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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

By Karen Okamoto

grant forward screen shot

GrantForward is an extensive database of funding opportunities from over 9000 sponsors including government, foundations, academic institutions and corporations. The Library’s one year subscription to GrantForward provided by CUNY Central, valid until the end of 2017, allows you to search for opportunities and save them in a personal account or profile. New users must use their John Jay email address to register for a free institutional account. By registering for an account, you can save your grant searches and create alerts for new funding opportunities. Once you create your profile, GrantForward will suggest funding sources that match your areas of research. You can manually enter your research areas into your profile or you can upload a CV or list a webpage containing your publications and GrantForward will automatically generate a list of recommended funding opportunities. As an added social media-type feature, you can conduct a profile search to find other researchers registered with GrantForward who share similar research interests.

grant forward distribution: mostly federal and state funding, followed by foundation

GrantForward provides advanced search filters to help narrow your results, and offers tools to manage and organize your findings. Advanced search filters include deadlines for grants, grant type (e.g., training or research purposes), and funding amounts. Funding information can be downloaded onto your computer, shared with others, and saved in your GrantForward account which neatly organizes your saved grants according to deadlines.

For instructional tutorials and webinar recordings on how to use this database, visit GrantForward’s YouTube page. Be sure to use GrantForward before the trial expires at the end of 2017.

Karen Okamoto

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:32pm

By Maureen Richards

In academia, you get access to many­—often hundreds—of scholarly databases. They seem to be free because they are free to you. Most often, they are not. The academy pays for them. Outside of academia, what are your options? Are you limited to open web resources?

For John Jay students and faculty, and everyone else who lives, works or attends school in New York City, you can also get access to scholarly and other types of databases through the New York Public Library (NYPL), the world’s largest public library system. Currently, the NYPL provides access to over 800 databases.

NYPL has four scholarly research centers and almost 100 neighborhood branches. Everyone at John Jay is eligible for, and should consider obtaining, a NYPL card. For those who prefer to access information 24/7, the vast majority of the NYPL databases are now available remotely. (John Jay community members may also have access to the Brooklyn and Queens public library systems, which also offer remote database access.)

As shown in the graphs below, the majority (322) of the databases that NYPL lists for researchers are freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. An additional 240 online databases are proprietary and only available to NYPL library card holders, bringing the total number of databases available offsite and online to 568!

all NYPL electronic databases: a third available remotely with library card, a third available on-site, and a third freely available online

NYPL databases available from home with library card: most are newspapers

The NYPL databases provide content that is as diverse as New York City, covering a full range of ages and interests. In addition to the well known NYPL research centers, an academic user with a NYPL library card can now get remote access to a broad range of many academic sources including Academic Search Premier, Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, the Economist Historical Archive, Literature Resource Center, Project Muse, the full archive of the New Yorker, a plethora of reference titles from Oxford and other publishers including the Oxford English Dictionary, among many other academic titles.

If you are interested in improving your technical, business and creative skills, that same library card gets you remote access to and to Mango Languages, the easy-to-use foreign language database. Flipster, the popular magazine database, is available too—and from home—provided you have a NYPL library card.

Next time you think about library resources, think about public libraries, too. If our goal is to encourage lifelong learning, we should be doing whatever we can to deepen connections to public library resources that will be available for a lifetime.


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:29pm

From the collections development corner • By Maria Kiriakova

Librarians are known for their trait to organize information by any imaginable way: call numbers, alphabetical and subject lists, electronic and print format, reference and reserve, and many more.

Below is a small bag of mixed resources (monographic and video) recently acquired by the Lloyd G. Sealy Library on the topic of Latina/Latinos (Latinx).

Faculty highlights

book coverMorín, J. (Ed.). (2016). Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood. Reserve HV 6791. L38 2016.

This encyclopedia, edited by José Luis Morín, was selected by Library Journal as one of the Best Reference Titles of 2016. At John Jay, Professor Morín is the Coordinator of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies Major and Minor and is the Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program.

book coverOboler, S. & González, D. (Eds.). (2015). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reserve E184 .S75 O969 2015.

The Library’s copy of this encyclopedia is a gift from Professor Suzanne Oboler, Professor of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay. She is Founding Editor of the academic journal Latino Studies (2002-2012).


Acosta, F. & Ramos, H. (2016). Latino Young Men and Boys In Search of Justice: Testimonies. Houston,TX: Arte Public Press. Ebook.

Barrington, R. (2015). Sonia Sotomayor: The Supreme Court’s First Hispanic Justice. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing. Ebook.

Behnken, B. (Ed.). (2016). Civil Rights and Beyond: African/American and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.

Stacks E 185.61. C5916 2016

Belton, D. & Fritz, S. (2014). The Latino Americans Collection: New Latinos [6 films]. PBS. Kanopy streaming video.

Biscupic, J. (2014). Breaking In: The Rise of Sonya Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Stacks KF 8745. S67 B57 2014

Bratina, M. (2013). Acculturation and Attitudes Toward Violence Among Latinos. El Paso: LFB Scholarly Publishing. Ebook.

Brotherton, D. (2004). The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang. New York: Columbia University Press. Reserve and Stacks HV 6439. U7 N432 2004

Caminero-Santangelo, M. (2016). Documenting the Undocumented: Latino/a Narratives and Social Justice in the Era of Operation Gatekeeper. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Ebook.

Delgado. R., Perea J. & Stefancic, J. (Eds.). (2008). Latinos and the Law: Cases and Materials. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West. Reference Law KF4757. 5. L 38 D45 2008

Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (Eds.). (2011). The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, 2nd ed. New York: New York University Press. Reserve E 184. S75 L355 2011

Flores, E. (2013). God’s Gangs: Barrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery. New York University Press. Ebook.

Flores, J. (2016). Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Stacks HV 6046. F55 2016

Freeman, M. & Martinez, M. (Eds.). (2015). College Completion for Latino/a Students: Institutional and System Approaches. San Francisco: Josey-Bass. Stacks LB 2300. N4 no.172

Garland, S. (2009). Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation, And Youth Violence Are Changing America’s Suburbs. New York: Nation Books. Stacks HV 6439. U7 G374 2009 and ebook.

Glynn, D. (2013). In The Shadows. Broadbandaid Films. Streaming video.

Hagedorn, J. (2015). The In$ane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan by Chicago Gangs to Create a Spanish Mafia. University of Chicago Press. Stacks HV 6439. U7 C355 2015

Lusk, M., Staudt, K. & Moya, E. (Eds.). (2012). Social Justice in the U.S.- Mexico Border Region. New York: Springer. Ebook.

Malave, I. (2015). Latino Stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers. New York: The New Press. Stacks E 184. S75 M363 2015

Morales, E. & Rivera, L. (2013). Whose Barrio? The Gentrification of East Harlem. Kanopy streaming video and Reserve DVD-1025.

Morín, J. (2016). Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood. Reserve HV 6791. L38 2016.

Morín, J. (2009). Latino/a Rights and Justice in the United States: Perspectives and Approaches, 2nd ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Reserve E 184. S75 M675 2009

Oboler, S. (Ed.). (2009). Behind Bars: Latino/a and Prison in the United States. Stacks HV 9471. B394 2009

Perin, M. (2005, c1995). Hispanic Americans: One or Many Cultures? New York: Films Media Group. Streaming video

Rios, V. (2011). Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York University Press. Reserve HV 7254. A7 O25 2011

Rivera, G. (2009). His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S. Stacks JV 6475. R58 2009

Rodriguez, R. (2008). Racism and God-talk: A Latino/a Perspective. New York: New York University Press. Ebook.

Salinas, L. (2015). U.S. Latinos and Criminal Justice. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. Stacks KF 4757.5.L38 S35 2015 and ebook.

Sotomayor, S. (2014). My Beloved World. New York: Vintage Books. Reserve and Stacks KF8745 .S67 A3 2014

Urbina, M. (2012). Hispanics in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: The New American Demography. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Reserve KF 4757.5.L38 U73 2012

Urbina, M. (2015). Latino Police Officers in the United States: An Examination of Emerging Trends and Issues. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Stacks HV 7936.C83 U73 2015


This list is not comprehensive. Please consult reference librarians for suggestions on finding more books and video resources and helpful hints on finding scholarly articles in our full-text bibliographic databases.

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:22pm

By Ellen Sexton

With its convenience and the ability to view from anywhere, anytime, streaming media is our preferred format for acquiring video content. As it isn’t always possible for us to get the content we want in that format, we still maintain a DVD collection. All our DVDs are cataloged and discoverable through OneSearch on the Library homepage, and may be shown in class or viewed in the Library by individuals or small groups. Take a short walk to the Library Reserve desk and you can pick up one of our thousands of DVDs.

Babel, Brooklyn Babylon, and Glengarry GlenrossDVDS recently added to the Library collections




Call number

2001: A space odyssey




A clockwork orange




Adanggaman [17th c. West African wars & slavery]




An unreal dream: The Michael Morton story. [Innocence Project contests a wrongful murder conviction]








Black robe [17th c. Jesuit missionaries and Hurons]




Bling: A planet rock




Blow [1970s cocaine smuggler & dealer George Jung]




Brooklyn Babylon [Crown Heights romance across race and religion]




Charlie Wilson’s war




Cities of light : The rise and fall of Islamic Spain












Do not resist [police militarization; also available in streaming format]








Glengarry Glen Ross




La historia official [adoption and corruption in Argentina]




Marathon monks




Seven songs for a long life [hospice patients]








The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the revolution


Nelson Jr.


The war of the world: A new history of the 20th century




The witness (Kitty Genovese murder)








See also: Newly licensed streaming documentaries


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:08pm

By Jeffrey Kroessler

When given the option of choosing their own topic, most students select a controversy of the moment. (As a historian I hope in vain to encounter students with historical topics, but that is a discussion for another day.) More often than not, their search begins, and ends, with Google. Granted, they will find a great deal of information, but is it the information that they need?

A better place to start is the Library’s homepage, where students can access a set of databases specifically addressing current events. Under Databases by Subject, there is a link to “Current Events.” The next question is, which one?

A good starting point is CQ Researcher. From obesity to immigration to poverty to affirmative action, students will find reports illuminating the issue. Each report includes background information, a chronology, maps and graphs, and a bibliography. There is also a Pro/Con feature with experts or advocates on either side of a question offering their view. For instance, an October 2010 report titled “Preventing Obesity” asks the question: Should soda be excluded from the products that food stamp users can buy?

A second database found under Current Events is Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Searching for obesity brings up a range of opinion pieces, such as “Unhealthy foods should not be marketed to children.” Here, students have the chance to read pieces with a particular point of view and then evaluate the information used by the author and the opinion offered.

A third resource is Ethnic Newswatch, a collection of news sources from the minority and ethnic press. How is the question of childhood obesity covered in these sources, and what anecdotes can the student researcher use to support his or her own argument?

These sources and more are conveniently grouped together, but the student needs to know first that this is available, and second how to get there. The first step, therefore, is for the classroom instructor to direct students to these resources. Time invested here will pay great dividends when the final papers are turned in.

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:03pm

map of where content has been downloaded (mostly in US and Europe, but international)

CUNY’s institutional repository reached an impressive milestone in March, recording a half million content downloads, accumulated during its first two years of existence. Publications posted on CAW by John Jay’s faculty were downloaded 13,440 times, mostly by users within the United States, but also overseas, as the map above shows.

The first graduate students from John Jay to deposit their theses in CAW were Jillian M. Wetzel and Sannia K. Tauqeer. Sannia’s thesis on touch/trace DNA transfer in the NYC subways has already reached readers in ten different countries, including some in government agencies in Europe and the U.S. The Bundesamt fuer Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, the Direction Interministerielle des Systemes D’Information et de Communication de L Etat (Disic), and a Ministere de l’Interieur have all noted Sannia’s work.

The work of John Jay’s faculty and graduate students can be seen at

By Ellen Sexton

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:00pm

By Marta Bladek

For the past few years, the Library’s APA/MLA Citation Tools workshop has been the most popular of our Community Hour workshops. We offer multiple sessions each semester, increasing the frequency during midterms and finals. Similarly, our online APA/MLA citation guides continue to receive thousands of views each term.

While the Writing Center offers one-on-one assistance with formatting references, the Library instructs students on the use of citation tools available through many of our databases. We teach students how to get in the habit of documenting sources while they are gathering information for their research assignments. Rather than tackling citations at the very last—and very rushed—part of their research, students can now easily start collecting and storing citations as they find their sources.

These ever more popular citation tools change and get better all the time, but it is still necessary to compare a database-generated reference to the formatting specified in the appropriate style handbook. The following are just three of the many different tools you may introduce to your students.

Google Scholar

All works listed in Google Scholar come with a citation. All you have to do is click on Cite and choose, then copy and paste, your documentation style.

Cite button beneath article's search result in Google Scholar. Choice of style

EBSCO Databases

All of the EBSCO databases (including Academic Search Complete, Criminal Justice Abstracts, and PsycINFO) now feature the Cite option. It provides citations in many popular styles.

Cite button under Tools in Ebsco database; choice of citation style in popup window

ProQuest Databases

All the ProQuest databases (including ProQuest Social Sciences Premium and Criminal Justice Periodicals Index) also offer a citation tool.

Cite button in grey box with email option. Popup of citation style choice

As we remind students, these citation tools are helpful and make research more efficient. However, they are not perfect and the citations are not always completely accurate. While we encourage working with these database-generated citations, we also emphasize that all the citations need to be checked against the appropriate style handbooks.


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:55pm

Four students posing in front of a sign that says 16:55 (time left in challenge)

Since 2013, the Library has co-organized an annual murder mystery-themed scavenger hunt for first-year, transfer, and Summer Bridge students with Student Academic Success Programs (SASP). This year, the challenge evolved into “Escape the Library!”, a group competition inspired by the popular escape-the-room games. Led by a librarian and a Peer Success Coach, student teams solve a mystery using library resources, including real historical documents. This spring’s cohort of 71 mystery solvers explored every corner of the Library and learned how to find information in the catalog and two databases.

The premise: a ghost has trapped everyone in the Library and won’t let anyone leave until they find out where his killer hid from the police. Armed with the ghost’s name and the date of his murder in 1921, students first consult the New York Times archives for an article about the (real) murder. From there, each clue leads to another clue by way of a new library skill, such as locating a book in the stacks. Then students scurry to find the pieces of the murder trial transcript hidden throughout the Library. Finally, each team must construct a properly-formatted APA citation to find a hidden message that reveals where the killer was hiding.

It took most teams the full 45 minutes to finish the challenge, though one team (pictured) completed everything in under 30 minutes. The prize, a free lunch in the cafeteria, so motivated some teams that they had to be (gently) reminded not to sprint in the Library!

Feedback from students has been very positive across the board. The only critique? “Make it more difficult!”

(Photo: Peer Success Coach Kelsey B. led Miranda B., Alondra H., and Aaron P. to win in record time. Printed with permission.)


By Robin Davis

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:49pm

one book one new york

What if everyone in New York City read the same book at the same time?

That’s the concept behind One Book, One New York, a program organized by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. New Yorkers cast their votes in February to choose which book they wanted to read, and the results are in! This spring, New York City will read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award-winner for fiction.

Readings, panels, and other public events related to Americanah are scheduled from March until June. The One Book program also provides a discussion guide for book clubs (and classes), as well as a free audiobook download. See for all events and program information.

One Book programs have been popular in many cities, here and abroad, as a way to connect community members through a common text. One Book, One New York is the first such event organized for New York City—and of course, being held in the Big Apple, it is now the largest community reading program ever organized.

About Americanah: “Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland” (publisher’s description).

Americanah is available in the John Jay Library at Stacks PR9387.9 .A34354 A72 2014 and as an ebook (1 user limit).

Other #OneBookNY contenders:

  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty, available in the John Jay Library at Stacks PS3552 .E19 S45 2015
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available in the John Jay Library at Stacks E185.615 .C6335 2015
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, available in the John Jay Library at Stacks PS3537 .M2895 T7 2005 or ...1982
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, available in the John Jay Library at Stacks PS3554 .I259 B75 2007


By Robin Davis

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:45pm

By Bonnie Nelson

The Library’s third triennial survey of “in-Library use” confirms it: Lloyd Sealy Library users are a serious group.

  • 55.5% come to the Library to study or work individually
  • 46.7% come to use a library computer for academic/course work

They multitask:

  • 398 library users engaged in 1,118 separate tasks

They visit frequently:

  • 70% come to the Library at least twice a week
  • 89% come at least weekly

And they want to be heard:

  • 59% of those responding took the time to write a comment

The results from the survey, answered by 406 individuals who came to the Lloyd Sealy Library from Thursday, November 15, 2016, to Saturday, November 19, 2016, were very similar to the surveys conducted in 2010 and 2013. If anything, fewer students engaged in non-academic activities such as “used a library computer for fun/to shop” (only 7% in 2016 vs. 11% in 2013). Read the full report, or scroll down for a summary.


What did you do in the Library today?

What did you do in the librar today? Most studied or worked individually

They consider almost all library services to be important to them. On a scale of 1–5, 3.99 was the lowest average importance rating, given to “Tools to facilitate group work.” And they give the Library very high scores on all services. “Quality of databases/electronic resources” was the highest rated (4.47 out of 5) while the lowest rating was given to “Noise level” (3.93).

To find out what was really on students’ minds, though, it is necessary to read their comments. Two hundred forty-one people wrote an answer to the question, “What can we do to make this library better for you?” They made 314 suggestions—all of which were read and categorized. A full 30% of the comments had to do with computer issues and, overwhelmingly, they wanted more: more computers, more access to software on computers, more printers.

The second major thread in the comments was the need for more electrical outlets—11.5% of respondents to this question complained about the lack of outlets. This is despite the fact that, as a result of the 2013 survey, we rearranged furniture to make carrels closer to existing outlets, added a commercial charging table, built a 12-seat charging bar, and purchased and deployed over 20 small charging hubs.

But 21% of the comments were equally divided between the desire for more space—especially space to study individually—and a concern about noise. There is no doubt that our students want, need, and deserve a quiet place to study.

Compared to the 2013 survey, complaints about staff in the comments were down (only 3% of comments vs. 9% in 2013) and general compliments (“the library’s great!”) were up (12% vs. 8% in 2013). We had identified overcrowding and understaffing during the recently-introduced Community Hour as a factor in the 2013 complaints and took steps to improve staffing. These seem to be working.

Our final question this year was, “If there were to be a major library renovation, what would you like to see in a changed library?” Two hundred twenty-four of our users ventured an opinion. Not surprisingly, the answers mirrored those from the previous question: more quiet study rooms, more outlets, more computers and software. But there was also a desire for a better-looking, more comfortable library with more amenities: new furniture, better lighting, couches, more rooms for group study, more rooms for individual study, a place to eat, better ventilation, a “more modern feel.” Some commenters reminded us of other needs: “sleeping room,” “more green real plants,” “puppy room for stress, college students need this.”

As a result of this most recent survey, we have already added MS Office to more computers in the Library Reference area and have added a new mobile print station downstairs. We have ordered more charging hubs and are searching for places near outlets to deploy them. We are examining ways to increase student seating areas in parts of the Library where older runs of periodicals and law materials have been reliably replaced with online access.

How often do you visit this library in person? 46% say 2-3x per week

The best news, though, is that CUNY has committed resources to the development of a Master Plan for a complete renovation of the library, and this renovation is now a priority in the CUNY capital budget. Library faculty will be working with architects to come up with a plan that will meet the many student needs expressed in the In-Library surveys.

Read the full 2016 In-Library Use Report »


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:41pm