Library News Blog
The new look of LexisNexis
Many of us are by now familiar with using LexisNexis to find news and legal resources. The LexisNexis interface that we’re used to is getting a face lift and a name change. In fact, it already has—Nexis Uni. Currently in the library’s list of popular databases, you will see both the classic and the new versions, but as of the end of 2018, the classic will disappear.
If you are used to looking for cases in LexisNexis, the same task in Nexis Uni may take a little getting used to. As always, there is more than one way to use the database to find a case and the most obvious-seeming options can be a bit confusing at first. Looking at the main search page of Nexis Uni, you will see a Guided Search area with the question “What are you interested in?” This is tempting, especially as there is a Cases option planted squarely below. However, once you select that cases button, the next question is “State or Federal?” This may be an obstacle to a user who is not certain of the jurisdiction.
So perhaps you go back to the main search page and this time see the “Get a Doc Assistance” link just below the search box. This is tempting, too, especially since, once selected, it seems to be all about cases. You can search by citation, party names or docket number. If you are well-versed in legal research, this may please you, as there are detailed options you can select to conduct a controlled search. The average user, however, will likely feel overwhelmed with the choices. The party names option looks promising but returns zero results unless you also select a jurisdiction. So, back to the home page.
I can vouch for a more direct route to finding a case, especially if what you seek is a specific case for which you have at least one party name, or a case on a particular issue. In the main search box, type your search term (e.g. Griswold or Title IX), then in the dropdown box to the left of the search box (where it says “All Nexis Uni”) you can open that to choose Cases from a list, then select Search in the lower right of that same page. If your desired results do not appear early on in the list, you can enter a party name or a key word on the left side of the page to narrow the results.
One other note to keep in mind. There is a prominently displayed “Export Citation” button at the top of each document. This takes you to a set of options for citation styles, but does not (yet?) connect with citation managers like RefWorks as classic LexisNexis did.
I don’t mean to disparage Nexis Uni. It improves in several ways upon the classic, most notably in its clean appearance and the ability to run either natural language or Boolean searches. They will likely continue to make changes in coming months to address users’ needs. The Discover Topics link presented on the home page, which may be a replacement for the Hot Topics links in the classic version, can be a useful tool for generating topic ideas, via three broad categories: Business, Criminal Justice, and Political Science.
To end on a positive note, Nexis Uni is still the excellent source for news and legal resources that it always has been—it’s just a matter of adjusting to new strategies to get to them.
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:32pm
HeinOnline’s Slavery in America and the World database provides free public access to countless English-language legal materials, pamphlets and books on slavery. Though the collection covers slavery in other parts of the world, its content is largely from and about the United States. Its legal materials include every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute pertaining to slavery, and all reported state and federal cases about slavery. It also includes legal commentary published before 1920 as well as modern law reviews. Its non-legal materials consist of books and pamphlets from the Buffalo Public Library’s rare book collection.
Users can search and browse the collection from a number of access points. The main page includes a full text search, a link to an advanced search, and several browsing options for quick access to specific types of documents. For example, researchers can click on the “Slavery Statutes” tab to access and review federal and state statutes. The advanced search provides a number of filters such as document type, which includes speeches, narratives, and specific legal documents.
Originally conceived as a subscription-based database, HeinOnline decided in 2016 to make Slavery in America and the World free to the public. This decision was in response to, as the company president outlines in a press release, the crisis in race relations in America. HeinOnline decided to rethink the idea of profiting from a collection on slavery. This means that well after graduation, our students can access this important and impressive collection that brings together HeinOnline’s strong legal collections with non-legal documents in one searchable platform.
Please also consult:
- The “Slavery and Anti-slavery related primary sources” tab on Ellen Belcher’s “Primary Sources: Digital Archival Collections” research guide
- The New York Slavery Records Index, created by John Jay professors and students
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:24pm
Search and serendipity
I am trying to track down a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The ends pre-exist in the means.” Writing about terrorism, I want to contrast that Emersonian idea with its opposite: “The ends justify the means,” or as Malcolm X put it, “By any means necessary.” What I need is the citation.
Without anything at hand to go on, I first entered the words in quotes into the OneSearch box on the library’s homepage. Nothing. But that should not be surprising, as this is designed to identify sources for research. Even so, the quotation might have turned up somewhere.
Google Scholar is a better option, because it does allow searching for an exact quotation. Here I added “Emerson” in the search box. Surely the original will turn up, or maybe it will be cited in another work. The search does not yield the original source but does offer an intriguing array of essays containing a version of the quote.
The first is “Educational Appraisals,” by Ross L. Mooney, in Education Research Bulletin, vol. 36, no. 2 (Feb. 13, 1957). In this case I can access the entire eight-page piece. But the quote is not in that essay. Rather, it is found at the end of the previous piece on the page the Mooney piece begins. So, the first result in this search did not bring up the article where the quote was to be found. The article listed second by Google Scholar, “Educational Means” by Edgar Dale from the same publication, was the one with the quote. The Emerson reference was footnoted: an entry titled “Education” in his journals dated September 13, 1831 (that author used a 1909 edition of his journals; for me, the nearest edition would do). But actually, he summarized the quote and the reference refers to another: “The things which are taught children are not an education, but the means of education.”
So, I search for the referenced journal entry, not confident that the quote would be found there. The library catalog yielded Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 16-volume set published between 1960 and 1982. On the shelf, however I find only Volume 7 (1838-1842). Clicking deeper into the bibliographic record I learn that John Jay only has Volume 7. That was after I had gone into the stacks. Frustrating. And I’m the librarian!
Back to the Google Scholar results. A promising item is “Sources of Value for Modern Man” by Eduard C. Lindemane, in Religious Education, vol. 42, 1947. Alas, access to the full piece is blocked, and searching our collection of journals by title, I found that we do not have it in any database.
The next possibility is “Speech Sportsmanship,” a brief essay by Burton H. Byers in The Speech Teacher, vol. 3, no. 2, 1954 (now Communication Education). The Google Scholar link leads to the publisher’s page, and a dead end (no, I do not wish to purchase the article). Looking again under journals by title, I find that we do have access to the journal. Byers makes great use of the Emerson: “In a totalitarian society, it is generally held that the ends justify the means. A person who believes in democracy is likely to think that greater wisdom was expressed by Emerson when he wrote that the ends pre-exist in the means.” A wonderful application of the idea, but there is no citation.
Moving on to “Postcards from the Edge: Surveying the Digital Divide,” by Andrew G. Celli and Kenneth M. Dreifach, in Cardozo Arts Entertainment Law Journal, 20 (2002). They reference Emerson and locate the source as his 1841 essay “Compensation.” Bingo! The actual sentence in that essay is different, however: “Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.”
This was a twisted, frustrating, and ultimately successful research journey, and at its end I am left with two questions. First, is the popular version of the quote—“The ends pre-exist in the means”—to be found elsewhere in Emerson’s writings, somewhere in his journals, perhaps? Or is it simply a pithier version of the sentence from “Compensation”? And second, why did I find several references to this quotation in essays from the 1940s and 1950s but scarcely any from later decades?
The journey continues.
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:20pm
It is a hard balance for Lloyd Sealy Library to keep the collections growing, on the one hand, and to provide more quiet study space for a steadily growing student population, on the other hand. We use our creativity to make rearrangements and carve out new space in the existing library physical plant.
This semester, the students are now able to enjoy two new study space additions that are the results of the librarians’ hard work. The computer lab on the ground floor was expanded by gaining a room that can accommodate 24 users. The south wing of the library on the upper level was transformed into the Silent Study Area South, which is full of natural light.
The computer lab expansion idea was born more than five years ago. The library was ready to give up space allocated for the staff to satisfy students’ requests for additional computer seats. Moving the walls was not an easy undertaking, but now the students have a renovated space with brand new furniture. This already popular spot will definitely be appreciated during the 24-hour Library Lounge & Lab operation at the end of each semester during finals period.
The creation of the Silent Study Area South was an attempt to make a space without breaking any walls. We decided to compress the bound periodicals collection and create an opening at the end of the south wing on the upper level, mirroring the existing quiet study area in the north wing. Despite the dropped ceiling, the room now looks bright and airy, thanks to the big windows along two walls. It took a month of physical labor this summer by Maria Kiriakova, Matt Murphy, Ellen Belcher, Ellen Sexton, Jeff Kroessler, Mark Zubarev, and Omar Rivera to move 34,200 volumes. We had to make the calculations and measurements first, vacuum the books, rearrange and clean the shelves, and check and fix the records in the catalog. The Office of Space Planning helped with new carpeting and building of two countertops. Geng Lin coordinated the electric and data wiring aspects for both projects.
These new study spaces fit well into John Jay College students’ ideal vision of an academic library. The Pop-Up Library’s surveys in March of this year revealed that the young scholars imagined “quiet,” “calming,” and “distraction-free” spaces in their ideal library. These two study spaces fulfill these dreams.
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:17pm
Expanding access to NYPL, Columbia University, & Princeton University shared collections
During the first few weeks of the fall semester, you may have noticed the New York Public Library (NYPL) table in the Atrium. NYPL staff were present to streamline the process for getting a fully activated NYPL library card, with a barcode and PIN.
Hundreds of students signed up, many of whom learned they were eligible to receive a NYPL library card simply because they attend a school in New York City. Those who thought they had an active card—NYPL cards must be renewed every 3 years—were able to make sure that they did.
John Jay librarians were also on hand to explain that in addition to the 88 neighborhood branches that focus on serving the needs of the local community, NYPL cardholders have access to world-renowned scholarly resources that include:
- NYPL’s four research libraries
- Hundreds of specialized and multidisciplinary databases
- Thousands of ebooks
- Shared Collection Catalog
The research materials in the databases and ebooks are appropriate for academic work and are accessible remotely, so long as you have an active NYPL barcode and PIN.
NYPL’s Shared Collection Catalog is the newest tool for discovering the research collections available to NYPL library card holders. This catalog searches all of NYPL’s on-site research collection and items stored in an off-site facility that is owned and operated by NYPL, Columbia University, and Princeton University libraries, to facilitate the sharing of resources. Through this new Shared Collection Catalog, you can now easily search, find, and gain access to millions of items that are part of this shared collection.
How the Shared Collection Catalog works
Start at the Shared Collection Catalog search box which can be found behind the Research tab on the NYPL homepage. It looks like this:
Conduct a search and look under Status to see if the item is available at an NYPL location or whether you have to request the item:
When the item is not immediately available, you can click on the title to find out more, including which of the three libraries systems owns the materials. Once you request an item, you will be prompted to enter your active NYPL barcode and PIN, then choose a delivery option. Materials can be delivered to one or more locations at NYPL research libraries or you can request to have a small portion (such as the table of contents, single article, book chapter or index) of the item scanned and emailed to you.
If you order a book before 2:30pm, Monday through Thursday, it will be delivered to NYPL the next day. Special items, like films that need projectors, will be delivered to the NYPL library with the viewing equipment. Keep in mind that these items may not be taken out of the NYPL building, but they will keep any requested materials on hold for you as long as you need them—so you can come back each day and use them.
If you have already used this new Shared Collection Catalog, please let us know about your experience. If you have not, start exploring it now!
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:14pm
Library news in brief
Season 2 of Indoor Voices, podcast hosted by two CUNY librarians
Indoor Voices, the podcast co-hosted by Kathleen Collins (John Jay) and Steve Ovadia (LaGuardia) is going strong in its second season, thanks to support from the Office for the Advancement of Research and a wealth of interesting work done by people all around CUNY. Visit the blog at indoorvoicespodcast.com to peruse past episodes and subscribe to keep up with new ones. Follow them on Twitter @indoorvoicespod.
Barcode logins for John Jay Online students
We’ve made a change to how students in John Jay Online fully-online degree programs get their barcode number, which is used to log into OneSearch to unlock extra features (like requesting books from other CUNY libraries) and view more search results. Barcodes are now issued by email to JJO degree students on request via a request form. (All online students already have access to full-text articles with their usual login.)
Escape the Library!
The Lloyd Sealy Library and Student Academic Success Programs (SASP) partnered up to coordinate the “Escape the Library!” challenge. This hands-on learning activity introduced first-year and transfer students to basic library research skills and study spaces available to them. SASP Peer Success Coaches attended each day of the game to help guide participants toward solving the puzzles. Over the summer, 137 students participated in the game, and four dozen more did in the fall semester. In total, over 700 students have participated in the game since its inception in 2013. Overall, this semester’s “Escape the Library!” event was a success: students rated the activity highly and met the library’s learning objectives.
Betsy Crenshaw joins the Library
We welcomed Betsy Crenshaw as an adjunct assistant professor in the library. She will bring her extensive experience from multiple CUNY libraries to the Reference Desk at Lloyd Sealy Library. Welcome, Betsy!
Kathleen Collins published “Comedian Hosts and the Demotic Turn” in Llinares, Fox, and Berry, eds. Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), available to read on CUNY Academic Works.
Robin Davis gave a presentation, “Keep it secret, keep it safe! Preserving anonymity by subverting stylometry” in October at PyGotham, an annual conference for Python programmers in New York City. With Mark Eaton, a librarian at KBCC, she led “Python for Beginners: A Gentle and Fun Introduction,” a LITA Pre-Conference Institute at the ALA Annual Conference, which took place in New Orleans in June 2018.
Maria Kiriakova published “Combatting Corruption in the USA: State, Dynamics, and Tendencies,” co-written with Y. Truntsevsky, in Public International and Private International Law: Science-Practice and Information Journal, vol. 100, no. 3.
Jeffrey Kroessler appeared in the PBS documentary “The Woman in the Iron Coffin” in the series “Secrets of the Dead,” about the remains of an unidentified African-American woman found in Queens in 2011. His report, prepared for the City Club of New York, “Losing Its Way: The Landmarks Preservation Commission in Eclipse,” was reprinted in Environmental Law in New York (vol. 29, no. 8 and 9, Aug. and Sept. 2018) and is accessible through CUNY Academic Works. In October, he presented his research on terrorism in New York City to the Seminar on the City at Columbia University.
Maureen Richards presented at the ExLibris Northeast User Group 2018 conference in October on what we are learning from the use of the library’s web-scale discovery tool, OneSearch.
Ellen Sexton and Vee Herrington presented “Using LibGuides and Eportfolio as hosting platforms for ZTC [Zero Textbook Cost] courses” at Open Ed 2018 in October in Niagara Falls.
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 4:50pm
From the Desk of the Chief Librarian, Larry E. Sullivan
"Horrible tragedy! Jealousy, murder, arson and probable suicide. A well-known citizen murdered in cold blood! A wife strangled by her husband. A city chapter of blood and horror.” Sealy Library’s recent rare book acquisitions includes this compendium of horrific deeds committed in the “Queen City” of Cincinnati, with its vibrant culture, but also a city beset by the mayhem of the Old West. The author and compiler of Murder Will Out… by “An Old Citizen” (1867), but identified as Colonel William De Beck, chronicles numerous crimes, including child murder, lynching, spousal poisoning, riots, and other misdeeds. His cautionary tale introduction notes that “they of both sexes will find much that they thus must avoid—the commission of the first little sin, may be the means of bringing them to destruction.” He goes on to chronicle such incidents as the “Murder of S. Easton’s Little Son”; “Fannie French, the Cyprian, Shoots her Paramour, Devlin”; “The Notorious Maythes Family”; and many, many others.
We in the criminal justice world are not exceptionally shocked by reading about these crimes. But in the middle of the book we come across accounts of two murders and a riot linked to the rising populist, nativist, anti-immigrant feelings that were then spreading across the United States. The influx of the Irish and the Germans in the 1850s gave rise to the “Know-Nothing” political party. Many cities, such as San Francisco, set up vigilance committees to fight the political control of Irish and German immigrants. New York, with half of its voting rolls populated by naturalized immigrants, formed the American Party (Know-Nothings), which advocated an exclusionary model to make it difficult if not impossible for foreigners, especially the Irish, to become naturalized citizens. Their platform included setting a long residency requirement (21 years), deporting immigrant paupers and criminals, and other measures. This rhetoric and these actions are all too familiar to our contemporary political situation, not just in America, but globally as well.
In Cincinnati, the 1855 mayoral election featuring the populist, nativist candidate for mayor, James Taylor, editor of the Cincinnati Times, delivered inflammatory attacks on the Germans, which sparked a vicious assault by the nativist “Americans” on the German “Over-the Rhine” neighborhood. The Germans fought back successfully, leading to the Democratic candidate James J. Faran winning the election.
Our author relates that the day after the election, a Know-Nothing was murdered walking down a street “in which he had no business.” To the chagrin of the “old citizen” he was given a soldier’s funeral. But shortly thereafter the American party, owing in part to its antagonism to the anti-slavery movement, largely disappeared from the political scene in Cincinnati and other cities. Our author states that “Know Nothingism was carried to such an excess, that we think few shed tears when it became extinct. Any thing [sic] which tends to alienate one part of the people from another is injurious to the public good, and ought not to be tolerated under any circumstances in this land of free speech.”
Plus ça change...
Murder Will Out... is available in the Special Collections Room, call number HV6534 .C5 D5.
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 4:43pm
We have just started subscribing to the Docuseek2 Complete collection.
The renowned documentary distributors Bullfrog FIlms and Icarus Films, both founded in the 1970s, joined together to create this streaming video database. It delivers 800 documentaries on many themes, especially those concerned with justice, sustainability and the environment, broadly interpreted. All the titles have been indexed and are discoverable in OneSearch, the library’s main discovery tool. We hope you enjoy exploring these documentaries and sharing them in class. Here are just a few of those 800 titles:
Death by Design (2017). The deadly environmental and health effects of electronic devices.
Addiction Incorporated (2014). The tobacco industry.
Addicted to Plastic (2008). Plastic pollution worldwide, and its effect on the marine environment.
StIll Waters (2018), shows a Brooklyn after-school program serving immigrant children.
The American Ruling Class (2007) A 'dramatic-documentary-musical' about class, power and privilege.
Symbiotic Earth (2018). Scientist Lynn Margulis challenged orthodoxies by showing that symbiosis is a key driver of evolution. Symbiotic Earth explores the implications of her research in the context of climate change and extreme capitalism.
Anthropocene (2016). Examines whether human impact has tipped the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, with all of its political, social and behavioral implications.
The Antibiotic Hunters (2015). Scientists are hunting urgently for new antibiotics -- a challenge that is taking them to some remote and unusual places.
The Angry Heart (2001). Explores racism as a risk factor in the epidemic of heart disease in the African-American community.
East of Salinas (2016). The life of an undocumented third grade child of migrant agricultural labors in California.
A dangerous idea: eugenics, genetics and the American dream (2017). Examines the history of the US eugenics movement and its recent resurrection.
Affluenza (1997). Diagnoses the 'disease' of materialism and prescribes its antidote, simple living.
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 3:22pm
AVON (Academic Video Online) has just arrived at John Jay! This new streaming video database contains documentaries, performances, ethnographies, interviews, historic film clips newsreels & feature films from a large range of distributors, including Sony Picture Classics, Music Box, & Kino Lorber. It delivers about 600,000 hours of streaming video, 63,000 titles in total. The content comes from all over the world; non-English language films are subtitled in English. Closed captions appear to be available for the English language content.
The Proquest interface allows easy searching; while the content plays on the Alexander Street platform. All the titles have been indexed and are discoverable in OneSearch, the library’s main discovery tool.
John Jay has never before had access to most of this content, in streaming, or any format; a few titles new to us include Citizen Jane, Antarctica: A Year on Ice, Hate crimes in the Heartland, The Deportation of Innocence, Patrimonio.
We hope you enjoy exploring the wonderful content of our new subscription!
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 5:48pm
Welcome back to campus! We are pleased to unveil two new study spaces for students.
The Silent Study Area South, located upstairs, is a quiet study zone full of natural light where no talking is allowed. (The other Silent Study Area is located in the north wing of the library, also on the upper level.)
In addition, the Reserve Room Study Area is located in a new alcove off of the Reserve Room Computer Lab.
We are also happy to bring new furniture into the Reserve Room Computer Lab.
Many thanks to Prof. Maria Kiriakova, Prof. Jeffrey Kroessler, and Geng Lin for coordinating these projects! Thanks to everyone else who made this possible.
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:04pm