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

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Providing online resources to students during remote learning

To ensure students can remotely access course-assigned materials at no cost to them, faculty preparing syllabi for the Fall semester are strongly encouraged to check and confirm that these resources are available through the Lloyd Sealy Library in electronic (online) format. Many faculty have been able to locate useful scholarly articles, eBooks, and streaming videos for use during the remote learning period this Spring, and we suggest you plan for the remainder of Summer and Fall in the same manner. 

The Library recommends the following:

  • Search our permanent online resources via OneSearch. The Library has purchased many new eBooks over the past few months based on need and usage, so it is worthwhile to search again for books as our e-collections are updated frequently. (for more eBook and copyright-related info, please see below)
  • Make use of an increasingly robust and high-quality collection of free Open Educational Resources.
  • Faculty who have print copies of required readings, please use free scanning apps to share those readings (while complying with Fair Use guidelines; for more copyright-related info, please see below) through eReserveBlackboard or DropBox. Scanner apps can combine documents in a user-friendly, multi-page pdf. CUNY provides free Dropbox accounts to CUNY students, faculty, and administrative staff, and the Dropbox phone app contains a scanner. Use the Library’s regularly updated Remote Resources for a Distant Learning Environment to find where and how to access free ebooksdigital textbooksvideosjournal articles and more.
  • Suggestions/requests for library purchases can be submitted here. The Library will make every effort to acquire materials in electronic format within budget allowances and availability of e-formats.

Please be aware that the physical Reserve collection remains closed until further notice and materials cannot be accessed for borrowing or scanning.

For assistance with finding eBooks, please contact the Library at libref@jjay.cuny.edu.

Additional information about eBooks and other electronic resources:

  • Not all books are published in e-format. Even if a book might be available in electronic format for individual use (Kindle, Overdrive, or others) the publisher might not provide e-format for library purchase. We can only acquire e-resources through NY State vetted vendors and rely on these vendors’ data to acquire eBooks. The mode of access to the eBooks (single user vs multiple users) and their downloadability is dictated by the publishers as well.  The prices for eBooks sold to academic libraries are usually 150% of the price of a hardcover copy. The multi-user access is even more expensive.
  • Electronic copies of textbooks are geared towards individual lending, as a rule. The library cannot acquire a copy of an e-textbook and then open access to everyone. The textbooks can be loaned individually by the students through publishing platforms that cooperate with the bookstores not the libraries. JJC bookstore serves as a gateway to buy print copies as well as a mode to rent textbooks.
  • As for the scanning of the textbooks, copyright guidelines generally propose placing no more than 10% of the content of an entire work on electronic reserve, Blackboard, etc. Opening temporary, password-protected access to a limited amount of users through eReserve sites is in compliance with this guideline.

Additional information about fair use and copyright:

The CUNY Office of Library Services in consultation with CUNY legal counsel has prepared a guide on copyright during the COVID Crisis. A relevant portion is excerpted here:

We are in a time of crisis. As colleges move to remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, library copyright specialists have released a Statement on Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research. This page provides key points from that statement and an ASERL webinar. When moving to a remote teaching environment, remember that it's always easiest to link! The library provides access to many electronic resources and a number of vendors are providing free access to paywalled resources in response to the pandemic. For additional guidance about these resources and how to link to them, please see the section on CUNY library resources.

If a licensed version of a work is not available, faculty may conduct a fair use analysis to determine the suitability of making a copy. Making copies of new materials for students (by downloading and uploading files, or by scanning from physical documents) can present some copyright issues, but they're not different from those involved in deciding whether to share something online with your students when you are meeting in-person. It's better not to make copies of entire works - but most instructors don't do that! Copying portions of works to share with students will often be fair use, and at times (especially in unusual circumstances, or with works that aren't otherwise commercially available) it may even be fair use to make lengthier copies. How much is needed for the pedagogical purpose? Let this be your guide. Just be sure to limit access to enrolled students for the period of the course. Where an instructor doesn't feel comfortable relying on fair use, a subject specialist at their campus library may be able to suggest alternative content that is already online through library subscriptions, or publicly online content.