arriving on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. The new website resizes depending on the screen size to do away with the need to scroll horizontally or zoom in and out to move around the website. Buttons for popular services are bigger to better accommodate users with touch-screen devices.

The reorganized home page provides faster access to popular pages and library services. The main search box offers over 400 legal topic suggestions that match keywords as you type. While still on the home page, click on the term in the pop-up menu to jump directly to the relevant Legal Topic page on the Law Library website.

Also from the home page, users can quickly get to the library's most popular services to ask a question, request copies, or renew library materials. Visitors can use the cluster of research links in the lower left to search the catalog, legal research databases, and state and local laws.

While the overall design of the website has changed, returning visitors can look under the same menu items in the navigation bar to find the pages they need. With the October launch, the library added one new prominent research page on finding Wisconsin court records (www.wilawlibrary.gov/search/courtrecords.html). This page guides users through the major online and print resources for locating Wisconsin court opinions and provides a list of research starting points for those investigating historical court records.

Friendly to new users and familiar to returning visitors, the redesigned wilawlibrary.gov is your first destination for any research project.

The redesign is already drawing rave reviews. The Wisconsin Law Journal noted in a review: "It has a fresher feel, but maintains all the great information legal researchers have relied on for years," the article reads, before it goes on to highlight the new features.

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