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

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

Under construction, reopening fall 2018. Overlaid on photo of Reserve Lab.

The Lloyd Sealy Library's Reserve Lab will be closed from July 30 through August 26, 2018, as it undergoes expansion and renovation work. 

The Reserve Lab will reopen for the Fall 2018 semester with additional seating and space for students. 

In the meantime, students can use the computers, printers, and scanners on the Library's upper level. To consult the Reserve Desk for textbooks and other materials on reserve, see the Circulation Desk (front desk). 


Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 3:23pm

In the wake of several of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, HeinOnLine, a legal database of both historical and current legal content, has introduced a new collection—Gun Control and Legislation in America—bringing together more than 500 titles dealing with gun control issues.

The 2nd Amendment

Included are periodicals, federal legislative histories, congressional hearings, reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Supreme Court briefs, an extensive bibliography, and a selection of external resources to further research on this subject.

Use this new database to explore the many issues related to gun control including:

Browse Gun Control and Legislation in America now »

If you have questions or feedback, please send an email to marichards@jjay.cuny.edu.

Image source

Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 - 4:51pm

LexisNexis Academic has migrated to a new platform called Nexis Uni as of January 2019. Select Nexis Uni (LexisNexis) on our dropdown menu of popular databases or search our list of  databases by title.

Screenshot of Nexis Uni

Use one of the links below to learn more about the new interface.

Top 10 Nexis Uni Features to Explore (pdf)

Nexis Uni Search FAQ (pdf)

How to Search from the Home Page (YouTube)

How to Use the Advanced Search Form (YouTube)

How to Select Sources and Create Permalinks (YouTube)

How to Annotate and Share Documents (YouTube)

Navigating Your Profile Settings (YouTube)

If you have questions or feedback please contact our electronic resources librarian at marichards@jjay.cuny.edu.

Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 5:17pm

Recommended reading

Sharp book coverSharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (2018) is not a collection of truncated biographies of celebrated writers Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Lillian Hellman, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm. It’s a skillful and compulsively readable narrative of these women in relief, set against the often bumpy terrain of their time and their relationship to feminism and to each other. Dean observes elements of and relates deep-dive tales of these writers’ careers that are not written about elsewhere, at least not with such rich context. These are not odes or hagiographies, but honest portraits that cleverly reveal the breadth of the iconoclasm and humanity of the women. Rather than deliver a discrete set of linear narratives, Dean discovers surprising and telling ways their paths parallel and cross. Kathleen Collins


Gospel of Trees book cover Educated book coverTara Westover’s Educated (2018) and Apricot Irving’s The Gospel of Trees (2018) are two recent coming of age memoirs that have received a lot of critical praise. Set worlds apart—in the mountains of Idaho and in Haiti, respectively—they both feature strong-minded young women who grow up in the shadow of their charismatic fathers’ beliefs. Although Westover’s and Irving’s narratives are about leaving the father behind, they also touch on the complexity of familial love and the many transgressions it withstands. Westover’s trajectory from a scrap metal junkyard to a Cambridge Ph.D. illustrates the power of education, or learning how—not what—to think, as she puts it. Irving’s nuanced reflection on her family’s missionary tenure in Haiti, on the other hand, confronts the enduring effects of colonization, as well as the power and race inequalities that persist in its aftermath. Marta Bladek


Horse Walks into a Bar book cover

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman.  A cocktail of  the stream of consciousness, jokes and tears in one glass. One evening of a stand-up comedy act by one man is described on almost 200 pages. Are you laughing at the man or with the man because he has no tears anymore? Did he plan this evening or is he improvising on the spot? This book is not a light reading although it is impossible to put it down until you read it all. Maria Kiriakova


Campus Rape Frenzy book coverKC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr., The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities (2017) [Stacks LB2345.3 .R37 J65 2017]. This book is filled with horror stories of male college students falsely accused of sexual assault and how campus disciplinary procedures condemned them despite inadequate or even exculpatory evidence. The authors trace the history of how Title IX came to be weaponized in the area of sexual relations between students, and offer many examples of how the process went awry. At the same time, they do not in any way minimize the reality of the crimes of rape and sexual assault. Jeffrey Kroessler


Animal Vegetable Miracle book coverBarbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2018) [Stacks S521.5 .A67 K56 2008]. Most of us can’t lead lives that allow us to commit to eating only locally-sourced food for a year as this family did. This book presents a new perspective on where our food comes from and offers small practical changes we can make to our diets and food shopping for a healthier planet and body. I particularly recommend the recipes for strawberry & rhubarb crisp and asparagus & mushroom bread pudding, both of which use ingredients that grow on the East Coast in April. All of the recipes and updates on the family are also available on the companion websiteEllen Belcher


Odyssey book coverAlthough reading The Odyssey might be a well-worn path for many, I nonetheless suggest reading Emily Wilson’s lively new translation (2017). What is so impressive about Wilson’s translation is her ability to use contemporary language in a way that is not distracting. The prose flows seamlessly, and Wilson’s skill as a translator shines clear. Highly recommended! Matt Murphy



Tell me a Mitzi book coverI have been reading Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal to my daughter for at least 8 years. Three stories about a family with two kids, their daily routines, illnesses, seeing a President, visiting the grandmother across town. That’s all  but is unbelievably charming.  Very New York stories that bring you comfort and never get boring. If it is all imagination or reality, you can decide by yourself. Or just look at Harriet Pincus illustrations and create your own mitzi. Maria Kiriakova

Exit West book coverExit West by Mohsin Hamid (2017) is the most moving novel I’ve read this year. A meditation on immigration and human relationships, the story considers the forces that push people to leave their homes—and the hardships and pleasures they endure in new lands. Hamid portrays his characters with great tenderness as they make difficult decisions. A wonderful, touching read. Call number: Stacks PS3558.A42169 E95 2017. Robin Davis


More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:35pm

Maria Kiriakova

By the time you read this, Spring will have arrived. It will have brought sunshine and flowers and the possibility of new beginnings. Thinking about new plans, the Library would like to start an ideas list for the “library of the future.” In the last decade, many innovations in the world of academic libraries have already come to fruition on our campus: easy remote online access to the millions of library resources (databases, ebooks, full-text journals); streaming videos; getting instant help from professional librarians through email and chat; the ability to search hundreds of databases at once through the Google-like OneSearch; inserting the library toolkit (along with an embedded librarian) into a Blackboard course... Just to name a few wonders. In the library’s physical world, the books are constantly updated and shifted; the lab is equipped with new computers and is open around the clock during finals period; scanners and print stations are available on both floors; countertops have been built and high stools added for laptop users; the classroom has been upgraded with new projection screens... The list goes on.

We would like to collect data on what faculty and staff would like to see in the library of the future. Let us know about what you have experienced yourself or read about other libraries around the country and the world. Please send your thoughts to us by email or to any of the librarians at the Sealy Library. 

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:26pm

Ellen Belcher & Matt Murphy

In addition to anxiously awaiting the opening of our new state-of-the-art Special Collections Room, we have been busy acquiring and cataloging some interesting items. Below is a selection of what we have acquired in the last year. All of these items are available to researchers by appointment in our current Special Collections Room. Please contact Ellen Belcher with any questions about these or anything in our Special Collections.

Woman police officer

At left: c. 1890s “Oh you policewoman….” Broadside-valentine with a caricature of a policewoman. A digital copy of this broadside will be uploaded to our Digital Collections.

Rare books and broadsides recently acquired

1889 (New York) Police Signal Telegraphs: The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, New York. This title is freely digitally available through SMU Libraries. This catalog offers the latest state-of-the-art (at the time) alarm and communication systems to police and private security firms. It also features the company’s offering in horse drawn police patrol wagons. 

1901 (New York) Volunteer prison work. A small pamphlet by Maud Ballington Booth, describing her efforts to help incarcerated men reenter society, specifically through the opening of “Hope Halls,” which acted as halfway houses. Apart from being a well-known prison reformer, Booth helped co-found Volunteers of America. 

Advertisement1905 (Philadelphia) Jacob Reed’s Sons Uniforms Police & Firemen. This catalog includes a variety of uniforms, badges, insignia, whistles, handcuffs, leggings, hats, helmets and nightsticks. This copy is marked with pencil marks, presumably made by an agency choosing uniforms and accessories for their force. (See image at right.)

1919 (Ottawa) Annual Report of the Canadian Criminal Identification Bureau to the Chief Commissioner of the Dominion Police. This report documents an initiative which began sharing of fingerprint records between police agencies in North America. 

1928 (Detroit) Annual report of the Detroit Police Department Women’s Division. It is interesting to note that Detroit was not represented in the meeting of the heads of the “women’s bureaus” in 1927. (See image below.)

1956 (Warwick, NY) New York Training School for Boys, Disciplinary Practices. A small pamphlet discusses ways to deal with behavioral problems of boys incarcerated at this reform school. Includes sections on “What a Boy Does Not Like” and “What a Boy Likes” with emphasis on confidence building and conflict resolution. 

Women posing for photo

(Above) “Heads of Women’s Bureaus Gather in Convention.” 12th Annual Convention of Policewomen, Cleveland, Ohio. Police Journal August 1927 p. 19. (Periodicals HV7551 .P57)


Book, The Black Traffic in White Girls

(Above) 1912 (Chicago) The Black Traffic in White Girls. White Slavery as Now Practiced in America, Including Detailed Descriptions of the Customs and Manners of the White Women Slaves and Wives of Asia, Turkey, Egypt, etc. This book is one of many cheap paperbacks on “White Slavery” marketed to a variety of readers. In its description of sex workers and sex trafficking in Chicago, it served both as a warning to parents of women who sought independent lives in the big city and as soft-core porn to those interested in specifics of sex work practices.


Prison print

(Above) 1823 (Paris) Les hermites en prison, ou, Consolations de Sainte-Pélagie A work by Etienne de Jouy (the pseudonym of Victor-Joseph-Etienne de Jouy) and Antoine Jay, both of whom served time in Paris’ Sainte-Pélagie prison. The work is chiefly a discussion of penology, but of note is a chapter on New York’s notorious Newgate prison, accompanied by this illustration depicting the prison.

Photo of carriage

(Above) 1880s? Photo of men posing in and on a horse-drawn carriage labeled “Hecker Bunch.” On August 1, 1883, The New York Times reported on a large fire which started and spread from the Hecker and Co. Flour Mill at 464 Water St. Perhaps this photo is related to that event? A fireman lays on top of the carriage.

Manuscript (archival) collections recently acquired

April 1833. A hand written account of Sing Sing Prison for the month of April 1833 signed by Dr. Robert Wiltse, warden, A. Graham, John Sing, commissioners, on May 18, 1833. 

1905-1913 Notebook of the Chief Marshal of Dover, N.H. Detailed notes on arrests and raids, mainly related to enforcing prohibition laws in New Hampshire. 

January 20, 1913. American Fire Apparatus, 1 Madison Ave. Estimate for installing fire escapes and fire fighting apparatus for Manitou Putnam Company, property owners of 17 East 74th Street. 

1931–1935 Joseph “Specs” Russell Papers. See Larry Sullivan's article in this newsletter with more information on this collection. 

1960–2000s Joyce ‘Rocky’ Flint Collection on Jeffrey Dahmer. Documents collected by Dr. Kathleen Fitzgerald as a result of her collaboration with Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother to write a book, which was never completed. 

Elizabeth Williams Collection of Courtroom Drawings. Additions to our existing collection of Elizabeth Williams’ courtroom art, many of which were on exhibit in the Shiva Gallery this past Fall. 

Aggie Whelan Kenny Collection of Courtroom Drawings. A new collection of courtroom drawings, many of which were on exhibit in the Shiva Gallery this past Fall. 

1960s–2004 Jeremy Travis Personal Papers. Papers collected during the career of Jeremy Travis at Yale, NYU, NYPD, NIJ, DOJ, Urban Institute, and under Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chuck Schumer and Ed Koch, before he became president of John Jay College in August of 2004. 

1951–1960s Jack LaTorre Collection Ten boxes of files related to the NYPD investigation of the March 8, 1951 homicide of Arnold Schuster. 


More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:23pm

The numbers from July 2016 to June 2017

Marta Bladek

The Library gate count registered over 350,828 visits, an increase of 3.3% from the previous academic year.

The Library home page registered 1.3 million pageviews from 240,000 unique computers. Users came from 188 countries around the world. 

65% of users accessed the website from off-campus, a 7% increase from previous year.

Students sitting at group study tableStudents made great use of the Library’s five group study rooms. There were 1,820 group study room reservations. The highest demand coincided with midterms and finals.

John Jay librarians answered over 8,800 reference questions at the reference desk, over the phone, by email and chat. These one-on-one interactions added up to over 700 hours, or the equivalent of 30 days, of answering queries.

Librarians taught 188 full-period instruction sessions and visited 45 classes for shorter presentations. ENG 101 accounted for the majority of the instruction sessions.

John Jay faculty, students, and staff downloaded over 812,000 journal articles provided by the Library databases. Approximately 73% of those articles were downloaded by John Jay students and faculty working from home. 

eReserves featured 497 active course pages, containing 2,664 items. eReserve course pages were viewed 42,560 times, with 73,152 individual document hits.

As of June 2017, there were 1,264 users registered with Interlibrary Loan. Faculty accounted for 33% and graduate students for 38% of those who request items from other libraries. (Staff and undergraduate students account for the remaining 28% of ILL users.) The ILL department processed 1,525 requests, which marked an increase of almost 10% in comparison to the previous year. 

32 researchers consulted the Library’s Special Collections, visiting the Library a total of 72 times. The Lloyd Sealy Library and Special Collections staff were acknowledged in four book-length publications whose authors worked extensively with our collections.

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

See more facts, stats, and figures »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:03pm

Wall made of rocks

Maria Kiriakova

One would think that with the rise of globalization the borders between countries would move into the sphere of imagination. But in recent years, the topic of borders and walls has become one of the most debated all over the world. Below is just a short list of books from the collections of the Lloyd Sealy Library on the topic of border studies. There are many more materials available in our databases in the form of other books, articles from scholarly and popular sources, as well as videos and movies. Do a search in the online discovery tool OneSearch using such words as border or boundaries or border patrol or border wall, etc.

  • Backmann, R., & Kaiser, A. (2010). A Wall in Palestine. New York: Picador. 
    • Stacks DS 119.65. B3313 2010
  • Buckley, W. F. (2004). The Fall of the Berlin Wall. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
    • Stacks DD 881. B797 2004
  • Elizondo Griest, S. (2017). All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. borderland. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 
    • Stacks F 395. M5 E45 2017
  • Hensel, J. (2004). After the Wall: Confessions from an East German childhood and the life that came next. New York: Public Affairs. 
    • Stacks HQ 799.G3 H45613 2004
  • Kassabova, K. (2017). Border: A journey to the edge of Europe. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press.
    • Stacks DR 50.7. K37 2017
  • Lew-Williams, B. (2018). The Chinese must go: Violence, exclusion, and the making of the alien in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    • Stacks E184.C5 L564 2018
  • Loyd, J. M., Mitchelson, M., & Burridge, A. (2012). Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, borders, and global crisis. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
  • Maril, R. L. (2011). The Fence: National security, public safety, and illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press.
    • Stacks JV 6565. M37 2001
  • Rael, R., & Cruz, T. (2017). Borderwall As Architecture: A manifesto to the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 
    • Stacks F787. R33 2017
  • Rieber, A. J. (2014). The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the rise of the early modern empires to the end of the First World War. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    • Stacks DS 5. R54 2014
  • Spyrou, S., & Christou, M. (2014). Children and Borders. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wastl-Walter, D. (2011). The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies. Farnham: Taylor and Francis.

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 5:57pm

Ellen Sexton

The John Jay community is making good use of our streaming media platforms—though because we only collect aggregated data, we don’t know who is watching, or why. We assume that the most watched titles are being assigned as class viewing. In general, usage peaks during the Spring and Fall semesters, and drops off during January intercession and the summer. The most watched videos are documentaries. Below is some data from our three most popular platforms. 

Graph of usage, up to 700 films

Alexander Street: includes American History in Video; Counseling and Therapy in Video; Criminal Justice and Public Safety in Video; Ethnographic Video Online; Human Rights Studies Online; Psychological Experiments Online; and the PBS Video Collection.


Films on demand graphs, 2014-2017

Films on Demand: Over 10,000 documentaries, dramas, and newsreels from the world


Graph of Kanopy usage, up to 200 films

Kanopy: Currently streaming about 200 documentaries, feature films and instructional films to the John Jay community.

(Please note as of 4/19/2018, for financial reasons, we have had to cease our PDA model and are no longer able to offer our users the ability to choose and add more videos to our Kanopy collection themselves.  Our access is currently restricted to films users have already viewed sufficient times to have triggered licenses. Faculty wishing to request special access to specific titles should contact the media librarian Ellen Sexton. Please note that New York Public Library provides access to a much larger collection.)


Top 12 videos from each platform for the calendar year 2017

Platforms: Alexander Street, Kanopy, Films On Demand.


Collection / distributor 



The Disappearing Male: Environmental Threats to Human Reproduction

TVF International


Films on Demand

Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and the Search for Identity

Illumination Films


Films on Demand

The Sociology of Crime and Deviance

Online Classroom Ltd.


Films on Demand

All About Food Additives

Video Education America (VEA)


Films on Demand

The Abused Woman: A Survivor Therapy Approach

Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume 1


Alex St

Mississippi Cold Case: Solving a Murder from the Civil Rights Era

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.


Films on Demand

The Official Story

Janus Films (The Criterion Collection)




Cambridge Educational


Films on Demand

Interview with a Serial Killer

Digital Right Group Limited


Films on Demand

Eyewitness: Who Did It?

Open University


Films on Demand

Voltaire: A Concise Biography

Academy Media


Films on Demand

Heaven: How Five Religions See It

Crew Neck Production


Films on Demand

Taboo: Child Rearing

National Geographic Digital Media


Films on Demand

The Toxins Return: How Industrial Poisons Travel the Globe

Journeyman Pictures


Films on Demand

Multicultural Counseling/Therapy: Culturally Appropriate Intervention Strategies

Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume 1


Alex St

Understanding Group Psychotherapy: Outpatients, Part 1

Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume 1


Alex St

Understanding Group Psychotherapy: Outpatients, Part 2

Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume 1


Alex St

My Brooklyn

New Day Films



Cultural Competence in the Helping Professions

Counseling and Therapy in Video, Volume 1


Alex St

Handel: Water Music

The Great Courses



See our Media Guide for more about the Library’s collections of documentaries, feature films, training films, and more, in streaming and DVD formats.  Please contact the librarian responsible for media, Ellen Sexton, with questions, comments, acquisition suggestions.

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 5:51pm

Maureen Richards

Screenshot of World Scholar database

With the introduction of powerful library resource discovery tools like CUNY’s OneSearch—which allows you to access the content in a majority (but not all) of the library’s databases through a single platform—it is getting harder to make the case for searching library databases one at a time. However, there are exceptions, and World Scholar: Latin America & the Caribbean is among them. (So is Crime, Punishment and Popular Culture, also featured in this newsletter.) These databases are the result of extensive collaborations among scholars, researchers and archivists, seeking ways to make unique archival collections available to a larger audience. 

World Scholar: Latin America & the Caribbean aims to be comprehensive in scope by covering the politics, economics, culture, environment, and international affairs of this region.  Although keyword searching is possible, the best first step is to get familiar with the way this database is organized by browsing through its three main categories: topics, statistics, and historical collections. It covers about 350 topics that are organized within 11 categories ranging from agriculture to war and diplomacy. You will also find a myriad of statistics about this region, including those that focus on the environment, health, and infrastructure. The archival content, though not as expansive, includes 34 historical collections with documents dating from the 15th through the 20th century. The content of the database is overseen by an Advisory Board of academics (including Peter Manuel, a professor of ethnomusicology here at John Jay, who serves as a consultant).

The easiest way to take advantage of the strength of this database is to select one of the topics from the list. Similar to the entries you would find in an encyclopedia, the topics provide a brief overview, followed by secondary sources (like academic journals, reference materials, and news, including news feeds), related archival materials from the historical collections (including monographs, original manuscripts, signed letters, expedition records, maps, and diaries), and any relevant statistics. 

For example, if you select “Judiciary in Latin America” from the topics list, after reading a brief overview, you get instant access to a panoply of secondary sources, a news feed, and statistics on how many women serve as judges in Latin American courts. You can also see quickly that there are 17 historical monographs from the archival materials related to this topic.  In addition, if any of these documents are in unfamiliar language, you can simply click on “translate” to have it instantly translated. (But note that these automated translations may not make for the smoothest reading.)

Why use this database?

Use the World Scholar database if you are looking for a blend of secondary and archival sources relating to Latin America and the Caribbean region. It is particularly appropriate for undergraduates who may be unfamiliar with how to gather the different types of sources used in the research process. For more library resources on Latin America and Latina/o Studies see the library’s LLS research guide or ask a librarian.

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 5:43pm