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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Remote Resources for a Distance Learning Environment

Get the help you need to navigate and succeed in our new online learning environment.

For Students: Finding your Class eReserve Page

Some of your professors may have posted your assigned course readings on Electronic Reserve. Here's how to access them:

Click here or the eReserve link from the right middle section of our home page (http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/).  The simplest way to find your course(s) is to type your professor's last name into the search box. You will need a password to access the readings and this should have been given to you by your professor. If you don't have the password, please contact a librarian via email or chat.

Some tips about downloading readings from E-Reserve:

  • Items in eReserve may come in a variety of formats, e.g. Word document, PDF, PowerPoint, web page, etc. If you don't have Adobe Reader (which allows you to open and view PDFs) on your computer, you can download it from here for free: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

For Faculty: Getting Readings to Your Students

Making course readings available electronically is crucial for both students and faculty now that we've moved to a distance learning model.  Many students may not have been able to purchase their required textbooks and now that the library is closed the print copies, if placed on reserve in the library, are no longer available.  You may scan pages from your personal copy of the textbook (see information on scanner apps below) and either put them on eReserve through our library webpage, share them through Dropbox or upload them onto Blackboard. 

Another option is to see if our library has an electronic version of the assigned textbook by searching in OneSearch.  In addition, to OneSearch, John Jay students and faculty now have free access to many electronic textbooks.  Please see the Free Digital Textbooks and COVID-19 resources tabs in this library guide.  

In addition to digital textbooks, you and your students have access to a multitude of electronic resources such as ebooks, journals, magazines, videos and more.  Please use this library guide to remote resources as a guide to finding alternative electronic materials so that your students will have remote access to course materials you are requesting they read. 

Feel free to contact a librarian for assistance.

For Faculty: How-to for eReserves

eReserves (electronic reserves) provides students with access to supplementary course materials, such as single chapters from books or articles from journals, magazines, or newspapers.

To create a new eReserves page, submit your course information to the Reserve Librarian using this form.

To add additional documents to an already existing eReserves page, email libreserve@jjay.cuny.edu with the document(s) attached and include in the email body the full citation(s) and associated course number. Documents must be submitted at least one week before their assigned reading date.

Linked documents: If the article is from a journal to which we have an online subscription, we will link into that database from the course page in eReserve. Include the URL (permalink) in the submission form.

Digital files: If you already have digital copies of the items you wish to post, there will be at point at which to upload them via the submission form along with their full citations.

Documents to scan: Many materials are already available to John Jay in digital form. Please use Journal Search to check for online access. If the publication is not available online, you can scan and digitize them yourself or drop off a clear photocopy at the Library Reserve Desk for the library staff to do so. 

Once your course page is set up, the password assigned, and contact information exchanged, faculty may submit additional scanned documents or database or web links to be posted on the page.

Faculty may also submit limited quantities of materials to the Reserve Desk for scanning: i.e., a clear, unstapled photocopy of a single article from a journal/magazine/newspaper, or a single chapter from a book, along with the complete citation for the work.

NOTE: Poor photocopies scan badly, resulting in illegible text, large files that download slowly, and a generally frustrated reader. All materials must be accompanied by the full citation for each work. Materials are placed on eReserve only when they comply with our copyright policy

It is extremely important that faculty do not rely solely on the eReserves platform to retain course material. Due to copyright guidelines and rare but potential technological insecurity, there is no guarantee that materials will remain available from semester to semester. Maintaining your own copies and organizational structure is incumbent upon you.

I am already using Blackboard for my classes. Do I need to use eReserve, too?

No. It's a personal choice. If Blackboard is where you post electronically available readings for your students, it is not necessary to also have an eReserves page unless you prefer the interface, for instance. EReserve is only for posting PDFs or Word docs, Powerpoints, web or database links, etc. It does not have the other functions available in Blackboard. In terms of copyright and fair use, the same guidelines apply in both platforms.

Can't find your eReserves page?

eReserve pages will be automatically deactivated at the end of each semester. To reactivate an eReserves page for the current semester, email the Reserve Librarian with the course name and number.

Problems with eReserves documents

While we try to ensure that documents are scanned accurately and completely, problems do occasionally arise. Professors are strongly encouraged to LOOK AT and CHECK their documents on eReserves before the date when the students are assigned the readings. We can then resolve any problems, e.g. missing pages or illegible text, before the readings are due.

Optimizing PDFs for accessibility

Following recommended steps will enable PDFs to be searchable and readable by assistive technologies.

  1. If scanning documents before submitting or posting yourself, please make every effort to create PDFs that are accessibility compliant using the options on your scanner settings. Here is a guide.
  2. If photocopying or scanning pages from a book or journal, avoid photocopying 2 pages side by side. Copy single pages instead.

Managing your own eReserves pages

We encourage individual faculty to manage their own eReserves page(s). This enables you to post documents at any time you like and label and list the documents in whatever way suits you best. Please email the Reserve Librarian to request a manager account.

NOTE: eReserves pages must comply with the Library reserve copyright policies. Faculty who post materials in excess of fair use and in gross violation of copyright law will have eReserves privileges revoked.

If you had self-managing permissions in the "old" eReserves system (prior to June 2015), you will need to request that a new account be created. If you already have your *new* log in credentials, you may enter them here.

eReserves (electronic reserves) provides students with access to supplementary course materials, such as single chapters from books or articles from journals, magazines, or newspapers.

To create a new eReserves page, submit your course information to the Reserve Librarian using this form.

To add additional documents to an already existing eReserves page, email libreserve@jjay.cuny.edu with the document(s) attached and include in the email body the full citation(s) and associated course number. Documents must be submitted at least one week before their assigned reading date.

Linked documents: If the article is from a journal to which we have an online subscription, we will link into that database from the course page in eReserve. Include the URL (permalink) in the submission form.

Digital files: If you already have digital copies of the items you wish to post, there will be at point at which to upload them via the submission form along with their full citations.

Documents to scan: Many materials are already available to John Jay in digital form. Please use Journal Search to check for online access. If the publication is not available online, you can scan and digitize them yourself or drop off a clear photocopy at the Library Reserve Desk for the library staff to do so. 

Once your course page is set up, the password assigned, and contact information exchanged, faculty may submit additional scanned documents or database or web links to be posted on the page.

Faculty may also submit limited quantities of materials to the Reserve Desk for scanning: i.e., a clear, unstapled photocopy of a single article from a journal/magazine/newspaper, or a single chapter from a book, along with the complete citation for the work.

NOTE: Poor photocopies scan badly, resulting in illegible text, large files that download slowly, and a generally frustrated reader. All materials must be accompanied by the full citation for each work. Materials are placed on eReserve only when they comply with our copyright policy

It is extremely important that faculty do not rely solely on the eReserves platform to retain course material. Due to copyright guidelines and rare but potential technological insecurity, there is no guarantee that materials will remain available from semester to semester. Maintaining your own copies and organizational structure is incumbent upon you.

I am already using Blackboard for my classes. Do I need to use eReserve, too?

No. It's a personal choice. If Blackboard is where you post electronically available readings for your students, it is not necessary to also have an eReserves page unless you prefer the interface, for instance. EReserve is only for posting PDFs or Word docs, Powerpoints, web or database links, etc. It does not have the other functions available in Blackboard. In terms of copyright and fair use, the same guidelines apply in both platforms.

Can't find your eReserves page?

eReserve pages will be automatically deactivated at the end of each semester. To reactivate an eReserves page for the current semester, email the Reserve Librarian at libreserve@jjay.cuny.edu with the course name and number.

Problems with eReserves documents

While we try to ensure that documents are scanned accurately and completely, problems do occasionally arise. Professors are strongly encouraged to LOOK AT and CHECK their documents on eReserves before the date when the students are assigned the readings. We can then resolve any problems, e.g. missing pages or illegible text, before the readings are due.

Optimizing PDFs for accessibility

Following recommended steps will enable PDFs to be searchable and readable by assistive technologies.

  1. If scanning documents before submitting or posting yourself, please make every effort to create PDFs that are accessibility compliant using the options on your scanner settings. Here is a guide.
  2. If photocopying or scanning pages from a book or journal, avoid photocopying 2 pages side by side. Copy single pages instead.

Managing your own eReserves pages

We encourage individual faculty to manage their own eReserves page(s). This enables you to post documents at any time you like and label and list the documents in whatever way suits you best. Please email the Reserve Librarian to request a manager account.

NOTE: eReserves pages must comply with the Library reserve copyright policies. Faculty who post materials in excess of fair use and in gross violation of copyright law will have eReserves privileges revoked.

If you had self-managing permissions in the "old" eReserves system (prior to June 2015), you will need to request that a new account be created. If you already have your *new* log in credentials, you may enter them here.

Copyright & Fair Use

If you are considering making course readings available online for your students, please see our Library's EReserves webpage for Students and Faculty. In addition, please refer to the Office of Library, City University of New York's page on Fair Use in the Context of Covid-19 where they summarize a Statement on Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research recently released by library copyright specialists.

Scanner Apps

Scanner apps can scan many documents directly to multi-page pdf, which can be simpler to manage than the single images that cameras produce. Dropbox has a built-in scanner in its phone app, and CUNY provides free Dropbox accounts to all active students, faculty, and administrative staff

What to look for in a scanner app:

  • Multi-page scanning
  • Cloud sync to your preferred service (make sure the account is password protected)
  • Cropping
  • Fast optimization or option to delay
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is important for providing accessible texts

(from CUNY's OLS page on Copyright & Fair Use)