~ Online Libraries: A FREE Investigative Tool

Online libraries provide free research: Public libraries offer searchable databases for researching background on businesses and individuals, and downloading full text articles. An added tool that is often overlooked is a real time saver: the research librarian. The large metropolitan libraries have research librarians knowledgeable about reference materials and databases, and will answer your questions for FREE. The Los Angeles/Orange County library system provides an online means to ask questions, for holders of a local library card. Anyone, not just local residents, can get a library card. The catch at Los Angeles is you have to pick it up in person and show your ID.

On my other ezine, otherwise known as Investigate THIS!, I talk about some of the free library and research services offered on the web and over the phone.

The San Jose Public Library has a legal publications database, LegalTrac, which provides article citations. The Gale Group proprietary database provides, “indexing for all major law reviews, legal newspapers, specialty law publications, bar association journals and thousands of law-related articles from general interest publications.” Most seem to be indexed starting in 1980. Publication types range from the ABA Journal to Army Lawyer.

After you get your list of periodical citations, while sipping your latte, from the convenience of your home office, put on street clothes and trundle down to your local law library to get the full article.

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