Books from the stacks
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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 as ebooks. More information about the Online Bookstore »

There are other sources for textbook purchases, too. CUNY has compiled a thorough 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 to keep on Reserve. 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 OneSearch.

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

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)." Take the call number (example, HV8073 .S238 2011) to the Reserve Desk. A call number contains letters and numbers; it is not the same as an ISBN.

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.

Please note:

  • Not all textbooks are available through the Chancellor's Textbook Initiative.
  • Not all textbooks in the program will be available in the first week of class, due to processing and delivery delays.
  • Textbooks on reserve do not circulate, but are kept at the Reserve Desk on the first floor of the Library.
  • If available, a textbook may be used for three hours at a time within the Library.


  • 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 »