Library News Blog

In addition to pursuing scholarly activities, Library faculty regularly participate in professional development events within and beyond CUNY. Academic librarianship is a fast-changing profession; librarians have to keep abreast of new initiatives, technologies, and trends that shape how libraries operate and what kinds of services they provide. Below are just a few short reports that illustrate the scope of John Jay librarians’ continual professional development and how it informs the daily working of the Library.

Ellen Belcher: I am co-chair of the LACUNY Special Collections and Archivists Roundtable, as well as a regular participant in the Twitter chat #critlib.

Kathleen Collins: I participate in a couple of groups outside the official walls of CUNY: The Graduate Services Discussion Group, coordinated by New York chapter of Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) which was a significant player in instigating the role of a librarian dedicated to supporting graduate students at John Jay; and the METRO Library Council Special Interest Group (SIG) for Circulation & Reserves. Both of these groups allow for sharing of common challenges and learning about new and workable solutions. The group that informs my work (and also interests me) the most is the Copyright Committee organized by the CUNY Office of Library Services. We comprised of a core group of CUNY librarians promoting fair use and copyright awareness among CUNY faculty, students and administrators – at the moment we are putting the finishing touches on an updated university-wide guide to fair use.

Robin Davis: I organize the CollectiveAccess User Group SIG at METRO, which meets quarterly. I attend and lead workshops at the LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee, mostly recently Introduction to Text Analysis. One organization that informs my work quite a bit is Code4Lib, an organization for librarians who work with code and technology.

Karen Okamoto: As a member library of the Information Delivery Services (IDS) Project, which is a resource-sharing cooperative based in New York State, I participate in regular trainings and meetings to improve our interlibrary loan (ILL) service. The IDS Project develops tools and workflow processes to reduce the turnaround time for filling requests. This means, in most cases we hope, faster delivery of articles and books to our patrons. One of the current issues we face is the eventual migration of our client-based ILL system, known as ILLiad, to a cloud-based platform in the coming years.


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

Primary and secondary legal resources

The Library offers a wide array of law related databases. One that keeps growing in breadth and depth, and does not lend itself to a simple description, is HeinOnline. This database contains the largest archive of online law review journals, all dating back to the first issue. However, it also provides access to over 30 other collections representing a mix of primary and secondary legal resources, such as U.S. Supreme Court cases, U.S. laws and regulations, foreign and international law materials, legal classics and world constitutions illustrated. This article will highlight three of the HeinOnline collections: National Survey of State Laws, Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases and the newest collection, Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law.

The National Survey of State Laws requires little explanation. It enables you to quickly do a state by state comparison of many of the controversial laws in the United States. You can browse by one of eight categories, including “criminal laws”. You can also browse by selecting any of the 54 topics including drunk driving, gun control, illegal drugs and marijuana laws. This resource is updated regularly and includes previous editions making it easy to track how a law has changed over time. If you are interested in saving a comparison or inserting it in a paper, you can also print or download charts as PDFs.

For legal scholars and students of the law, Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases has long been a coveted resource. This publication of the American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education has been around since 1973. Its purpose it to provide an analysis, in plain-language, of Supreme Court cases before the oral argument takes place. Each “preview” contains an introduction, a restatement of the issues and facts, a case analysis and commentary about the significance of the case. The format in many ways mirrors the case briefs that students are asked to create after a decision is rendered. Because it provides the background for each case in plain language, it is an excellent starting point for parsing through the complex facts and issues presented in these cases.

This collection can be searched by volume number, which is listed in reverse chronological order or by a case locator. The case locator allows you to search by docket #, case name, preview article, Supreme Court Term or subject. In addition to the “Previews” of each case coming up for oral argument, there are links to the oral argument transcript, the audio transcripts from Oyez and the official opinion issued by the court. If you are interested in studying U.S. Supreme Court cases, this database has much to offer.

Slavery in America and the World: History Culture and Law is the newest collection in the HeinOnline database. It is a great illustration of the variety of legal resources that are available on the Hein-Online platform. The stated purpose of this collection is to bring together all known legal materials on slavery from the United States and the English speaking world, but its focus is on slavery in the United States. It includes every federal and state statute on slavery, every slavery statute passed by one of the colonies and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Having these primary sources collected in one place is clearly the strength of this database. The statutes and cases are easily accessed by jurisdiction and include a digital copy of Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, the 5 volume set edited by Helen Tunnicliff Caterall (also available in print at the library).

This collection also includes hundreds of 19th century books and pamphlets on slavery from the rare book collection of the Buffalo Public Library. These titles can be browsed by title or by using the Slavery Quick Finder. This specially created tool enables users to locate materials based on the documents position on slavery, document type (e.g., pamphlets, debates, poems & songs), jurisdiction or one of 60 topics including John Brown, slave revolts and the Underground Railroad. To find this tool click on the All Titles tab on the search interface. Take a look at this new collection and let us know what you think.

Maureen Richards


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter


The Testing & Education Reference Center and Vault Careers Guide

As your students prepare for their post-John Jay life, these two career resources offered by the Library will help inform their future directions and decisions. Both resources can be accessed from our list of career and test preparation databases.

Homepage: prepare for your perfect career

The Testing and Education Reference Center provides information on undergraduate and graduate programs, practice tests for entrance exams and licenses, and career development tools. Among the over 300 practice tests and courses available, the Center includes professional tests for firefighting, law enforcement and social work and entrance exams including the GRE and LSAT. Students who are planning to pursue graduate studies will find the graduate scholarship search feature user-friendly and informative. The Center includes a search tool for graduate programs across the United States and a specialized search widget designed specifically for online degrees and distance learning programs. The career module features a resume building platform that guides users through the process of writing different types of resumes from functional to technical. Online career-tutorials include modules on how to use Microsoft Excel and Word 2010 effectively. The virtual career library features ebooks covering the job search process, resume basics and interviewing skills. Users must create a free account with this database before they can access all these features.

Vault: companies, internships, schools, interviews

Vault Career Guides is a one-stop career exploration and development platform featuring rankings and reviews of schools, internships and companies, and career guides for a wide range of industries. The school search feature includes graduate programs and a specialized search for law schools. Vault provides their own ranking of law schools and includes anonymous reviews from current and former students. Vault’s internship search platform allows users to perform a search by company or industry, location and form of compensation. The career resources module dispenses advice on resume writing, interviewing, creating cover letters, networking and other topics. It also provides detailed information on careers in specific industries and includes overviews of a field, earning potential, industry outlook, and the pros and cons of working in a given industry. Particularly useful for those who do not know what career path to pursue, Vault’s “Find a Profession” module maps a user’s personality traits, level of education, and interests to specific professions. Also valuable to job seekers is Vault’s special search for profiles of specific employers and companies. Users can create an optional account which allows them to set job alerts, and post reviews and resumes.

Karen Okamoto


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter


Below is just a very brief example of the library monographic acquisition in the last four or five months. Some books are available in print and some online. As usual, please check the library catalog CUNY+ or go through the new tool OneSearch to find out how to grab the book off the physical or electronic shelf.

Badran, M. (2011). Gender and Islam in Africa: Rights, Sexuality, and Law. Washington, D.C.: Stanford, Calif.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Stanford University Press. Stacks HQ1170 .G426 2011

Barbagli, M. (2015). Farewell to the World: A History of Suicide (Revised and updated English ed.). Cambridge, UK: Polity. Stacks HV6545 .B24513 2015

 Barker, T. (2015). North American Criminal Gangs: Mexico, United States, and Canada (2nd ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Reserve HV6439 .N67 B37 2015

Beatty, P. (2015). The Sellout (First ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Stacks PS3552 .E19 S45 2015

Berg, M., & Seeber, Barbara Karolina. (2016). The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Stacks LB2331.7.B47 2016

Bonn, M., & Furlough, Mike. (2015). Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers. Chicago, IL: ALA. Stacks Z716.6 .G48 2015

Breyer, S. (2015). The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities (First ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Stacks KZ6250 .B74 201

Brottman, M. (2016). The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison.    New York, NY: Harper. Stacks HV8482.M3.B76 2016

Dreisinger, B. (2016). Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons around the World. New York, NY: Other Press. Stacks HV8705 .D74 2016

Fleisher, M. (2015). Living Black: Social Life in an African American Neighborhood. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. Ebook and Stacks E185.86 .F56 2015

Flores, J. (2016). Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Ebook and Stacks (on order)

Fong, M. (2016). One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Stacks HB3654.A3 F66 2016

Gup, T. (2008). Nation of Secrets: The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life (1st Anchor books ed.). New York, NY: Anchor Books. Stacks JK468.S4 G87 2008

Haberfeld, M., Lieberman, Charles, & Horning, Amber. (2014). Introduction to Policing: The      Pillar of Democracy. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Reserve HV7921.H2933 2015

Hannan, D. (2016). A Doomed Marriage: Why Britain Should Leave the EU. Devon, UK: Notting Hill Edition. Stacks HC240.25.G7 H36 2016

Hinton, E. (2016). From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press. Reserve HV9950.H56 2016

Kingsley, P. (2016). The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis. London: Guardian Books. Stacks HV640 .K56 2016

Mohr, M. (2016). Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing. New York:  Oxford University Press. Stacks PE3724 .S85 M65 2016

Obermayer, B. & Obermayer, F. (2016). The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich & Powerful Hide Their Money. London: Oneworld. Ebook

Pai, H.(2016). Angry White People: Coming Face-to-Face with the British Far Right. London, UK: Zed Books. Ebook

Pierce, M. (2016). Twelve Infallible Men: The Imams and the Making of Shi'ism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Ebook

Rid, T. (2016). Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History (First ed.). New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Stacks T14.5 .R535 2016

Rios, V. (2011). Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York, NY: New York    University Press. Ebook and Reserve HV7254 .A7 O25 2011

Scalia, A., & Ring, Kevin A. (2016). Scalia's Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. Stacks KF213.S32 R56 2016

Urbina, M., & Espinoza Alvarez, Sofia. (2015). Latino Police Officers in the United States: An Examination of Emerging Trends and Issues. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. Ebook and Stacks HV7936.C83 U73 2015

Varoufakis, Y. (2016). And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future. New York, NY: Nation Books. Stacks HC240 .V37 2016

Whalen, R. (2016). Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia's New York. New York, NY: Fordham University Press. Ebook and Reserve HV6452.N7 W43 2016

White, M., Fradella, Henry F. (2016). Stop and Frisk: The Use and Abuse of a Controversial Policing Tactic. New York, NY: New York University Press. Ebook and Reserve HV8080.P2 W45 2016


Maria Kiriakova


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

UPDATE  Please note that as of 4/19/2018,  we had to curtail our Kanopy service for financial reasons.  We can offer access to additional Kanopy titles only to faculty for use in their classes.   Faculty needing access to new titles are asked to email the media librarian  Ellen Sexton  esexton at

Streaming video content for the John Jay community has increased significantly with a new license to access the Kanopy collection. This is an extensive collection of 25,000 documentaries, movies and educational videos, from the Criterion Collection/Janus Films, New Day Films, Collective Eye, PBS, BBC, Strand, Kino Lorber, The Great Courses, Stash Media, and more. The content ranges widely across time and place, comes from every continent, and covers almost every conceivable topic. Titles include The Battle of Algiers, Unlocking the Cage, Seven Samurai, Faat Kine, Out in the Night, Tuya’s Marriage, The Farm, Broken on All Sides, Night and Fog, Mishima, La Haine, El Norte, War Don Don, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Bronx Obama, Through a Lens Darkly, Waste Land, Ken Burns Central Park Five, Blue Gold – World Water Wars, N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman, Live Nude Girls Unite!, PBS The African Americans, Eyes on the Prize, My Name is Salt, City of Life and Death, Shakespeare Behind Bars, and much, much more. Training videos include In the Line of Duty and The New Detectives technical series. The interface appears similar to Netflix, with a simple search box, and options to browse by subject and genre. Faculty teaching courses on criminal justice, history, film studies, gender studies, environment, journalism, and sociology may find browsing the collection especially rewarding.

We chose a patron driven acquisition model; you choose and play the videos you want, we pay.

The terms of our license permits the John Jay community to stream works for viewing in class, during student club meetings and other non-commercial admission-free events attended by the college community, as well as privately at home. Clips can be made and shared, URLs for clips or for the entire movie may be embedded in Blackboard, a website, or emailed to students to watch at home.

The best way to search for content is on the Kanopy platform at Unfortunately, for logistical and practical reasons, the 25,000 titles will not be appearing in the library catalog, nor in our OneSearch discovery tool. Users wishing to make and keep watchlists and/or clips can do so by creating an account on the platform.

Enjoy watching!

Ghosts of Attica

Now available as streaming video.

A grim documentary of the prisoner-led rebellion and its brutal repression resulting in the deaths of 29 inmates and 10 guards, and the ensuing decades-long legal battle against New York State. Includes graphic images. With archival footage and interviews with survivors, lawyers, guards and relatives. Access is available through our familiar user-friendly Alexander Street Press platform.

New on DVD

We augmented our Latinx holdings with the following titles.

Las Marthas

Available at the Reserve Desk; please ask for DVD-1422

Las Marthas follows two young women as they prepare for an elaborate rite of passage, the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas. Laurita, a 13th-generation debutante descended from Laredo’s original Spanish land grantees who questions debutante society’s class system geared toward girls like herself; and Rosario, a high-achieving, Mexican-raised and U.S.-schooled outsider struggling to understand the elite society’s unspoken rules.

I wonder what you will remember of September

Available at the Reserve Desk; please ask for DVD-1426.

“Cecilia Cornejo presents a haunting personal response to the events of September 11, 2001, informed and complicated by her status as a Chilean citizen living in the U.S.” —from the distributor.

Adelante Mujeres

Available at the Reserve Desk; please ask for DVD-1423.

“Spanning five centuries, this comprehensive video, produced by the National Women’s History Project, focuses exclusively on the history of Mexican-American/Chicana women from the Spanish invasion to the present” —from the distributor.

Corpus: A home movie for Selena

Available at the Reserve Desk; please ask for DVD-1424.

“This classic rerelease from award-winning filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (Señorita Extraviada, Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo ) is a complex tribute to Selena, the Tejana superstar gunned down in 1995 at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club, just as she was on the brink of blockbuster crossover fame. While the story of her murder, which was filled with sex, glamour and betrayal, caught the attention of many outside the Chicano community, this film moves well beyond the sensational to present a nuanced feminist analysis of Selena’s story.” —from the distributor.

Antonia Pantoja Presente

Available at the Reserve Desk; please ask for DVD-1425.

“Antonia Pantoja (1922-2002), visionary Puerto Rican educator, activist, and early proponent of bilingual education, inspired multiple generations of young people and fought for many of the rights that people take for granted today. Unbowed by obstacles she encountered as a black, Puerto Rican woman, she founded ASPIRA to empower Puerto Rican youth, and created other enduring leadership and advocacy organizations in New York and California, across the United States, and in Puerto Rico” —from the distributor.

About the Library’s video collections

Our video collections include feature films, documentaries, training videos and much more. Many works are available in streaming format, from our Kanopy, Films on Demand, Alexander Street collections.  The best way to find content is to search on each of the platforms—unfortunately not all titles are currently indexed in OneSearch or the library catalog CUNY+. All of the DVDs, VHS, the Alexander Street titles and half of the Films on Demand titles may be found with OneSearch. But Kanopy and Films on Demand should be searched on their own platforms. Please see the guide to our media collections.

Ellen Sexton


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

The Library Department surveyed the John Jay College faculty on their library use in the Spring 2016 semester. 216 people responded to the survey.


  • Most importantly, 87.5% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the Library. If we assume that those who responded to the survey were those who cared most about the Library (either positively or negatively) then the fact that our users are pleased with the Library was confirmation that we have generally been serving their needs well.
  • The respondents were not just fans of the Library but were also very heavy users. 74% use the Library’s website at least once a week.
  • The investment that John Jay and CUNY have been making in online journal collections, databases and linking is paying off. 89% of surveyed faculty can usually or always access the electronic journal articles they need.
  • Only 23% of those teaching 100-200 level courses and 38% of those teaching 300-400 level courses felt that their students always or usually discovered and used appropriate information sources, yet only 32% and 23% (respectively) scheduled library classes for their students.
  • Of those instructors who did schedule library classes, 66% thought the sessions contributed very much or a lot to students’ achievement of course objectives in 100-200 level courses, and 68% felt that way about 300-400 level courses
  • Too many faculty are unaware of many of the resources and services we currently offer, but were pleased to learn about them and want to know more.
  • Faculty want more services from the Library—especially those that help with navigating the new publication landscape. 125 faculty members wanted individual reference consultations, 121 asked for assistance with copyright and author rights and 110 wanted guidance on measures of journal quality.

Of those responding a surprising number took the time to write comments

e.g., 88 wrote answers to the question “How could the Library better serve you and/or your students?”

  • Nine people asked for better or longer hours.
  • Four asked for more staff
  • Three wanted improvements in the physical facility; e.g.,
    • “Better physical conditions. The Library looks terrible and does not serve students well.”
    • “The library space needs to be redesigned. It is a difficult place to work…. Our library should be our ‘jewel in the crown.’ The librarians fit that description. The library itself does not. We should have quiet places for students to read and do their work… Less time and money on ‘lounges’ where students sleep and more on the library which is integral to our students’ future success.”
  • Four had serious or minor complaints
  • Nine thought we were just great and wouldn’t change a thing; e.g.,
    • “The Library is the best-run department in our college. The librarians are always willing to assist faculty and students with patience and with a smile. Many thanks for their years of great service.”
    • “I am extremely satisfied with the library.”
  • But 18 thought we should be doing a better job of letting people know about what we offer:
    • “Efforts to raise awareness of all of these resources that are available, with specific focus on the ability of students and faculty to use the electronic and web-based resources available.”
    • “More outreach-many students do not know the services the library provides”
    • “This survey suggests library services that could help my teaching and research that I never knew of before. Provide faculty tutorials on services.”
    • “Better announcement and support messages”
  • “Advertise services to students (beginning of semester, around midterms, finals week)”


  • Faculty place a high value on the resources they know about and want to learn about what else we have to offer.
  • We should not reduce our efforts in traditional services like reference, ILL, and reserve. Our faculty consider them critical.
  • The effort we have put into our online presence—the Library website, electronic resources, linking resources with metadata, providing services to online classes—has been worthwhile and has been noticed by the faculty.
  • Ease of accessing and navigating some digital resources (particularly ebooks) has room for improvement and we need to continue pushing the vendors to improve.
  • We do need to focus more on marketing/outreach. Respondents were much more aware of the New York Times digital subscription service than of many other library resources – this was one resource we had marketed a lot, in various different ways, and the effort clearly paid off. CLICS is one service we might want to target for more marketing.
  • Faculty would appreciate more help navigating the new digital/publication/research landscape. They would like one-on-one consultations with a reference librarian, help in learning about newer resources, assistance with questions about copyright and authors’ rights, help in managing and archiving their research data, guidance in understanding impact factors and measures of journal quality. All of these supports would enhance the scholarly productivity of our faculty and are now being provided by better-staffed libraries.


We hope to repeat this survey every three years, but there is no need to wait until then to express concerns, compliments, or suggestions. Feel free to talk to any of the Library faculty or contact Prof. Marta Bladek, Head of Public Services.

The full report on the Faculty Survey is available on Academic Works.

Bonnie Nelson


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

Liza Linton, Omar Rivera, Avis Leary, Marilyn Rivera, Michelle Dutton, and Debra Spivey: essential library professionals

The urban legend has it that if you work in a library you are a librarian. The Lloyd G. Sealy Library is an academic department, and librarians have faculty status. While librarians at the Lloyd Sealy Library help patrons at the reference desk, teach classes, create websites, evaluate and acquire books and databases, there are other professionals who contribute daily to the smooth operation of the Library. Although the Library Technical Services staff--office assistants, college office assistants, bookkeeper, work-study students, and others--do not often have direct contact with students or faculty in other departments, the Library could not function without them. I have interviewed some of the staff in the Technical Services to give you better idea about their backgrounds, current responsibilities and the indispensable role they play in the Library. I am very fortunate to work with these amazing people!

Michelle Dutton has been working in the Library’s Technical Services for more than 30 years! She is a John Jay College alumna and has worked with many library chiefs and librarians. Her knowledge of library online systems is unparalleled. She has trained dozens of office assistants and college workstudy students about book processing and cataloging. Michelle is extremely patient and is not afraid of any big projects, whether it is an avalanche of textbooks for Reserve in August-September or the relocation of all personal reserve copies in the matter of several weeks. Given her expertise, Ms. Dutton is our go-to person when a librarian cataloger is not available (and we haven’t had a full-time cataloger for more than two years). Ms. Dutton single-handedly catalogs and processes DVDs for the Media Department. She is also the main assistant for the Collection Development librarian and is involved in everything that concerns new purchases and problems with correcting bibliographic information regarding monographs, gifts and deletions in the library online systems. As far as working for the Library goes, she has always “liked a good book, so what a better place to work in.” We know, Michelle, and appreciate your great job. Come and admire the plants that she keeps in the Technical Services alive and happy!

Avis Leary, our bookkeeper, has been working in the library since 2001. A graduate of BMCC and Baruch College, she had worked in the Business Offices at BMCC and John Jay College as an accountant staff before joining the Library. Ms. Leary is responsible for receiving and paying all the Library bills on time, ordering reports and media, dealing with the vendors and the Business Office. She works with many librarians (Collection Development, Serials, Electronic Resources, Interlibrary Loan and Technology) to make sure the budgets and payments are kept in order. Ms. Leary enjoys going to the theater with her coworkers. If you are ever on Jeopardy and need help, your first call should be to Avis (no kidding, one day she will definitely be on TV).

For the past two years, Marilyn Rivera has been assisting Serials and Collection Development Librarians. She received her undergraduate degree from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus and is now in her last semester at Lehman College pursuing a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature. Prior to starting at John Jay College, Ms. Rivera worked at Queens College (Computer Science Department) and the Bronx Community College (the Registrar’s Office and the Admissions). Even though she misses direct contact with students, she realizes the importance of her job in the Library. “As a graduate student I know and understand the importance of having the books, articles, and all the materials needed for homework and research.” Ms. Rivera handles the periodicals and books that need to be bound. She also copy catalogs the gifts and processes discards. Here is why she likes her job: “I get to know new titles to read. When I process a book or material, I like to leaf through and see what is about. I have learned a lot of new titles to read during my leisure time. I really love what I am doing, and the only I would like to change is the salary. We do a very important job for our students and we help them achieve their success.” Marilyn enjoys conversations about poetry or history of Puerto Rico. As a mother of four, she is also an expert on child rearing!

Liza Linton, who joined the Library less than two years ago, assists librarians with a variety of tasks: media reservations, interlibrary loan searches and processing, and checking the license agreements for hundreds of electronic databases to which the Library subscribes. Liza works with many librarians and maintains different spreadsheets with Library statistics. She is a whiz at CUNYFirst and has acquired knowledge of many library-specific online tools, such as ILLiad and ALEPH. Ms. Linton also serves as an assistant liaison to the College’s Office of Space and Planning and Buildings and Grounds Department. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts from Hunter College and a Master’s of Arts from the School of Professional Studies Graduate Center. Before coming to John Jay College, she worked at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology in the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies. Ms. Linton considers her job to be an “essential part of the Library. It might be seen as taking care of the little stuff … I am currently helping with organizing the repair and replacement of broken chairs throughout the library. How significant are chairs in a library? They are absolutely as essential/necessary as books.” Liza is an avid world traveler, always happy to talk about the places she visited and plans to go.

Debra Spivey has been working at John Jay College for 30 years and knows literally everyone, including administrators, laborers and custodian staff. She joined the Technical Services in 2013. Ms. Spivey attended classes at BMCC and lives by her mantra “Respect others for who and what they are, no matter what.” She deals with processing of new monographic acquisitions and gifts. Her job includes many steps: entering the items in the library online system ALEPH, applying stamps and security tapes, creating spine labels, producing protective covers, etc. In addition, Ms. Spivey takes care of all the discards and keeps statistics on new acquisitions, discarded materials, and gifts. She also makes sure all the steps are completed before delivering the books to their right locations in the Library. Ms. Spivey can be sometimes seen at the Circulation and Reserve desks when coverage is needed. Here is what she thinks about the importance of her job: “Receiving, processing, fixing books etc. for students to get that education they need to enter the real world, they need me. Books are the key of life. Knowledge is power. Books give life and great experiences for the future and past. Academic power comes from Books.” If you are in need of a great laugh, come and ask for Debbie. She has the most cheerful personality.

J. Omar Rivera has been taking care of the printed serials collection for the last two years. He studied photography and the recording arts at a trade school. Mr. Rivera is not new to the world of print media: he used to work in a bookstore prior to joining the Library. He considers his duties “indispensable. Serials need consistent attention and maintenance in order for the Library to function properly.” Mr. Rivera enjoys working at the Library for its welcoming environment. He is an avid reader and appreciates being surrounded by his favorite things: books! What would he like to change about his job? “Only that I’m not here as much as I could be. If there was more work, I would gladly jump at the opportunity.” Omar is very efficient, quick, and precise, and really likes good chocolate.

Maria Kiriakova


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

As Janice retires, we wish her all the best! Congratulations, Janice!

From the John Jay Library...

Janice Dunham graced the Sealy Library for over thirty years with her expertise, consummate librarianship, scholarly writing skills, her outstanding knowledge of new technology trends, which immensely aided our students and faculty in their research efforts, and her service to the library, college and profession. Janice made the library oh so accessible and friendly to our clientele. I will greatly miss her and her excellent advice. I know that I wouldn’t have made it into my 22nd year without her. —Larry Sullivan

Janice’s joy of life is infectious and inspiring. Spirited and upbeat, she was always able to manage the many stresses of public service. The library users who came to Janice to complain always felt their concern was heard and addressed. And those whom Janice helped with research questions would return time and time again. What I’ll miss is not just Janice’s way of working with the public, but also her deep knowledge of John Jay’s institutional history. She once told me she passed another offer and decided on John Jay because she liked how low-rise the surrounding area was. 10th and 11th avenues were low-rise once? How will we remember things like this without Janice around? —Marta Bladek

The positive regard that students, faculty and administrators have for the Library is in no small part due to Janice serving as its “face.” Always kind, cheerful, and diplomatic, Janice’s face is one that brightens a doorway. I greatly value her deep knowledge of librarianship (esp. legal research), CUNY, birds and literature and will miss her elegant manners and quaint use of language (“druthers” and “nincompoop” come to mind). She will enjoy retirement as she enjoys work and life—to its max. —Kathleen Collins

Janice has been a patient and perceptive guide in the Library. She handled tough reference questions with panache, she can walk anyone through the maze of legal information, and she demonstrated joy and brilliance in supporting the diverse research interests of a diverse institution. I am grateful for Janice’s guidance and leadership, and I will miss her cheerful presence in the library very much. —Robin Davis

For me, Janice is the public face of our Library. She skillfully deals with many issues that arise in the Library: reference, teaching, circulation, space, personnel and fiscal management, and thousands more. Janice has a rare quality of bridging generational gaps among librarians. And who is going now to make macaroni and cheese for the department parties and take all the pictures? —Maria Kiriakova

Janice has always been that librarian who puts the needs of our students as her top priority. I am so honored to have been able to work with her for the past four years. She has been one of the most supportive and kind people I’ve worked with throughout my career at John Jay. —Geng Lin

According to the Archives, Janice started in the Library September, 1985. That is approximately 7,000 days of supporting research and in service to the John Jay College and CUNY Community, which does not include the many other years and days in service to our profession! She deserves many more days and years of rest and relaxation. Congratulations, and I will miss her every day. —Ellen Belcher

Janice has always been a strong advocate for the diverse needs and interests of our patrons. I will miss her insights into user services, her sense of humor, and her warm and friendly presence in the library. —Karen Okamoto

There have been so many happy and memorable moments that I’ve shared with Janice over the years that it would be difficult to pick just one to mention here. Instead I would like to say that it has been an honor to have had the opportunity to work with Janice and to know her as well. I want to wish her all the best as she embarks on a new and exciting part of her life. Janice, all the best! —Mark Zubarev

From other CUNY libraries...

I have known Janice for many years from serving on the ERAC and Public Services committees. I frequently consulted with her on issues that were brought up at these committees. In addition I loved her sharp wit and perky personality. She was a tribute to her profession. —Barbara Linton, Reference Librarian, BMCC Library

Janice is curious, adventurous, even-handed, not easily rattled, fun to talk to and great to laugh with. All qualities that made her a great librarian but also a wonderful person to know. My adjunct days at John Jay were the better for her being there, and I have always been happy to include her as friend in the circle of CUNY librarians. —Catherine Stern, Reference Librarian, LaGuardia Community College

From the John Jay community...

Janice has been a friend and a wonderful Librarian to my students. Over the 21 plus years I have known her, she has helped me countless times with the grace that is distinctive to her. All of us at John Jay will miss her kindness, caring, and expertise. Good luck with her new chapter in her life. —Effie Cochran, English Department

Janice is a relentless advocate for preserving protocols and voicing the spirit of how our governance policies are interpreted. I will truly miss her recollections of our institutional history as we get ready to welcome a new college President. Janice you will be sorely missed at John Jay. All the best in your new life called retirement. —Rulisa Galloway-Perry, Chief of Staff

I’ll remember Janice for her good humor and camaraderie in the pool locker room! I would hope to run into her there and it was always a great pleasure when I did - and yes, we’ve branched out to meet other places as well. —Laura Greenberg, Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Music

Janice’s warmth and kindness, and her intelligence and efficiency as a colleague--always quick to foresee where you are going, where there might be a problem, and offer the solution pronto! —Elizabeth Hegeman, Department of Anthropology

Janice is one of the wise people I’ve turned to for advice over the years. She’s been one of the most important members of the Faculty Senate, whether at the beginning, serving as the Library faculty’s representative, or representing the faculty at large, or serving on the Executive Committee, as she has done for many years. People know to trust her, to listen to her, to ask her for help, to ask her for advice. We all know we will get her full interest and her support. Her smile and infectious laugh are irresistible and ceaselessly comforting. She is one of the people I love the most at John Jay. —Karen Kaplowitz, English Department, Former Faculty Senate President

I served on many committees with Janice, and I always appreciated her “voice of reason” and her ongoing good nature and cheer that could light up the room. She is also the most wonderful team player to work with, able to appreciate other points of view and come up with solutions we could agree to. And of course it’s Janice’s love of travel and adventure that is such a delight to hear about. She brings joy to our lives. —Sondra Leftoff, Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology

Janice was one of those people at Jay I just kept running into: in the pool seriously working out, at college council meetings speaking truth to power in her wry New England way to vocally press for the needs of the library, and of course in the library answering any question and patiently helping me master some befuddling new technology. She is a bright spirit: engaging, warm and funny. —Mary Ann McLure, Department of Philosophy

Janice, Your wisdom and common sense will be missed on the Senate and, more personally, I will miss having you around. I hope you will not be a stranger after retiring. —Francis Sheehan, Department of Sciences

Janice is a wonderful kind person who helped me out 8 years ago when I was new to the US educational life. She loves to laugh and was able to make me happy even when I was distressed about my life and study, a wonderful counselor :-) Miss you much, miss your Christmas party and hope to see you again soon. —Thiti Mahacharoen, Ph.D. Graduate Center and John Jay alum


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

Photo from event

NYC councilmember Elizabeth Crowley bestows a citation on Robert Shumate, joined by Charles Jennings,  Director of the Christian Regenhard Center; Elizabeth Hovey, History Dept.; and Ellen Belcher,  Library. Photo from the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies, via Twitter.

Hovey Memorial Lecture

The Lloyd Sealy Library co-sponsored a lecture from Robert Shumate on October 19, 2016. Beginning as a Maine State Trooper, Shumate (second from left) went on to develop and install the first online police computing systems in 1964, launching modern computer-aided dispatch and records management. He led the formation of the IJIS Institute, devoted to public safety information sharing. Shumate came to John Jay to honor his late protégé, 911 pioneer Scott Hovey. The Library’s Special Collections acquired Hovey’s professional papers.

Supermax Prisons Book Talk

Dr. Keramet Reiter is an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, and a graduate alumna of John Jay. On November 10, 2016, Dr. Reiter presented a book talk on her latest monograph, 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and The Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement. The Library co-sponsored this Sociology Book Talk and has acquired 23/7, soon available in the Stacks.

John Timoney oral history highlighted

John F. Timoney (1948-2016) rose through the ranks of the New York Police Department to become Chief of Department and then First Deputy Commissioner under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (1994-1996). He was later Police Commissioner in Philadelphia and Chief of Police in Miami. Chief Timoney was also a John Jay College alumnus, graduating in 1974 with a degree in History. In 2010, I sat with John Timoney for an oral history interview, during which he discussed his career in the NYPD and the transformation of the department under Bratton, especially the introduction of Compstat. You can read the oral history interview in the Library’s Digital Collections. --Jeffrey Kroessler

Timoney’s 2010 memoir, Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, is available at the Library in the Stacks, HV7911 .T563 A3 2010.


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter

Ellen Belcher and Karina Croucher published a book chapter “Exchanges of Identity in Prehistoric Anatolian Figurines” in the Proceedings of the 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (9th ICAANE). It can be read on Academic Works. Her article on “Identifying Female in the Halaf: Prehistoric Agency and Modern Interpretations” appeared in the Journal of Archaeological Method & Theory, 23(3). She also prepared an exhibit from the Scott Hovey Papers and appeared on the panel of the first annual Hovey Memorial Lecture on October 19.

Kathleen Collins’s book, Dr. Joyce Brothers: The Founding Mother of TV Psychology, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in September.

Robin Davis earned her MA degree in Computational Linguistics in May from the Graduate Center upon completing her thesis, “Nondescript: A web tool for subverting authorship attribution,” available in Academic Works and on GitHub. She also presented “Die Hard: Saving the Web for Scholars” as the closing remarks of the Eastern New York ACRL Conference at Skidmore College in May. She published two “Internet Connection” columns in Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 35(1) and 35(2).

Jeffrey Kroessler presented on the history of Sunnyside Gardens at the AIA New York State Design Conference in September. In October, he gave a talk about the preservation of Sunnyside at “Preservation in the US: 50 Years On” at Salve Regina University. He reviewed Politics across the Hudson: the Tappan Zee Megaproject by Philip Mark Plotch for Planning Perspectives, and his article on “The Limits of Liberal Planning: the Lindsay Administration’s Failed Plan to Control Development on Staten Island” appeared in Journal of Planning History. After the bombing in Chelsea in September he published “Anarchists, Puerto Ricans, Croatians Too: Nearly Everyone’s Attacked NYC” in the Daily Beast.

Karen Okamoto recently published articles on open government data: “Introducing open government data” appeared in The Reference Librarian and “What is being done with open government data?” in Webology.


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter