Consumer Issues and Advocacy
Use the Library Catalog to find books at the CSU Northridge Library. (How to Use the Library Catalog gives tips for effective searching and more). Be sure to note the location (floor, stored, etc.) of the book as well as the call number. Ask a reference librarian for assistance if you have trouble determining what subject headings are used for your topic (e.g. Automobiles--Purchasing, Hazardous wastes--Law and legislation, Product Safety, Labels, etc.).
Complaint Guides and Directories of Consumer Agencies
Many of the sources listed below include tips on how to avoid problems before you buy as well as how to resolve complaints.
- Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs
- California Department of Consumer Affairs website includes:
- Consumer's Guide to Product Grades and Terms, a print source, includes an appendix listing U. S. standards-issuing organizations of interest to consumers.
- Consumer Sourcebook (latest edition is shelved in the Reference Room, ref HC 110 .C63 C638)
- Consumer Action Website.
- Telephone directories. Look in the white pages under Consumer complaint and protection coordinators.
- California Business Search (California Secretary of State). Incorporation information on California corporations, including contact information.
- California Manufacturers Register (Reference Room, ref T 12 .C34)
- Directory of California wholesalers and service companies. (Reference Room, ref HD 9981.7 .C2 C34)
- Directory of Corporate Affiliations (Reference Room table 3)
- Southern California Business Directory and Buyer's Guide (Reference Room table 3)
- Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors, and Executives (Reference Room table 3)
- Ward's Business Directory (Reference Room table 3)
- Telephone directories or use Switchboard
- Brands and Their Companies (Reference Room, ref HD 69. B7 I584)
- Companies and Their Brands (Reference Room, ref HD 69. B7 I585)
- Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands (Reference Room, ref HF 5415.3 .E527 1994)
- International Brands and Their Companies (Reference Room, ref HD 69. B7 I58)
- Trademark search section of Oviatt Library's Patents, Trademarks, & Copyright webpage.
- General OneFile
- Academic Search Elite EBSCOHost
- Other specialized indexes and/or databases are available in fields such as law, psychology, and education. Your exact topic will determine which of the hundreds of Oviatt Library databases and print indexes to choose for a specific research project; take a look at what is available (use Databases A-Z or Find Articles and Research Data) and also ask a reference librarian which ones would be best for a specific topic.
How to find the articles once you know which ones you want (and other helpful information)
- How to Locate Articles Online or in the Library
- Library Catalog and the CSUN List of Electronic Periodicals
- "Find Text"Frequently Asked Questions
- Computers in the Library: Locations, Printing, Wireless
Full-text newspaper databases
- Proquest Newspapers (includes the most coverage of recent Los Angeles Times articles).
- Lexis-Nexis Academic
- Ethnic Newswatch and Ethnic Newswatch: A History
News via the Internet
- News on the Web lists news websites. These are particularly useful for very current, up-to-the-minute information and include television and radio news sources as well as online newspapers.
Government Agencies and Government Activities
Indexes and Lists of Government Publications
- Use Find Resources: Government Publications to find U. S. and California government web sites and the following guides:
- Ways to Search for Government Information (major indexes and online finding aids)
- Government Information Page organized by level of government: federal, state, local, international
- Government Reference Sources organized by broad topics, including a page on Consumer Information Sources
Brief Information about the United States Government and its Activities
- United States Government Manual (Print copy also available: Reference Room, ref JK 421 .A3)
- Congress and the Nation (Reference Room, ref KF 49 .C65)
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac (latest in Reference Room, ref JK 1 .C65)
- CQ Weekly (Oviatt Library subscription) is a great source to track what is going on in Congress.
Brief Information about California Government Agencies and their Activities
- California Home Page includes indexes with links to specific agency web sites such as the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
Laws and Regulations
- Internet Search Engines, such as Google, facilitate subject or keyword searching to identify relevant sites such as
- When you find a site you like, be sure to record its address so that you can return to it again easily and directly. Do be aware that you need to evaluate the accuracy, currency, and reliability of information. Just because a person or company has a web site does not guarantee that the information provided at that site is accurate or up to date.
Created by Mary M. Finley. Maintained and updated by Doris Helfer.
Any questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org