Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Lloyd Sealy Library

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

Read the report in full here (PDF, 1 MB)

What did you do in the Library today? Think deeply about life. Sleep.

What can we do to make this library better for you? More access to electrical outlets…Why are they still located in walls?

These were some of the questions and answers from our second triennial survey of “in-library use,” conducted November 18-23, 2013. 294 library users (90% undergraduates and 9.8% graduate students) took the time to fill out a paper survey handed to them at the Library entrance. The results showed that our library users are a serious bunch: 51% came to the Library to study or work individually; 44.4% used a library computer for academic/course work and only 11% used a computer for Facebook, YouTube or other “fun” activity. Almost all students engaged in multiple activities (see Chart 1). They also came often: 24.4% came to the Library 4 or more times per week and 47% came 2-3 times per week. 

Our users rate our services highly: Our top rating went to quality of databases and electronic resources where we scored 4.4 out of a possible 5. Even where we were rated lowest—on availability of electrical outlets—our users still scored us 3.68 out 5. These results were very similar to what we found in our first survey in November 2010: the students who come to the Library come frequently, and they come because they like what they find here. (Other surveys, discussed in earlier issues of Classified Information, have shown that the student body as a whole thinks well of the Library).

Click to view larger

To get meaningful information from this survey about how we could improve our “in-library” services, therefore, we turned to the last, open-ended question, “What can we do to make this library better for you?” Out of the 294 respondents, 124 took the time to write something (a total of 191 separate comments/complaints), and from the number of exclamation points and the length of the responses, it was obvious that the students cared and wanted to be heard. (See Chart 2) When we coded the answers we found that the single largest source of complaint was the lack of Microsoft Office—21 students complained about that (11% of the comments), followed by the need for more computers (19) and more outlets (18). It’s striking (though not surprising in this era of mobile devices) that fully 9.42% of the comments were about outlets; one student said, “More access to electrical outlets, specially at desks. Why are they still located in walls? they should be conveniently placed on desks.” Comparing the 2013 comments with the 2010 comments, there were fewer complaints about noise and Library hours, but more complaints about outlets and computers, even though we had added both outlets and computers after the 2010 survey. Students also continued to ask for more space to study individually and in groups.

We were concerned to note that, in addition, there was an increase in the number of complaints about staff and about long lines, and we realized that our ratings on “customer service” had fallen slightly from 2010. We wondered if this change might be related to the establishment of community hour in 2012. To examine this more closely, we analyzed separately those surveys that had been filled out during community hour and found that, in fact, the students visiting during community hour rated the Library slightly lower on every single measure with quality of customer service dropping to seventh place from third among the community hour respondents.

So what did we do in response to what the students told us? We are increasing the staff at the Circulation and Reserve desks from 1–3pm; we have added Microsoft Office to 16 computers in the Reference area on the Library’s upper level; and we have put in a Student Technology Fee proposal for mobile charging stations to try to address the lack of electrical outlets. We cannot expand the walls of the Library, but we have made our space needs known to the College, and are converting stacks space to study space where possible. We continue to listen hard to the voices of our users.

Professor Bonnie Nelson, Associate Librarian for Information Systems

Classified Information, the Library's newsletter »

Spring 2014 Newsletter (PDF) »

Posted Monday, April 14, 2014 - 4:21pm

Lloyd Sealy Library

All outstanding fines will be forgiven until March 31, 2014.

Return your overdue books and media without penalty!

You must come in to the Library in person to have your account cleared.

CUNYfirst is coming on April 1, 2014. To help smooth the transition, the Lloyd Sealy Library wants to help you remove your library blocks.

Don't wait! This is a one-time offer. (Seriously.)

Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 10:05am

The PBS Video Collection

Explore the library's new  subscription to the PBS Video Collection!

The PBS Video Collection from Alexander Street Press assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of the Public Broadcasting Service into one online interface. A core of 245 titles, selected for their high quality and relevance to academic curricula, covers many educational disciplines, including history, science and technology, diversity studies, business, and current events. This collection includes access to the  films and series Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, Odyssey, and films by Ken Burns and Michael Wood.

Click here to access the PBS Video Collection Online »

Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 4:19pm

Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections

For the first time, the John Jay Library is consolidating its unique digital resources into one online, publicly-accessible collection. The Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections will launch in the spring 2014 semester as a premier repository for digitized criminal justice history materials. Researchers will find audio clips of Ed Koch speaking about subway crime, mug shots of notorious Murder, Inc. criminals, trial transcripts from 1920s New York murder cases, and much more in the coming collections.

Research value

The Lloyd Sealy Library is well known for the strength of its criminal justice and social sciences collections. Under the leadership of Chief Librarian Larry Sullivan, formerly the Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, the Special Collections has grown particularly robust, providing valuable material for researchers of criminal justice history in New York City and around the world.

Since the turn of this century, the Library has put a great deal of effort into making these collections accessible online. The Crime in New York 1850-1950 project made available selected photographs from the Burton Turkus Papers and Lewis Lawes Papers, as well as hundreds of trial transcripts from the County of New York. The Library has also digitized nearly 100 rare books with the Internet Archive. In-house, we have made high-quality scans of items from the John Jay College Archives. For the first time, these digital materials will all be browsable, searchable, and downloadable in one place—in addition to brand-new material.

Prof. Jeffrey Kroessler, our Circulation Librarian, is contributing his in-progress project, Justice in New York: An Oral History. With the generous support of John Jay supporter Jules Kroll, Prof. Kroessler— sometimes accompanied by Prof. Sullivan—has interviewed dozens of New York City’s leading figures in criminal justice, including former mayor Ed Koch and former police commissioner Patrick V. Murphy. These interviews, rich as both historical reference and anecdote, are a vibrant resource for researchers and passersby alike. In the spring, the full interview transcripts, along with audio clips, will be available online for the first time in the Digital Collections.

More digital research materials are also on the way, the most timely of which are selections from the John Jay College Archives. As the College nears its 50th aniversary in 2014–15, the Library will digitize and catalog more materials from the College’s history. The Archives mea- sure 400 linear feet of records containing images of student life, news clippings, yearbooks, and more. Under the guidance of Interim Special Collections Librarian Ellen Sexton, and with support from other departments and offices at John Jay, a curated selection of materials from the Archives will be available in the Digital Collections.

From the 1922 NYPD Annual Report: Narcotics, firearms, and ammunition seized (by NYPD) in raid on headquarters of Hip Sing Tongs (Chinese-American criminal organization).

Teaching with the Digital Collections

With more material available, the Digital Collections will be of high interest to researchers and fans of history—and also for teaching faculty. These rich online resources are an engaging and relevant gateway for students learning how to conduct research using primary sources. As the Library saw recently in the Murder Mystery Challenge, students can find great satisfaction diving into historical materials both gruesome (murder scene photographs) and enlightening (court case records). These materials give students the chance to grapple with the complexity and ambiguity of the historical record. Moreover, research today requires advanced digital literacy skills, and the Library strongly supports incorporating digital research in classroom assignments. Technical details The chosen content management system, CollectiveAccess, provides robust search and browsing functionalities with a focus on thorough metadata. The Digital Collections will mirror the Special Collections, with each physical collection manifested as one digital collection. Many items will be freely downloadable, following the Library’s commitment to public knowledge.

A sneak peek of our beta front page

Stay tuned

The Library is working daily to improve the system and load in more material. We plan to launch next semester—keep an eye out for the launch announcement!

This article is reprinted from our Fall 2013 Classified Information newsletter. Also cross-posted at Emerging Tech in Libraries.

Posted Friday, February 21, 2014 - 1:39pm

Psychological Experiments Online Brochure

The Library just got a free trial to the online database Psychological Experiments Online

This database "pairs audio and video recordings of quintessential experiments in psychology with thousands of pages of primary-source documents. It's packed with exclusive and hard-to-find materials, including notes from experiment participants, journal articles, books, field notes, and final reports in topics from obedience to authority and conformity to operant conditioning."

Access Psychological Experiments Online »

You can also access Psychological Experiments Online from the list of databases by title on the library's homepage.

The trial will end on March 27, 2014 so please let us know what you think by sending an email to marichards@jjay.cuny.edu.

Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 - 11:23am

Our biannual newsletter, Classified Information, is now available! John Jay faculty/department mailboxes should have received a copy. If you'd like to take a gander online:

Download the PDF


  • A Day in the Life of the Library
  • The Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections
  • The Canevari Collection
  • The DSM-5 Online
  • Spotlight: Faulkner Databases for IT Studies
  • Science, Special Issue: Scholarly Communication
  • Health & Physical Education Resources
  • The Adjunct & the Online Environment

Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 11:30am

Great job, gumshoes!

This October, 75 students in 24 teams competed in the Library's first-ever Murder Mystery Challenge. The mystery—based on a real-life murder case from 1920s New York—led first-year students through different kinds of library research, including consulting historical resources, finding articles in databases, and hunting down books in the stacks.

The Peer Mentors from the Student Academic Success Programs office were skillful guides, introducing student teams to the Library and offering tips and tricks they picked up doing their college-level research at John Jay.

Three top teams were chosen based on accuracy and speed. The first-place team also correctly answered two challenging bonus questions. Our prize-winning teams:

First place: Team 8, pictured above and led by Peer Mentor Brittany Lahey: Opeyemi Ladunni, Kay-Lee Ebanks, Kirsten Zarski, and Katie Valentin. This team scored a catered lunch in the Faculty Dining Room, in addition to New York Times tote bags full of swag and $20 Amazon gift cards. You go, ladies!

Second place: Team 24, led by Zomorah Kennedy: Fayrouz Saleh and Justine Martinez. These students won dining hall coupons, as well as New York Times backpacks and travel mugs. Nice job!

Third place: Team 18, led by Patrick Grimes: Adil Zaman, Jaylise Cosme, Adonis Munoz, Ashley Lall, and Daniela Sosa. This team won $10 Barnes & Noble cards and New York Times backpacks full of goodies. Good work!

And a hearty congratulations to the other competing teams, too! We're always happy to see you in the Library.

Stay tuned for the next Library challenge...

Posted Friday, November 8, 2013 - 8:23am

Attend a workshop, get free lunch

Starting Sept. 23, the first 25 students to attend a Library workshop will get a voucher for a free cafeteria meal! This week, get familiar with the Library, find your course readings, and get going on your research.

No reservation is required to attend a workshop. Just check in with a librarian at the Reference Desk on the upper floor of the Library.

*Note that there are a limited number of cafeteria coupons.

Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 - 2:09pm

Multisearch (click to try)

If this is your first semester here at John Jay College, welcome to the Library’s homepage! If you’re a returning student or faculty member, you may have noticed some changes--chief among them is our new MultiSearch tab.This is a new “discovery” service that allows you to search across many of the Library’s databases. Because it covers so many databases, you can use it to search for almost any topic you are researching. Just type in your topic and click on the search button. Because it offers so much content, you can then narrow down your results by format (peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, etc.) or by other limiters like publication date or subject. You can also start searching from the Advanced Search interface.

We think this is a great jumping-off point for your research but remember, if you need help refining your topic or looking for a specific subject-related database, come in and talk to a librarian or contact us from home.

Posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 10:49am

Welcome to John Jay! The Lloyd Sealy Library has a number of resources to offer new & returning students. Here's a quick introduction to what you need to know.


The Library is located at 899 10th Avenue (between 58th St and 59th St). The Library is in Haaren Hall (commonly referred to as the "Tenth Street" or "T" building). Enter on 10th Avenue, swipe your valid ID card, take the escalator downstairs, make a U-turn, and proceed behind the escalator to the Library entrance. To get here from the New Building, walk past the blue Haaren Hall elevators, and you'll see the Library entrance between the escalators at the front of Haaren Hall.

Using the Library

We compiled a helpful guide for you: How to Use the Library. You'll find info on finding books, finding articles, reserve readings, & more.

Attend a How to Use the Library workshop, held frequently during the first month of classes, for an informal introduction to using the Library. Workshops are 30 minutes or less. No reservation is required to attend a workshop. Just check in with a librarian at the Reference Desk on the upper floor of the Library. Our other workshops may be useful to you, too! 

Checking out books

Borrowing books from the Library is free! Undergraduates can check out books for 4-week periods, with two limited renewals. Overdue fines are 25¢ per day (with a 10-day grace period). See more details on borrowing & renewing.

How do you find a book? Our video tutorial will show you how to search for a book in OneSearch.

The first time you go to the Library, ask at the Circulation Desk (at entrance) for the Library barcode to stick on the back of your ID card. This will let you take out books from John Jay's Library—and other CUNY libraries, too.

Books aren't the only thing you can check out! We also have phone chargers.


The Library has a number of textbooks on Reserve (available for you to use for 3-hour loans). See Getting Textbooks to find out if yours are on Reserve, as well as for tips on buying textbooks.

Study space

The Library has lots of study space available to you: personal carrels, big group tables, a computer lab, a Silent Study Area, and five Group Study Rooms. Take a walk around and find your study spots.


At the beginning of the semester, each current student is given $15 in printing credit. In the Library, you can print in the Reserve Lab downstairs or at the workstations upstairs by the Reference Desk. Scanning is also available upstairs and downstairs, and it's free! See more info on printing, scanning, and copying.

Connect from home

With your John Jay username and password, you have off-campus access to online Library resources, including thousands of journals, videos, ebooks, and eReserves.

Digital newspaper subscriptions

As a CUNY student, you have a complimentary digital subscription to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Read the unlimited news articles in the NYT and WSJ apps and in the browser!

More student resources

We've got quite a few study and research resources for you. See Resources for Students for more.

Connect with us

John Jay Library on Facebook    @johnjaylibrary on Twitter    @johnjaylibrary on Instagram

Got a library question? Ask a librarian


Posted Monday, August 26, 2013 - 12:00pm