Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
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Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Online teaching toolbox

Faculty toolbox (or goodie bag!)

The Library supports online teaching and learning! Incorporate Library resources into your online course and provide your students with engaging, high-quality information.

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Meet Your Librarians

Meet your Online Learning Librarian

Prof. Robin Davis is John Jay's Emerging Technologies & Online Learning Librarian (faculty profile). You can reach her at (212) 237-8261 or Prof. Davis can answer questions about using Library resources in online courses, providing students with access, teaching Library skills in online contexts, and more.

Online library instruction

If you teach an online-only course, have an "embedded librarian" visit for a week. We'll partner with you to provide online instruction covering library research skills. (See an example.) When you schedule this instructional service, we'll discuss what would be most effective for your class. Request online library instruction »

Blackboard Faculty Support

Get a helping hand with your online course from John Jay Blackboard Faculty Support. Email or call 212-484-1197 (M–F, 9am–5pm) with questions about teaching and managing your Blackboard course. The Faculty Support team are experienced technologists and teachers. They also offer workshops and training sessions.

Blackboard goodies


Library Resources page

As of spring 2016, all courses now feature a 'Library Resources' page, linked from the left toolbar. On this page, you'll see modules the Library has created:

  • Library quick links
  • Ask a John Jay Librarian
  • OneSearch
  • Library materials on eReserve
  • How to start your research
  • Library tutorials
  • Visit the Library

The links in these modules are an easy way to connect students to the library, right from within Blackboard! Plus, you can rearrange these modules as you see fit.

(Visual display may differ depending on your course theme.)


Add a "Chat with a John Jay Librarian" widget to your course

The Library offers reference service by chat for the John Jay community. Students can ask questions about how to find a particular book, how to find articles on a topic, how to cite something properly, and other Library research-related questions.

In your Blackboard course's Content area, or on any webpage, you can add a chat widget that looks like this:

When chat is unavailable, the chat window disappears and only the visit, email, phone and text linked icons are displayed. Chat is staffed by John Jay librarians 11am–6pm, Mondays through Thursdays, when class is in session during the fall and spring semesters. More info + live chat window »

Add this chat widget to your Blackboard course page: since this involves embedding code, you can ask Blackboard Faculty Support to embed a chat widget in your course. Contact them by email at If you're comfortable with HTML, you can add the widget yourself.


Embedding videos into your course content

The Library subscribes to many streaming video databases that offer full length documentaries, dramatizations, archival newsreels, and more. Here's just a sample of our video collection:

How to embed a streaming video into Blackboard:

  1. On the page of the video you would like to embed, look for a Share button or a </> icon. Copy (Ctrl+C) the code.
  2. Create a new "Item" in the folder you want the video to display.
  3. Look for the tiny "HTML" button beneath the text formatting buttons. If you don't see it, click the chevron button on the far right. An "HTML code view" window will pop up.
  4. Paste in the code and click Update. A yellow box will appear in the edit view. Hit Submit.
  5. Test the video to make sure it plays.

Important! Include a link to the video even if you have embedded it. A Permalink (or Share Link) option should also be available on the video page. Sometimes users' browsers won't play embedded videos, but a link is a reliable backup option.

Off-campus, students will be asked to log in with their JJ username and password (the same as their JJ email credentials) before they can view the embedded/linked video.


Linking to Library resources

Off-campus access to subscription databases like Ebscohost, LexisNexis, and more requires authentication through a proxy. Simply copying the URL for an article page may not work for your students. You will need to use a proxied permalink that will ask students to log in if they're off-campus. Proxied URLs begin with If you have a permalink without a proxy, paste it in here:

Your off-campus access URL will appear here.

More about proxied permalinks »

How to...

Digital resources: images and documents

Looking to augment your online teaching with more images, digital documents, and other media? Here are some reliable resources we've compiled:

  • Historical images & documents
    • Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections: digitized content from our Special Collections. If you're using Digital Collections material in your teaching, please do link to the detail page, as it offers students more contextual information. If your reuse of an image/document falls outside Fair Use, use the contact button on the its page to ask the Special Collections librarian about it.
    • NYPL Digital Collections: huge collection of images/documents with ready-made citations. Note the Rights Statement at the bottom of each item's page regarding reuse. The search bar has a handy "public domain" checkbox.
    • Digital Public Library of America: a portal to many libraries’ digitized image/document collections. Note each collections' policy regarding reuse.
    • History databases available through the Library, many of which include historical images/documents you can link to. E.g., Black Thought and Culture includes scans of the Black Panther newspapers.
    • Image collection databases curated by the Library, most of which are historical/archival/artistic in nature; those marked "Access: All" do not require a login.
  • Non-historical images & documents
    • Flickr's Creative Commons (CC) images: a great spot to find images that can be freely reused. Note the specific CC license the image's creator chose.
    • Unsplash: stock photos that you can use freely without permission or attribution. The selection is limited.
    • Library databases: link to or embed content (images, documents, videos, etc.) from our databases. Others will likely need a John Jay login to see it.
    • Library databases, freely available: databases of quality content that are freely accessible to the public.

Can I use an image I found?

It depends on how you're using it and the license its creator has given it. CUNY's Guide to Fair Use & Copyright is a great introduction for faculty.

It's worth noting that Fair Use is not a black-and-white scenario: it's open for interpretation. The library does not give legal advice in this matter, but we can refer you to resources like the guide above so you can make informed decisions.

Want to play it safe? Look for images/documents in the public domain (so old that it's definitely out of copyright) or are Creative Commons-licensed (reusable content with light restrictions, as denoted by the content creator).

How to...

Copy/paste links from the Library

Just want to paste links from the Library into Blackboard? Be our guest! We've made it easy with link names and URLs below.

Just go to Content » Build content » Web Link and paste in the link(s) you want:

About the Library (for online-only students)

  • Link name: Five essential things online students should know about the John Jay Library
  • URL:

Library basics guide

  • Link name: Library basics: How do I use the Library?
  • URL:

APA citation guide

  • Link name: APA citation help from the Library
  • URL:

MLA citation guide

  • Link name: MLA citation help from the Library
  • URL:

Library's subject guides

  • Link name: Subject-specific research guides from the Library (where to find articles, books, statistics)
  • URL:

Library databases by subject

  • Link name: Library databases by subject area (find articles, books, & videos on your subject)
  • URL: