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March 6, 2018

National Consumer Law Center Digital Library

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) digital library includes twenty consumer law treatises which analyze the law and provide sample pleadings on a variety of consumer topics. This consumer law collection focuses on four major areas: debtor rights, credit and banking, consumer litigation, and deception and warranties. The Library subscribes to the entire collection digitally and visitors can search all twenty titles easily from a library computer.

Browsing the library is a quick way to get into the books. Choose the "My Treatises" link near the top to see a list of all the books in our subscription. Select the title of a book to get into the contents of the book. Browse chapters, keyword search the book, or scan the index to jump to the section you need. Email or print sections to reference later using the buttons at the top of the page.

Indexes are Time Savers

Every book has an index which is very useful for jumping straight to the section you need. There's also an index for the entire collection, under a link near the top called "Quick Reference." The Quick Reference is an index to all the topics analyzed in the entire NCLC treatise collection. Jump down to the section you need and get a direct link to the chapter and section which discusses it.

Specialized Searches

Like most power searchers, I love having a lot of search tools at my disposal. The NCLC Digital Library includes the usual search modifiers. Use quotes around words to search for a phrase. Keywords without quotes search for both terms appearing within subsections.

Use a minus symbol before a word to exclude it from search results and "or" between words to search for either term.

Finally, NCLC allows you to use term proximity searching, which I like to describe as creating your own relevancy searches. Like HeinOnline's proximity search, put two words in quotes and use ~ plus the number of words apart you want those terms to be. For example, "verbal warranty" ~10 searches for the words "verbal" and "warranty" within 10 words of each other. Proximity searching is a great way to narrow down search results to sections that are likely to discuss your issue.

Learn more about this collection in our March newsletter article: National Consumer Law Center's Searchable Library.

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