Getting textbooks

Students should make sure they have reliable access to all the textbooks required for their courses. 

Buying textbooks

John Jay's Online Bookstore is accessible from anywhere at Books can be bought new or used, as rentals, and/or as ebooks. The campus pickup location is L2.66.00 (mailroom) in the New Building, open M–F 9am–5pm. More information about the Online Bookstore »

CUNY offers a Textbook Savings page, which lists other textbook retailers and websites.

Borrowing textbooks in the Library

To see if your textbook is available for use in the Library, try searching the title and/or author in OneSearch.

How to find the call number: Search for the title in OneSearch. Available textbooks will be listed with a note like this: "Available at John Jay Reserve Reserve Room (HV8073 .S238 2011)." If it's located in the Reserve Room, take the call number (example, HV8073 .S238 2011) to the Reserve Desk on the lower level of the Library. A call number contains letters and numbers; it is not the same as an ISBN.

How to get a textbook from Reserve: Available textbooks must be requested at the Reserve Desk (lower level) by call number. Reserve textbooks 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.


  • Write the call number on your syllabus, since you will need it every time you ask for the textbook.
  • 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 »

Last updated December 15, 2016