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

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

Screenshot of Teaching Information Literacy guide

Kathleen Collins

Incorporating information literacy into classroom teaching boils down to this: “How do we help students with finding and evaluating information to help answer a question?” To assist in the process, the Library has recently expanded its Teaching Information Literacy guide found on the Library’s web site (Research Guides > Information Literacy > Teaching Information Literacy). The occasion for beefing up the guide was a Program Improvement Grant awarded by the Teaching and Learning Center. Team members for “Guides for Critical Skills Development: Information Literacy” included library faculty Maria Kiriakova, Ellen Sexton, and Kathleen Collins; Ray Patton (then Undergraduate Studies General Education director and now Honors Program director); and psychology faculty member Jill Grose-Fifer. In late May, Prof. Grose-Fifer gathered a group of psychology faculty who met with the team members to discuss information literacy in their teaching. There and now in the library’s guide, Prof. Grose-Fifer generously shared many of her tips and assignments (see Info Lit for Psychology tab). These assignments are highly adaptable to almost any discipline, as are the concepts in her 2019 co-authored book Teaching Psychology: An Evidence-Based Approach. The PowerPoint from that May session, “Incorporating Information Literacy into Your Course,” is also available (see Tools for Teaching tab).

The first part of the guide provides background on the why and what of information literacy. The remainder focuses on the how: assignment design tips, templates and specific scaffolding-based assignment ideas, as well as up-to-date research about information literacy in higher education.
Many of the resources found in the guide are adapted from or shared by other academic librarians such as Columbia College, Vancouver and CUNY’S Guttman Community College. We encourage faculty to incorporate these resources into coursework in conjunction with library video tutorials on such topics as using library database and evaluating sources available via the “How do I…?” link from the Library home page.

In addition to these resources, the Library is commencing a subscription to Credo Learning Tools, a library of e-learning activities designed to give students a foundation in information literacy and critical thinking skills. There will be a number of ways to make these activities available to students, so stay tuned for more information.

More from the Fall 2019 newsletter 

Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 1:30pm

 Cover of ‘sammelband” or gathering of a number of printed sources, as well as a manuscript, bound in one volume recently acquired by Sealy Library

From the Desk of the Chief Librarian, Larry E. Sullivan.

The Asiatic cholera epidemic, or second cholera epidemic as it is sometimes called, spread from India in 1826 to Europe, as well as east to Japan and China. The disease spread west from Moscow in August 1830, and reached Warsaw in the summer of 1831. The disease killed hundreds of thousands of people and was especially rampant in prisons across Europe.  The Sealy Library recently acquired a ‘sammelband” or gathering of a number of printed sources, as well as a manuscript, bound in one volume: Leggi e provvidimeni di sanita per gli stati di terraferma di S.M. il Re di Sadegna 1831/ Lois et règlements e santè pour les états de terreferme de S. M. le Roi de Sardaigne 1831. The letterpress portion consists of over 200 pages that established laws and protocols for prison physicians in the Piedmont area of Italy collected by the physican Giambattista Ferraris (fl. 1820s-1830s) in the town of Biella.  The volume provides a valuable glimpse into the professional preoccupations of prison physicians at the times, which includes special rules for administering drugs, regulating the nourishment of prisoners, tending to the mentally ill, and crucially, preventing and treating infectious diseases, principally cholera.  The document discusses in detail the nature of the disease, quarantining the afflicted and disinfecting their possessions, measures for avoiding becoming ill, and best practices for the policing and maintaining cordons.   

At the end of the volume is an extraordinary manscript that suggests Dr. Ferraris treated mentally ill patients in his care. A copy of an address from Dr. Cipriano Bertolini of Torino’s mental hospital, Regio Manicomio,  who first addresses the architecture of the asylum and then discusses the thirty-three potential causes of madness: hereditary condition, alcoholism, head injury, mercury exposure, masturbation, menstruation, pregnancy, and others.  He also mentions moral causes of madness, which include reversals of fortune, overindulgence in politics, maleducation, and a dissolute lifestyle, too much study without exercise, deep thinking on astrological, metaphysical and mystical matters, and even reading novels.  This manuscript is an important step in the argument that insanity had both “moral” and physical/organic origins and in the medical profession’s eventual success in securing a monopoly (as opposed to the interventions of religious authorities) on the treatment of insanity.

These most important treatises are not known in any United States repository and once again point to the great value of Sealy Library’s collections in the study of the entire field of criminal justice and its ancillary disciplines.

More from the Fall 2019 newsletter  

Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 1:26pm

Senate as a Court of Impeachment for the Trial of President Andrew Johnson (Source: Theodore R. Davis/Wikimedia Commons)

Impeachment proceedings in the United States are rare. Presidential impeachments are even rarer. 

The library now provides access to HeinOnLine’s U.S. Presidential Impeachment Library


This new collection helps researchers understand these rare historical events. Organized by the four affected presidents, it brings together a variety of documents both contemporaneous and asynchronous to each president's impeachment, presenting both a snapshot of the political climate as each impeachment played out and the long view history has taken of each proceeding. The collection includes a curated list of scholarly articles, external links, and a bibliography for further research on this topic. It also includes the Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine, compiled by Kelly Smith at UC San Diego, which brings together official documents related to the whistleblower complaint and impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. This collection will continue to grow as new material becomes available, particularly in connection with the current investigation into Donald Trump.

Posted Friday, December 6, 2019 - 12:41pm

Photo of a seed packet, from short film "Chains"

What are you watching for Halloween?  Here are some suggestions from the Library’s collections.


Chains. (2009).  Dir. Lewis, S.  Ten minute prize winning horror/sci fi short.  Life underground in a dystopian future where the punishment for wasting water is death. 

Wild Rose. (2004).  Dir. Byoung-a, H.  In Korean, animated. Five minutes.  A girl meets her mother's ghost in a graveyard.

The Tell-Tale Heart. (1958). Dir. Yurdin, C.  23 minutes. A dramatic telling of Edgar Allan Poe’s story  performed by a single actor.   In black and white.

The Day of the Dead. (1999). Dir.  25 minutes, mostly English langauge.  The character Death shows us around a Mexican village and cemetery, where graves are decorated and turned into works of art, with flowers, personal objects, food, offerings and thousands upon thousands of candles. 


Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. (2019). Dir. Burgin, X.   African Americans and Hollywood horror movies. 

Birth of the Living Dead. (2013).  Dir. Kuhns, R.  About making Romero’s 1968 movie Night of the Living Dead.


Vampire clay.  (2017).  Dir. Umezawa, S.  In Japanese.  A possessed pile of clay terrorizes students at an art school.  Comic-horror.

100 Bloody Acres. (2012).  Dir. Ryan, J. Two brothers in the Australian outback run an organic blood and bone fertilizer business using dead car crash victims, but lately supply has been running low… 

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. (2013).  Dir. Dobbin, M. A cereal-obsessed art student turns into a ravenous sleepwalking cannibal at night… 

Alléluia. (2014). Dir. Du Welz, F.  A lonely-hearts serial killer.  From Belgium, in French.

The Tragedy of Macbeth(2016).  Dir. O'Brien, S. Stratford Festival production of the Shakespeare classic.  A witch-strewn horror of murderous ambition as Macbeth and his wife conspire to seize the throne of Scotland. 

The Phantom of the Opera.  (1925).  Dir. Chaney, L.  Silent film, black and white.  A disfigured madman falls in love with an opera understudy. 

Halley. (2013).  Dir. Hoffman, S. a night guard with a decomposing body. Scores high on the horror scale. A slow exploration of mortality, loneliness, despair.    In Spanish.   


Get Out!  (2017).  Dir. Peele, J.   A black man goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family in the countryside; what can possibly go wrong?  Comic-horror.     DVD #1498.

A girl walks home alone at night. (2015).  Dir. Amirpour, A. Iranian vampire film.  DVD # 1507.


What horrors can you find in our video collections


Posted Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 3:01pm

tilte screens from six Film Platform documentaries

We are thrilled to announce the John Jay Community now has access to 300-plus contemporary documentaries streaming on Film Platform.   If you are looking for recently made, well-received documentaries on important issues, you’re going to like this new collection.  Subject matter includes human rights, crime, genocide, the environment, psychology, politics, disability studies, African-American studies, Asian studies, Jewish studies, sociology.  Many of these films were shown, and won prizes, at prestigious international film festivals.  




More about all our streaming collections... 

Posted Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 10:39am

1984 book cover image

1984 was published seventy years ago. Since then, George Orwell’s warning about a totalitarian future has been praised and condemned; it has been required reading and banned. In recognition of Banned Books Week, the library offers a special program about this controversial book in the library classroom. 

Thursday, September 26, 1:40 to 3 pm.

Posted Monday, September 23, 2019 - 12:25pm

Photo of library computer with Windows 10

Over the summer, our IT Academic Applications Director and our technical team of college assistants worked incredibly hard and quickly to replace all the Library’s computer hardware updating our operating systems to the newer and faster Windows 10. We hope you notice the difference when you use our computers this fall semester. As always we welcome your feedback and questions.

Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 4:07pm

Three books covers

Recommended reading, selected by John Jay librarians.

Susan Opotow and Zachary Baron Shemtob, New York after 9/11. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

Available at John Jay at Stacks HV6432.7.N485 2018

For those of us here on that horrific day, 9/11 is still very much present. But it has been almost 20 years. Susan Opotow (Professor of Sociology at John Jay) and Zachary Baron Shemtob have put together a collection of essays analyzing how memory becomes history. Of particular interest are contributions by architect Daniel Libeskind on his thinking behind the master plan for Ground Zero, and Michael Arad on his design for the memorial. Other chapters discuss the long term health impacts, surveillance of Muslims, and the 9/11 Museum.This volume gives historians, urbanists, and New Yorkers much to consider, as many of the issues the editors raise remain controversial and in play.  Jeffrey A. Kroessler

Benjamin Dreyer, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style. New York: Random House, 2019.

Available to borrow from several CUNY libraries. Place a request through OneSearch.

If you’re looking to improve your writing or answer and re-answer those perennial questions about em dashes and proper pluralizing, this book serves as a style guide that can sit on the shelf right alongside your Fowler’s and Strunk & White. The difference with Dreyer’s is that it’s also an entertaining read, even if you’re not a confirmed grammar geek who read every page like it’s a cliffhanger as I did. As one who eschews the serial (a.k.a. Oxford) comma, I was deemed a godless savage by the author 24 pages in. But that did not diminish my newfound devotion to Dreyer who insists that sentences can begin with “but.” This is a language lover’s book and a witty, authoritative reference rolled into one. Kathleen Collins

Tim Maughan, Infinite Detail. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019.

Available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats from NYPL. Not yet available to borrow through CUNY libraries.

Maughan’s novel takes place in the near future and less-near future, before and after a cataclysmic event that “eats the Internet,” leaving all networked devices unusable. Several storylines intersect in this ominous meditation on how heavily modern life depends on functional networks and software, and how precarious this situation may be. Part of the story fixates on the logistical infrastructure of the global economy, a fictional extension of Maughan’s tech journalism, including his 2015 BBC story, “The Invisible Network That Keeps the World Running,” about his time aboard a container ship. If, like me, you enjoy dystopian fiction, infrastructure studies, and alarmist takes on the “Internet of things,” you will find Infinite Detail to be a pageturner. Robin Davis

More from the Spring 2019 newsletter

Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 5:29pm

Microfilm reel

Selected transcripts from the Lloyd Sealy Library’s trial transcripts collection have been digitized from microfilm. The full collection consists of the verbatim typewritten proceedings of 3,326 court cases, held in various courts of New York County, which included Manhattan and the Bronx until 1914. Over 150 of these trial transcripts were digitized as part of the Library's 2007 “Crime in New York 1850-1950” digital project, which also published a digital index that offers searching and browsing by defendants, judges, attorneys, and charges.

Grainy page

First page of People of the State of New York v Augusta Crisanti (Trial #1063), one of the newly-digitized trial transcripts

This spring, with funding from the Library and several researchers, a further 483 trial transcripts were digitized. The Library is currently processing them to be made available in the Digital Collections. Aminata Bangura, Ellen Belcher, Kathleen Collins, Omar Rivera, and Ellen Sexton have begun collating the digitized materials. Robin Davis and Sajan Ravindran set up a metadata migration for these materials. Tania Colmant-Donabedian provided researcher support.

Robin Davis

More from the Spring 2019 newsletter

Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 5:22pm

New in the Digital Collections

We’ve recently digitized the Fuld Collection, which consists of 57 photographs of police officers modeling their uniforms as well as some photos of police accessories. Each photograph is identified on the back with its country name. Many of these countries are identified by their colonial names. Possibly these uniforms are of colonial troops. A few dates on the back of the photos refer to the 1930s. These photographs were perhaps collected through connections made during Dr. Fuld's research for his dissertation, which was later published as Police Administration: A Critical Study of Police Organizations in the United States and Abroad, available to check out from the Stacks at call number HV7935 .F7 1971.

Hover for image titles. Click to see hi-res photos on our Digital Collections site.

Chinese man in white uniform and hat Large man in uniform with gun on city street

Man in uniform with white hat and shirt, directing traffic Man in uniform with long cloak

Two men in uniform with high riding boots Man in uniform with fez and sash

Dr. Leonhard Felix Fuld was the author of several works on public administration, police administration, and civil service. He was educated at Columbia University and taught at Baruch College, among other institutions. His philanthropy primarily benefitted many institutions providing education for nurses. Dr. Fuld lived with his sister, Florentine, at 130 East 110th Street until her death in 1953, after which he lived in Trenton on Fuld Street. He helped establish training academies for the New York City, Rochester, and Washington police forces. He established the Cities Service School for Security Salesman as well as teaching in at Baruch School of Business and Public Administration (at that time part of City College of New York). Fuld’s fortune was said to come from Harlem real estate and the stock market. In 1958, the Leonhard Felix Fuld Investment Foundation portfolio was created, consisting of one share of stock from every company sold on the New York Stock Exchange. Upon his death, this investment portfolio was given to the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, allowing students to attend stockholder’s meetings and obtain financial reports.

From the finding aid prepared by Ellen Belcher, Special Collections Librarian

More from the Spring 2019 newsletter

Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 5:18pm