Library News Blog
During the week of November 14-19, 2022, an in-library use survey will be distributed to patrons visiting the library. The survey asks questions about library use and patron preferences about onsite library services. Survey respondents can enter their email to win a $10 MBJ gift card.
Since 2010, the in-library use survey has been conducted every three years during a one-week period in the middle of the fall semester. You can read a summary of our previous findings along with results from our last survey conducted in 2019. Results from the 2022 survey will be reported in the spring issue of the library newsletter.
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 9:26am
The Lloyd Sealy Library’s physical space is open to current John Jay and CUNY students, faculty, and staff who comply with CUNY's COVID-19 guidelines. The Library also offers a host of remote services and online resources.
Access to the physical library:
CUNY students, faculty, and staff who are in compliance with CUNY's COVID-19 mitigation protocol are able to visit the Library in line with campus access plan.
Visitors (including outside researchers and John Jay College alumni) must follow the campus access protocol. Researchers must inquire about a consultation with the special collections librarian by contacting email@example.com.
John Jay College encourages the use of high-quality masks, like N95 or KN-95 masks.
Please refer to the Library's calendar for details.
Available services for students:
- Circulating books and reserves.
- Computer workstations (library computers are not equipped with headphones or microphones).
- Silent study areas.
- Study spaces for students with their own devices.
- Printing and scanning.
- Study rooms for individual or small group use.
- In-person research assistance on the upper level of the library.
- Remote research help through chat, email, and phone.
- In-person or remote advanced research consultations.
- Interlibrary loan (ILL), please refer to our ILL policy for details.
Available services for faculty:
- In-person research assistance on the upper level of the library.
- Remote research help through chat, email, Zoom and phone.
- In-person or remote advanced research consultations.
- Library instruction.
- Interlibrary loan (ILL), please refer to ILL our policy for details.
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 1:17pm
The Library's Niederhoffer Lounge, Reserve Room and expanded study area will be open continuously* from 8:30am on 5/17 until 4:45pm on 5/25/2022.
*Please note that the 24hr Library will close at 12:00am on Saturday 5/21 and will remain closed on Sunday 5/22. The Library will then reopen on Monday 5/23 at 8:30am.
- Computers, printers, scanners, and study tables will be available for John Jay student use in the Reserve Room Lab and adjoining Expanded Study Area. Niederhoffer lounge will also be available. All designated 24-hr areas are located on the Library’s lower level. See map.
- The Stacks (bookshelves), Library’s upper level, Reference Services, and Circulation Services (including Reserves) will only be available during regular Library hours.
We wish you success on your final exams, projects, & papers!
Brought to you by Student Council, with special thanks to the Lloyd Sealy Library and Public Safety.
Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 9:27am
It’s been seven years since our open access institutional repository known as CUNY Academic Works (CAW) was launched by the CUNY Office of Library Services (OLS). John Jay faculty members can upload their research publications such as journal articles and book chapters to CUNY Academic Works (academicworks.cuny.edu). By uploading your publications to CAW, you make them available for researchers around the world to find and read for free. The following map illustrates the number of readers of John Jay research publications since CAW was launched in March 2015. As you can see from the map, publications by John Jay faculty are being read across the world. We would like to thank Professor Ellen Sexton who has served as the John Jay campus administrator for CAW since its inception. She has helped develop CAW into what it is today.
For questions about CAW please email me, the new campus administrator, at kokamoto[at]jjay.cuny.edu or OLS’s Scholarly Communications Librarian, Meg Wacha (megan.wacha[at]cuny.edu).
For more information about CAW please see:
CUNY Academic Works LibGuide by Ellen Sexton
CUNY Academic Works: Open access and the new institutional repository by Ellen Sexton, Spring 2015
Open access and CUNY Academic Works by Ellen Sexton, Fall 2015
CUNY Academic Works: Get your work out there! by Jeffrey Kroessler, Fall 2015
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 10:11am
At the end of this July, a record of your completed or cancelled interlibrary loan (ILL) request history dating from June 2021 and earlier will be deleted. We are following the Graduate Center Library’s lead in deleting patron records to preserve your privacy. The Guardian (January 13, 2016, “You are not what you read”) covered the Graduate Center’s work and the work of libraries in general in maintaining patron privacy.
Unlike our book circulation system which interfaces with “OneSearch”, our ILL system maintains patron records indefinitely without our intervention. Starting this year, we will be deleting past ILL request histories and maintain the most recent year’s requests. If you would like to save your request history before we delete it, please log into your ILL account using your John Jay email login credentials. Click on the request history tab, select all text, then copy and paste your history into an application of your choice. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org before July 21, 2022 for a spreadsheet of your requests.
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 10:04am
Since 2008, Guillermo Meneses has been an indispensable colleague in the library. He has helped to maintain and troubleshoot issues with all the computers, printers, scanners, networks and other hardware and software in the library. He was reliable and reliably funny, humoring us with anecdotes and witty comments while fixing every technical issue imaginable. He was not only a great colleague to work with, but also a great friend to be around. Guillermo is leaving us this semester to pursue another career opportunity. As much as we will miss him, we wish him all the best in his new position and thank him for everything that he has done for the library.
We’re going to miss Guillermo tremendously around these parts. Besides the fact that he was extremely dependable and competent at his job, he was a complete joy as a colleague. Guillermo never failed to put me in a good mood. He has a wonderful sense of humor, but he’s also a philosopher. We’ve had lots of interesting and enlightening conversations over the years, and he always helped me to look at the bright side of things. He also made it clear to me early on that he would be willing to try any of my home baking. I’ll think of Guillermo every time I make cookies and will make a few extra in his honor. Thank you for everything, Guillermo! Your new colleagues are very fortunate. – Kathleen Collins
Guillermo has a rare ability to face a problem and then solve it without expressing any complaints. I will miss his friendly greetings and healthy smoothie drinks, chats about human nature and Mexican cuisine. His new colleagues will definitely appreciate his sense of humor and dependability. – Maria Kiriakova
Hands down Guillermo is the friendliest member of the library. First to smile, first to inquire about how you are doing and first to lend a helping hand. Even with things you should know how to fix on your own by now, he cheerfully steps in and finds and resolves the problem. Things will not be the same without him but we wish him continued success in his new position. - Maureen Richards
Saying goodbye to Guillermo is bittersweet: I’m sorry he won’t be my coworker anymore, but I’m pleased his professional expertise was recognized and awarded with a new career opportunity. While Guillermo’s tech gifts can’t be praised enough, his patience, good humor and open heart deserve to be mentioned as well. And, it is not just the library faculty and staff who will miss Guillermo: he has always been a student-centered professional who has worked with countless JJAY students as they navigated tech difficulties in the course of their academic endeavors. - Marta Bladek
Congratulations, Guillermo! You have been nothing but a pleasure to work with. I was always able to sleep at night knowing that you are there to make sure things were working. You are a great colleague and a great friend. And now that you are leaving, I’ll be sleep deprived. With all that said, I can’t express how much I’ve appreciated your help during my time at the Library. I don’t know if I will ever find someone as loyal and reliable as you have been for the last 10 years. Nonetheless, you deserve this new opportunity and I know you’ll do great at your new job. You will have always have a spot in my heart. Please take care. - Geng Lin
I am happy that Guillermo found another opportunity that advances his skills and expertise, but I am simultaneously sad to lose a great colleague. Guillermo would reliably, quickly and calmly fix all sorts of technical issues in the Library while making us laugh with an amusing insight or story. Thank you for sharing your good sense of humor with us, Guillermo, and for solving our many technical glitches. We are going to miss you! - Karen Okamoto
First, I want to congratulate Guillermo on this new opportunity. I have no doubt you will excel and be a vibrant part of the CUNY School of Labor Studies. However, I will greatly miss your humor, conversations about life and the state of the world today, and all of the technical help you have provided. I wish you all the best and am sad to see you go. - Patrick J Raftery Jr
Guillermo is a hard worker who enjoys working in the library and understands the vital use of computers for library work, patron usage, and librarian vitality. He appreciates working with the library staff and patrons. Guillermo will be missed! - Marvie Brooks
It's been really great working with Guillermo all these years. I’m sorry to see him go but I wish him luck and all the best in his new position. -Mark Zubarev
Guillermo was always helpful to me when technical problems presented themselves in the library. He did it with a smile and a willing spirit. I greatly appreciated his assistance. Apart from that, Guillermo was fun to talk with. We talked about all sort of things, everything from the complicated relationship between Latin America and the U.S. to ways to promote personal good health and fitness. He will be missed at John Jay College Library. - Tania Colmant-Donabedian
Dear Guillermo, We've worked together many years. It's always been a pleasure. Thank you for your warmth, your smile, your willingness to help everyone. Speaking as a reference librarian, I am grateful for the many ways you kept our library computer systems running so smoothly. Even though I'll miss you and am sorry to see you go, I know you will do well in your new position, accepting the challenges and making the most of the opportunities. Congratulations and good luck in your new position! Warm regards - Lory Gallo
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:58am
The Lloyd Sealy Library would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Adjunct Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian, Bruce Shenitz! Before joining John Jay, Bruce served as an Adjunct Reference Librarian at both Lehman College and Medgar Evers College (where he continues in that role). Bruce holds a Master’s of Science in Information and Library Science from Pratt University, and in his previous career was as a reporter-researcher at Newsweek magazine and executive editor of Out magazine.
Over the pandemic, Bruce became increasingly involved in OER librarianship and is now bringing his expertise to John Jay. The sudden urgency to find and share freely-accessible research materials was felt across all CUNY campuses. At John Jay, that emphasis continues through Bruce’s collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). Together, the team is offering a faculty seminar that addresses the need for an OER curriculum across campus.
As described by TLC, this summer’s Open Pedagogy Seminar will “introduce components of OER projects completed by John Jay faculty members in the social sciences, humanities, and STEM fields. Participants will engage in a collaborative learning environment to identify OER available for use in John Jay courses, explore principles of open pedagogy and practice developing assignments and activities for use in fall 2022 courses.” Please keep a lookout for a registration e-mail from TLC in the coming weeks.
Utilizing free and openly accessible instructional materials is not only cost-efficient but also helps to enhance access to resources for online or hybrid students. However, one barrier to OER is a lack of faculty awareness. At John Jay, our team of librarians is facing that challenge head-on. Want to learn more about OER? Check out the library’s Guide to OER or contact Bruce Shenitz at email@example.com.
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:47am
During COVID-19 the John Jay College library pivoted quickly by amending lending policies, adding electronic content—particularly to provide electronic access to print-only collections, and by shifting to 100% delivery of instruction and reference services. Not surprisingly, this resulted in an increase in the online use of collections and services. However, when looking closer at the downloads of the full text of materials, the library’s tool for measuring user engagement, there was a dramatic decrease.
We learned that during the pandemic many students struggled, often feeling unsupported and unable to navigate simple research queries. While mirroring decreases in academic engagement experienced across higher education during the pandemic, it also confirmed what we already knew, namely the importance of the physical library to the success of our students.
A panel of librarians, teaching faculty, and students gathered virtually on Faculty Development Day in January to discuss ways to re-engage, or engage some students for the first time, with library resources. Suggestions varied by discipline, level of research, and target audience. However, it was clear that just getting started was essential. The easiest way to do this was to make users, both faculty and students, aware of the many resources that already exist beyond the search box.
Peppered throughout the library website are countless numbers of resources if you know where to find them. They include video tutorials on how to use the library, research guides and lists of databases organized by subject, tools supporting research such as citation style guides, and curated collections of featured resources. Many links to these resources are featured on the library’s homepage but to find many more, you need to persist.
We created this shortlist of things you can do in ten minutes or less to help students reconnect with the library. We hope you find this list useful. If you are looking for more, please ask a librarian!
- Encourage students to watch one or more of these videos:
- From question to keywords: Beginning academic research (1 ½ minutes)
- OneSearch tips and tricks (3 minutes)
- How to find articles using OneSearch (1 ½ minutes)
- What is a scholarly source (5 ½ minutes)
- How to use library databases (3 minutes)
- How to find journals by title (2 minutes)
- How to find a book at John Jay library (1 minute)
- Virtual tour of the library (circa 2009) (5 ½ minutes).
- Encourage students to use reference materials as pathways to scholarly journals.
- Include library assignments in your syllabus (click here for ideas).
- Use and encourage students to use the Library Module in Blackboard.
- Visit, chat/ZOOM, or schedule a class, with a librarian.
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:39am
Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine, a country in the middle of Europe, suddenly became a major focus of the news all over the world. Although Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union it became a sovereign and independent country in August of 1991. It was unexpectedly attacked by its neighbor, Russia, and so started the biggest war of the 21st century. One of the main reasons Russia instigated the conflict was the worry that Ukraine might join NATO, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
To educate yourself about the conflict and to read reliable news and interpretation please consult the following sites:
- The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Special Focus – a collection of articles, news analysis and comments organized by the NATO library.
- Ukrinform – Ukrainian platform for broadcasting in English.
- Meduza – independent (not government sponsored) digest of Russia’s investigative reports and news analysis in English.
- BBC News
- The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (both publications available for free for the John Jay College community).
- Open access to over 115 ebooks and 13 journal titles pertaining to Ukraine and Russia from De Gruyter until June 30, 2022.
Here is a very good article on reading suggestions for understanding the soul of Ukraine.
The New York Public Library compiled a list of books available in their collections in print and electronic format on Ukrainian history. If you do not already have a NYPL membership card there is a way to obtain one online. The NYPL made a list of suggestion for organizations through which one can help Ukraine and its citizens in these hard times.
Our library has many materials on Ukraine as well. Explore the search results found in OneSearch by typing UKRAINE and then using filters to get to materials by specific format (Articles or Media, for example) or subject.
There is a neighborhood in East Village that is known as Little Ukraine where you can taste Ukrainian food, visit a museum and a couple of churches.
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:29am
On the morning of January 6, 2021 Larry Sullivan announced his retirement, effective immediately at a regular Library faculty meeting. We all thought it would be the most shocking thing that would happen that day. We were wrong about that, but at least we will always remember the anniversary of his retirement.
I will miss Larry’s deep understanding of academic library administration and management; he always knew when, how and to whom to advocate for the Library when a problem loomed. But the most important lessons I learned from working with Larry was how to practically manage our Special Collections. Under his direction we made significant acquisitions of rare book and archival collections, which have more than doubled in size over these past two decades. As a result, we regularly have been able to report in this publication an average of four to five publications a year resulting from researchers working with our unique primary resources on criminal justice history (broadly defined).
As work continues finally finishing and opening our new Special Collections reading room and exhibit space, I am also reflecting on how this suite of room was conceptualized as part of “the John Jay Construction Phase II” planning of the New Building three decades ago, well before I arrived in 2004. It took all of the intervening years of Larry advocating for this space to finally make it a reality. While famously technology-adverse, Larry’s support for our robust digitization program from our Special Collections have made content from thousands of items freely available supporting not only those unable to travel to NYC but most importantly student learning directly from primary materials. We have Larry to thank for making the Library’s unique collections accessible, known and used, not only at the College but worldwide. I wish him well on his well-deserved retirement. -- Ellen Belcher
In addition to being a celebrated scholar and mentor, as a chief librarian who oversees the work of library faculty and staff, Larry has also been a compassionate manager who had promoted work-life balance well before it became a management cliche. I am grateful for working with Larry when I was a new mother and my son was a very small child. Among sleepless nights, endless colds, unpredictable child afflictions, snow day school closures, and other crises, I had always known that Larry would tell me to calm down, take as much time as needed, and pick up the work when I was able to. Thanks to Larry, the library department has embraced a care-work culture where people’s private lives and family obligations were seen as a part of who we are and how we work. Time and time again, Larry supported those of us who had to attend to children, elderly parents, our own health crises, or to others who needed our care by ensuring we knew that he understood and encountered these challenges himself. I wholeheartedly hope that this particular legacy of Larry’s tenure in the Library will continue to shape our work lives. -- Marta Bladek
I am appreciative for his expertise as an administrator who was an able representative among the CUNY and John Jay College administrators and fellow faculty members. He was special in his ability to draw out the best in the library faculty and staff (including custodians) and helped all of us to make a good presentation professionally at the College and elsewhere. -- Marvie Brooks
Larry was and is a scholar, first and foremost, and as chief librarian for over two decades he made a point to hire intellectually curious library faculty in whom he saw the same potential. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to land than John Jay, and I am grateful to Larry for his unflagging support and encouragement of my scholarship en route to tenure and promotion. Working for Larry meant never having a moment’s doubt that he would support his faculty and staff in every way possible. He instilled confidence in me and my colleagues and gave us the freedom to carry on and do our jobs well. In large part due to Larry, my position at John Jay has been the most satisfying work experience of my career. – Kathleen Collins
For many decades, the John Jay College Library and Larry, or Dr. Sullivan, were synonymous terms when faculty were talking about my place of work. Everybody in the college, be it a seasoned professor, a janitor, a 6th floor administrator, a graduate student, a visiting scholar knew Larry and were able to make their way into his office to chat or get advice. His attitude towards library faculty, clerical staff and student workers is always of respect, equality and interest in other person’s life and experience. Larry is always impeccably dressed, has a calming and attentive demeanor and is carrying the most erudite conversations on a vast variety of topics: world travel, literature, theater, history of punishment, crime, educational theories, just to name a few. Larry’s favorite phrase is “to be continued” which I interpret as “problems will be solved, people will move on, reason will prevail.” -- Maria Kiriakova
I am going to miss Larry’s calm and compassionate leadership. He guided so many of us through the stress–inducing tenure process. I appreciated Larry’s trust in our ability to lead and manage our work responsibilities and units. I never doubted that he would support us and the library even through the most difficult times like the pandemic lockdown period. Thank you, Larry, for being there for us! -- Karen Okamoto
As Assistant to the Chief Librarian, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from the exceptional librarians in the John Jay College Library, in particular Bonnie Nelson for excellent computer training, and Janice Dunham and Chief Librarian Larry Sullivan for excellent library training.
-- Carolyn Paden
I first met Larry at about the beginning of the fall 2019 semester when I arrived at John Jay for my interview for the cataloging and metadata librarian position. I had just recently finished my dual MS LIS and MA History degrees and Larry’s scholarship on prisons and prison librarianship filled the bibliography of my theses. I would soon learn that we share even more interests such as rare book cataloging, American traditional tattoos, and a deep admiration for Samuel Steward a.k.a Phil Sparrow. I did not have the pleasure of working with Larry for long. However, Larry has provided me with great support within my research areas, professional development opportunities, and has continually reminded me that I can always reach out to him for support. I am grateful to have worked with him for he is a true scholar, mentor, librarian, and leader. I wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement. -- Patrick J. Raftery Jr.
It is hard to adequately pay tribute to the work of the Chief Librarian who led and shaped the Library for over a quarter of a century. Larry was barely ensconced in the Chief's Chair when I started my career at the library in the mid-nineties. His was a genial and discreet presence, striding the hallways with a single thin braid running over the collar of his dark suit. He arrived as web browser Netscape's Navigator took over from Mosaic, and the CD ROMS stacked in towers beside workstations were our most exciting new technology visible to users. Telephones sat firmly on top of desks. He enlivened the dullest meetings with philosophical asides and anecdotes of the Chicago boys, dive bar tending and prison librarianship. He wrote and taught and talked about punishment and prisons and prisoners and prisoners’ writing. His office was a curio box of vintage dime store novels, religious kitsch, postcards and art, with the resident devils and angels mesmerizing and menacing guests. He steered the Library successfully from card catalog days through three management systems (NOTIS, Aleph, Alma), yet was helpless in front of a beeping photocopier. By the year he retired, most of our users were accessing most library content remotely, many using light handheld devices many times more powerful than our old workstations.
Larry was generous with distributing writing assignments to the willing, sharing opportunities to publish in the encyclopedias and handbooks he edited. Generous too with tickets to the magnificent annual Armory show on Park Avenue; wandering through the stalls in search of bargain-basement criminal justice treasures was an education; not least chatting with Larry's tattooed and kilted friends amid their eclectic collections.
He was a steadfast and unfailing advocate for the library within the college and beyond. He led us enthusiastically through times of unimaginable technological change while maintaining a deep reverence for the physical manifestations of books and manuscripts. We miss his stewardship, and wish him all the best and happy travels. -- Ellen Sexton
To Larry, you have touched all hearts in Lloyd Sealy Library. I greatly appreciate your leadership and support system for your employees throughout the years. P.S. don’t forget about us. Thank you so much. -- Debbie Spivey
On paper and in life, Larry’s breadth and depth of knowledge might intimidate the less traveled, both figuratively and literally given his penchant for world travel. And then one gets to know him. Although the library is only one of Larry’s many interests, he always has had the library’s back, knowing when to lead, when to intervene, and when to let the experts do their job. For me, his kindness and efforts to support the people in the library are what I will always remember first when thinking about Larry. -- Maureen Richards
I was honestly surprised when I heard that Larry Sullivan decided to retire. A part of me thought that he'd be here forever. He has been a fixture of the library for the whole of my career and it’s difficult to imagine the place without him. Larry’s time as Chief Librarian has been transformative. It is a period where the way we do business changed completely, moving from card catalogs to computers. I’m deeply appreciative to have had the opportunity to work here while he has been in charge. He helped to make the library an open and friendly place, both for students to study in and for faculty and staff to work in. His retirement is the end of an era but I know that after so many years of hard work, it is also well deserved. Larry, congratulations and best wishes! -- Mark Zubarev
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 8:59am