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Names change for State Law Library branches

Madison, Wisconsin - April 17, 2015

The Wisconsin State Law Library is changing the names of its branch locations at courthouses in Milwaukee and Madison to better reflect the nature of services provided to library users at those locations, said State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer.

Milwaukee Legal Resource Center and Dane County Legal Resource Center will be renamed the Milwaukee County Law Library and the Dane County Law Library respectively. The name changes take effect today (April 16), during National Library Week.

“The name changes take us back to our roots as law librarians. Our charge is to select, maintain and preserve collections of legal materials and to provide access to legal information and resources that may be helpful to anyone interested in learning more about the law." 

The name change is intended in part to distinguish law library services from services that provide legal assistance at those locations, including the Family Court Clinic and Small Claims Assistance Program in the Dane County Courthouse and the Milwaukee Justice Center in Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The goal of law librarians is to help facilitate equal access to the law, which can be overwhelming at times to non-lawyers. Library staff do not provide legal advice or representation. Instead, they help users navigate legal resources that are available in the libraries, on the internet and in legal databases.

The State Law Library has a long history of working with the two local governments to provide law library services at the local level. Since 1999, the State Law Library has partnered with Dane County to help provide law library services in the courthouse.  A similar arrangement has been in place in Milwaukee County since 1996. Prior to those dates, those local governments in Madison and Milwaukee provided law library services on their own.

The services and resources at the library branches and the legal clinics will not change as a result of the name changes.

“We look forward to a continuing our strong partnerships with Milwaukee and Dane counties and with legal assistance organizations to serve the people of Wisconsin,” Tessmer said.

Julie Tessmer
Wisconsin State Law Librarian
(608) 261-2340

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