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How to Use the Online Library

Resources posted in online libraries include a mix of documents hosted on the site and links to external resources.

You can choose any one of these ways to navigate the library to find what you need:

  • Folder view
  • Topic view
  • Search

As you browse the library, the titles of available resources will appear in one column. Click on any of the available document formats to open the resource, or click on "More info" for additional details, including Author, Description, and Posting Date.

Folder View
The default view of the library is by Folder. In this mode, resources are in hyperlinked folders that you click to open. The file/folder structure is created by practice area host organizations, and may be arranged thematically, or by type of document, with labels such as Briefs, Training Manuals, Treatises, or Case Law. Click on the title of any folder to "drill down" to the next level. When you are in the Folder View, a breadcrumb navigation path, indicating where you are in the folder structure, runs across the top of the main content area of the page:

Folder: Main Menu > Case Law

Topic View
The Topic View groups re-sorts the contents of the library into substantive areas of the law designated host organizations, such as Adoption, Death Penalty, Juvenile Justice, Housing, etc. Click on the name of any available Topic or Subtopic to filter the library and see documents from all folders that relate to that area of law. When you are in this mode, your selected topic displays across the top of the main content area:

Topic: Family Law

Once you have selected a topic or subtopic, a new menu will appear in the right column, allowing you to navigate directly to a different topic without returning to the "All Topics" view.

Switching Views
You can toggle between these alternate views of the library by clicking on the Topic or Folders links in the right-hand column of the page. The view you have selected (the "active view") appears in bold text with a grey arrow next to it.

You may also use the site's plain text search engine to find library resources. The search box sits at the top of the Library pages. Your search will look for words within the following fields:

  • title
  • description
  • authoring organization
  • body of the attached document

For more help with searching, view search help

Document Formats
Documents in the library are generally made available in
some combination of the following formats:

  • DOC: Microsoft Word documents
  • HTML or HTM: Hypertext Markup Language documents can be viewed online with any standard browser
  • LINK: In some cases, library resources are links to documents that reside on other Web sites, or in other locations on the server. Theicon appears next to all links
  • PDF: Portable Document Files be viewed online or downloaded and read using Adobe Acrobat (a common browser plugin). PDF documents you view and download will appear exactly as the original source document. Government forms are best downloaded and printed in PDF.
    If you have Adobe Acrobat and click on a PDF document, the Adobe Reader software should load automatically. If you do not have this software, click here to obtain it. Installation is easy-just follow the instructions.
  • PPT: Microsoft Powerpoint presentations
  • PUB: Microsoft Publisher documents
  • TXT: Plain Text files
  • WPD: WordPerfect documents
  • JPEG: Compressed image files

Once you have found the documents that you are looking for, you will need to return to the Library by using the BACK button on your browser or simply retyping the site's url into your browser address window.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the library, send an email to

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