Library News Blog
The library now subscribes to this unique database for students and scholars of American History.
Use this database when you need background information, timelines, photographs, maps, points of view and a plethora of primary source documents on major issues and controversies in American History.
To start exploring now click here.
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 5:36pm
The Reserve Lab is now open until 11pm Mondays through Thursdays, thanks to your Student Council.
The Reserve Lab is located downstairs in the Library and offers computers (Mac & PC), printers, scanners, and study tables.
Some exceptions apply. See hours calendar.
Please note that the Reserve Desk, which circulates books on reserve, will be closed at the usual time.
Posted Monday, February 29, 2016 - 10:35am
This evening we'll be having our first walk-in clinic for graduate students. Come to the library classroom between 5-6pm for help getting started on that literature review. We'll be holding several more throughout the semester, so mark your calendars:
- Monday, Feb. 22, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Tuesday, March 15, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Wednesday, March 30, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Thursday, April 7, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Tuesday, April 12, 4:30-5:30 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Classroom
- Wednesday, April 20, 5-6 pm, Lloyd Sealy Library Conference Room
Do you need one-on-one help with your research project or assistance finding appropriate resources for an assignment? Would you like to improve your research skills? If so, then drop in and get the help you need just when you need it most. Contact Kathleen Collins with any questions about the clinics.
February 22, 2016
Posted Monday, February 22, 2016 - 1:13pm
The library has a new exhibit called L♥VE IN THE LIBRARY COLLECTI♥NS in which we feature a selection of books, e-books and special collections on the topic of L♥VE, broadly defined. Each book is accompanied by a QR Code so that you can find more information, or, in the case of e-books a path to download it to your device. Here's a selection of featured books:
Aristaenetus, Erotic letters. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Cayton, Andrew R. L Love in the time of revolution : transatlantic literary radicalism and historical change, 1793-1818. Stacks - PR878 .L69 C39 2013
Duhamel, Denise Blowout (available as an ebook through ebrary)
Echols, Damien. Yours for eternity : a love story on death row Stacks BF575 .L8 E365 2014
Hayes, Sharon. Sex, love and abuse; discourses on domestic violence and sexual assault (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Horstman, Judith. The Scientific American book of love, sex, and the brain: the neuroscience of how, when, why, and who we love. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Love in western film and television: lonely hearts and happy trails. (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Nehring, Daniel. Intimacies and cultural change : perspectives on contemporary Mexico. (available as an ebook through Ebrary)
Screening the dark side of love: from Euro-horror to American cinema (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Todd, Erica. Passionate love and popular cinema: Romance and film genre. (available as an ebook through Palgrave Connect)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 5:47pm
The library just started a trial to the database World Politics Review which runs through April 1, 2016.
This is a daily, online publication and resource on political and foreign policy matters with articles written by a network of more than 400 contributors from around the world. You can search this resource using the EBSCO platform or on the World Policy Institute website, by geographic area, personal name, author, publication name, date and publication type, among other qualifiers.
Please send your feedback to Maureen Richards, Electronic Resources LIbrarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - 5:16pm
The Reserve Lab (the downstairs computer lab in the Library) will be closed 9am–
12pm on Friday, January 15, 2016, for cleaning. Update: the Reserve Lab will be closed until approximately 4pm or later for cleaning.
At this time, the computers upstairs in the Library will be available for web browsing, using Microsoft Office, and printing. Scanners and copy machines are upstairs as well.
If specialized software like SPSS and ArcGIS is needed, other computer labs on campus will also be available: L2.72.00 in the New Building and 1404 in North Hall. More info about CLSS labs »
Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 10:47am
Jessie Redmon Fauset and Countee Cullen
Image source: John Jay College Archives, Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Digital Collections.
When John Jay College of Criminal Justice moved into Haaren Hall, it was the third school to occupy the building. The H-shaped edifice, designed by Charles Snyder, was built in 1906 to house DeWitt Clinton High School. When DeWitt Clinton moved to the Bronx in 1927, the building was then occupied by Haaren High School until a merger with Park West High School in the late 1970s. After that, the building languished, empty for years until 1985, when it was briefly slated to become a telecommunications center called the “Metropolis,” which would feature two 30-foot-high indoor waterfalls. John Jay College moved into the building in 1988 after giving it a thorough gut-renovation.
If these walls could talk, they would tell of a century-long history of academia, of the thousands of graduates of the three schools. And they might tell of two notable Harlem Renaissance writers who roamed the old halls of DeWitt Clinton.
Jessie Redmon Fauset (1884-1961)
Fauset was a prolific writer: she wrote novels, poetry, and journalism, and, at the behest of W.E.B. Du Bois, edited The Crisis, the official journal of the NAACP. Born in Philadelphia, Fauset taught high school French before attending Cornell University on a prestigious scholarship, graduating in 1905, and then earning a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. At The Crisis, which she joined in 1919 as literary editor, she published the writings of Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and other writers (including herself). Fauset attended the Pan-African Conference in 1921, one of few women to participate. Her report on its proceedings sums up both the feeling of unity (“We felt our common blood with almost unbelievable unanimity”) and the struggle to overcome colonialism, particularly in Belgium (“We knew the tremendous power of capital organized to exploit the Congo”). Fauset returned to teaching in 1926, employed at DeWitt Clinton High School. (It’s possible she may have taught James Baldwin when he attended the school.) She left teaching in 1929 and continued to write, publishing two more novels before retiring.
Considered by many to be Fauset’s best novel, Plum Bun (1929) features a light-skinned young black woman who moves to New York City and decides to “pass” as white. She enters the world of white society, succeeding socially and professionally where she would not have been able to if recognized as black, but she struggles in her relationship with her darker-complected sister. Plum Bun was written while Fauset taught at DeWitt Clinton. The novel is included in Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s, which can be requested in the catalog from Brooklyn College.
The Chinaberry Tree (1931) tells the story of a young woman struggling with her “bad blood,” as her community refers to her mixed parentage. The novel depicts interracial relationships in a small-town environment haunted by secrets and prejudices. (John Jay Stacks PS 3511 .A864 C48 1995b; catalog record).
Image source: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Jessie Fauset, author." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Link.
Countee Cullen (1903–1946)
Cullen was the adopted son of an activist minister whose Methodist church in Harlem boasted a congregation in the thousands. Cullen was a studious boy who attended DeWitt Clinton High School from 1918–21, where he edited the DeWitt Clinton literary magazine, Magpie. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from NYU, he went on to earn a master’s degree from Harvard in 1927. From the time he was in high school, he began to gain recognition for his poetry, appearing in magazines like The Crisis, Poetry, and Opportunity. Before he was 25, he published his first two volumes of poetry, Color (1925) and Copper Sun (1927). He won more literary prizes than any other black writer in the 1920s, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1928 (as the second ever African-American recipient). His writing was dramatic, lyrical, and traditional in style. He wrote of race and alienation but did not focus solely on racial identity.
Cullen’s best-known poems are collected in On These I Stand (John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U287 A6 1947; catalog record). See p. 3 for what is arguably Cullen’s most quoted poem, “Yet Do I Marvel,” and pp. 104–137 for “The Black Christ,” which was warmly praised by The New York Times Book Review in 1929.
More of Cullen’s writing, including a novel, essays, speeches, and an interview, is collected in My Soul’s High Song (John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U287 A6 1991; catalog record). See p. 325 for “Life’s Rendezvous,” for which Cullen won a citywide poetry contest while he was still attending DeWitt Clinton.
Image source: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. "Countee Cullen." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1925. Link.
- “Cullen, Countee.” Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 2nd ed. 2006.
- “Fauset, Jessie Redmon.” Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 2nd ed. 2006.
- Nash, E. “F.Y.I.” The New York Times 16 Dec. 2001. (Brief history of Haaren Hall.)
- Shucard, A. Countee Cullen. Boston: Twayne, 1984. (Available as ebook and at John Jay Stacks PS 3505 .U297 Z88 1984; catalog record.)
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:48pm
As of this Fall semester, the Library has switched to a new eReserves platform. After more than a decade using a vendor that was no longer planning to upgrade nor fully support the technology, we have signed on with Springshare, the same company that houses our Subject Guides. Springshare’s eReserves is far more streamlined, both behind the scenes and for the user, and has been garnering positive reviews, especially from faculty who manage their own course pages.
The link to eReserves remains in the same place – the Quick Links section of the Library home page – and works the same way with the ability to search by instructor name (best method), course name, or number. Faculty who wish to set up a new eReserves account or learn more about library reserves in general should visit the Using Reserves page.
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:38pm
Recent (scholarly and popular) fair use victories
The scanning and digitizing of books has been an ongoing battle between Google (with its Google Books service) and the Authors Guild which claims copyright infringement on behalf of authors (Authors Guild v. Google; LEXIS 17988). On October 16 this year, a federal appeals court judge ruled that Google’s practice of making portions of books freely available online is not a violation of copyright law. The first of four factors considered in fair use determinations is the purpose and character of the material’s use. The judge in this case determined Google Books to be providing a “transformative” use, thus deeming it a fair one. This is a victory for fair use advocates and for the millions of us who use Google Books as a research tool.
Earlier this year, two copyright cases involving popular culture serve as illustrations about the power of fair use. In March, a New York federal judge ruled in favor of a parody of the late 1970s TV sitcom Three’s Company and against the entertainment company that owns the sitcom’s rights (David Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment Ltd.; LEXIS 43285). While the writer, David Adjami, borrowed heavily from the original TV show in his off-Broadway play, 3C, the judge considered Adjami’s use transformative and therefore a fair use.
Similarly, in September a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled in favor of a woman who posted a half-minute video on YouTube of her children dancing as the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy” played in the background (Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.; LEXIS 16308). Copyright owner Universal Music did not sue the woman for copyright infringement; rather, they sent a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in an effort to remove the content from the Internet. The advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Universal on behalf of the YouTube poster claiming that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use. Their victory not only affirms that copyright holders must consider whether a use is fair before issuing a takedown notice, but it also illustrates that fair use is a right, not a defense, a contentious and misunderstood point in the world of copyright law.
These three cases are cause for celebration for all of us, researchers and content creators, and a reminder of the power and importance of fair use.
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:35pm
For Faculty Development Day in August 2015, we presented library databases and search strategies specifically chosen for the theme of diversity. For many attendees, this was the first time they became aware of these special resources, and they encouraged us to share them more widely so that they might see more use in the classroom and in research.
The list below includes content that focuses on diversity issues. We have divided them into sections based on departments and programs here at John Jay. These resources bring contemporary and historical voices to the forefront — voices and images that may not be readily available in conventional sources. Moreover, we’ve included resources with a variety of content formats to help reach students with diverse learning styles — for instance, visual learners may find video to be most engaging, auditory learners may enjoy hearing recorded speeches, and kinesthetic learners may enjoy manipulating the “raw” materials of primary sources.
"Carrie Chapman Catt with bouquet after U.S. women got the vote, 1920.” Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Available through Women & Social Movements in the U.S. 1600-2000.
Gender Studies and LGBTQ Issues
- Contemporary Women’s Issues: Journal articles, reports, newsletters, and articles from alternative press sources.
- LGBT Life: Contains the full text for hundreds of the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines, and regional newspapers as well as monographs and books.
- Women & Social Movements in the U.S. 1600-2000: Brings together primary documents, books, images, scholarly essays, book reviews, audio recordings, web site reviews, and teaching tools, all documenting the multiplicity of women. Use the “Browse” tab to explore this database.
- See also: our Gender Studies Subject Guide
Official newspaper of the Black Panther Party, January 24, 1970 (detail). Full newspaper available through Black Thought & Culture.
Africana Studies and Latina/o & Latin American Studies
- Black Drama: Full text of plays by playwrights from the U.S., the Caribbean, and English-speaking countries in Africa. Excellent source for Harlem Renaissance writers.
- Black Thought & Culture: Contains the nonfiction published works of leading African Americans, and includes interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamphlets, letters, and other ephemeral material. Use the “Browse” tab to explore this database.
- Ethnic Newswatch: Provides access to more than 200 newspapers, magazines, and journals from the ethnic, minority, and native press. Includes materials in Spanish.
- Oxford Bibliographies Online (African Studies & Latino Studies): Topic overviews and bibliographies on pertinent topics with links to the full text of sources when available.
- Race & Justice Clearinghouse: An index to selected NGO reports, books, and journal articles that focus on race and ethnicity and their interaction with the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. Includes links to the full text of publications by the Sentencing Project.
- Slavery & Anti-Slavery: Includes collections on the transatlantic slave trade, the global movement for the abolition of slavery, the legal, personal, and economic aspects of the slavery system, and the dynamics of emancipation in the U.S. as well as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions.
- World Scholar: Latin America & the Caribbean: Brings together primary source documents relating to Latin America and the Caribbean; academic journals and news feeds; reference materials; maps; statistics; audio and video. Covers politics, economics, culture, international affairs. *Are you a fan of this database? Let us know before Dec. 31, 2015—our access may be cancelled without enough usage.
Anti-war demonstrations. From Universal Newsreels, Release 32, April 18, 1967. Available from American History in Video.
- Films on Demand: Our largest video collection includes documentaries, dramas, and newsreels. Producers include Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, and the BBC. Subjects include: African Studies, Asia & The Pacific, Gender & Sexuality, Latino Studies, Native American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and dozens more.
- American History in Video: Includes archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.
- Counseling & Therapy in Video: Includes dramatized consultations, counseling sessions, documentaries, interviews, and lectures.
- Criminal Justice & Public Safety in Video: Includes documentaries, training videos, and interviews illustrating the strategies, techniques, and experiences of professionals in the criminal justice system.
- Ethnographic Video Online: Coverage focuses on the study of human culture and behavior and includes interviews, field notes, and study guides from working anthropologists and ethnographers.
- Human Rights Studies Online: Contains video & documents. Provides comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide from 1900 to 2010.
- The PBS Video Collection: Selected for their academic relevance, including films from Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, and Odyssey.
Search tip: Browse subjects in the catalog
When searching for a book on a topic in OneSearch (or the classic catalog, CUNY+), browsing by subjects gives you access to items you may not otherwise find by keyword search, such as older books whose titles use outdated language. Each book in our catalog is indexed with these subjects. In OneSearch, click “Browse CUNY Catalog” beneath the grey advanced search box. Then select “Subject begins with...” to explore subject headings. These terms may not be intuitive or in current use. Note that “diversity” is not a subject heading — use “multiculturalism” instead. Here are some we have encountered that may be useful:
- Civil Rights Movements
- Cultural Pluralism
- Gay Liberation Movement
- Gender Discrimination
- Group Identity
- Hispanic Americans
- Race Awareness
- Racially Mixed People
- Sex Discrimination
- Transgender People
Each subject heading contains subheadings as well, for example:
- African Americans
- African Americans -- Aesthetics
- African Americans -- Alabama
- African Americans -- Biography
- African Americans -- Biography – Dictionaries
Click on the subject heading or subheading to see related books and media. Try searching for a combination of these subject headings with other keywords of your choosing.
Robin Davis & Maureen Richards
Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 2:12pm