Lloyd Sealy Library
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Getting Textbooks

The Barnes & Noble bookstore is no longer in operation. John Jay will secure a new textbook vendor for Fall 2015. As soon as we have new information about the new vendor, we'll post it here for you.
Students should make sure they have good reliable access to all the textbooks required for their courses. CUNY has compiled a textbook fact sheet to help students save money when purchasing textbooks. 

Borrowing textbooks in the Library

Thanks to funds from the Chancellor's Textbook Initiative, the Library is able to buy some textbooks. These books tend to be the most expensive titles and largely for the 100 and 200 level courses, but it is always worth checking for the book you require. To see if your textbook is available for use in the Library, try searching the author or title in the CUNY+ catalog.

How to get a textbook from Reserve: available textbooks must be requested at the Reserve Desk (lower level) by call number, which you must find by searching for the title in the CUNY+ catalog. A call number contains letters and numbers (example: KF8745 .S67 A3 2013) and is not the same as ISBN. Reserve textbook may only be used in the Library for 3 hours at a time. You can scan (free) or copy (15¢/pg) portions of the book.


  • Not all textbooks are available through the Chancellor's Textbook Initiative.
  • Not all textbooks in the proram will be available on the first day of class, since they may not yet be processed.
  • All textbooks in the textbook purchase program will be available for use by the second week of class.
  • Textbooks do not circulate, but are kept on reserve at the Library's Reserve Desk on the first floor of the Library. 
  • Write the call number on your syllabus since you will need it every time you ask for the textbook.
  • If available, a textbook may be used for three hours at a time within the Library.
  • Portions of books may be copied or scanned on the machines in the Reserve Room or on the second floor of the Library. Individuals should never scan or copy a complete book, since that would be a copyright infringement. More info on what you can copy and scan »