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BEV BUTULA: Legislative Reference Bureau sites contain wealth of information

I was surprised the other day when someone told me they were unaware of the services and resources available through the Legislative Reference Bureau. The LRB, along with the Wisconsin State Law Library, are two organizations that I have come to value.

If you have not visited the LRB’s website recently, you should take a quick visit. There is a great deal of helpful information to be found on the site.

Legislative Spotlight – “[T]his page provides an overview of recent and upcoming activities in the Wisconsin Legislature.” The spotlight is issued weekly. Archives back to 1997 are available.

Wisconsin Blue Book – This biennial standard contains a variety of useful information. Researchers can locate statistical information, election data and details on the various agencies. In addition to general contact information, researchers can find budget figures, statutory references, publications and responsibilities of agencies. The LRB website links to Blue Book’s from 1995 forward. Prior versions are available through the UW Digital Collection.

Wisconsin Scorecard – Published in 2011, this is a “compendium of 50-state rankings spotlighting Wisconsin as it compares to other states.” Rankings include demographic, social, health, education, environment, government finance, economic and energy.

Tap the Power – The librarians at the LRB issue a Tap the Power bibliography each month. These subject-focused publications list both print and online resources to assist researchers in learning more about a particular issue.

Wisconsin Briefs – Prepared by the legislative analysts, these short concise publications provide additional insight into the brief’s subject matter.

This is just a small sampling of the various online resources provided by the state’s Legislative Reference Bureau. The LRB also houses legislative history materials, clipping files, and much more. The staff, including the legislative analysts and librarians, are very helpful and provide excellent service.

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