WisconsinEye Progress Report

There’s a lot going on with WisconsinEye these days. Last night, Christopher Long, President & CEO was the guest speaker at the joint meeting of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Chapter of the Special Libraries Association.
It’s More Than You Thought
Many of us probably think of WisconsinEye as CSPAN for Wisconsin, and, yes, while it does serve that role, it also does much more. In addition to its coverage of state government, WisconsinEye captures other aspects of Wisconsin public life, “from the Capitol to Main Street and city halls, community centers and neighborhoods.”
Christopher explained that WisconsinEye is available on the digital tiers of both Time Warner and Charter Cable. It is also available online. DVDs are also available for purchase from WisconsinEye for those wishing to have a permanent copy of a particular broadcast for their collection.
Coming Soon
Christopher gave us a sneak peek of some planned upgrades. A email alert service for upcoming programming and video archive search engine are currently in the works. An RSS feed for newly archived programming is also planned. There will also be new types of programming, such as expanded areas of coverage within the capital (committee rooms, rotunda, etc). Several new series are also planned, including a legal affairs series.
For Legislative History Research
There were several questions from the audience about using WisconsinEye coverage for legislative history research. Christopher indicated that this type of use was welcomed. Note that their user agreement indicates that:

Users who are schools, higher education institutions, State of Wisconsin agencies, libraries and municipalities are authorized to record, reproduce, internally transmit, publicly display and perform our Content to their respective students, employees, or patrons for educational, training, research and other non-commercial and non-political purposes.

Although thousands of hours are already available in WisconsinEye’s archive, accessing them at this point is difficult since one would have to browse by date to view the content. I look forward to the addition of the video search engine. Presumably, this will make content much more accessible and, therefore, useful for conducting legislative history research.