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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

English 101

A Guide to Research Resources selected for students in ENG 101 classes

Find books with OneSearch

How Do I Choose Search Terms?

Once you have narrowed down your topic and come up with the research question your paper will explore, identify the main concepts in your query. Use these concepts as your search terms (keywords).


See examples below:


Should prisoners have access to education?

Keywords: prisoners and access and education  


What are the characteristics of successful prisoner reentry programs?                                   

Keywords: characteristics and prisoner reentry and programs


What effect does domestic violence have on children?                                

Keywords: effect and domestic violence and children


How to read a call number

Every book in the library has a unique call number. Think of the call number as the address of the book, in that it tells us where exactly on the shelves we can expect to find the book.   e.g.



Look for the letters first, on the top line:

Then look at the whole number on the next line:

Then look at the letter(s) after the dot:

Then look at the decimal number:

Last, you will see the year the book was published:

Read the number before the dot as a whole number. Read the numbers after the dot as decimals.

Four books, HA 100..., HA 1625..., HQ 16..., HV 2000...

The four books above are in the correct order.

In the Library of Congress Classification system, the letter "H" indicates the social sciences class.
"HA" is the subclass for statistics.

"HQ" is the subclass for family, marriage, and women.
"HV" is the subclass for social pathology, social and public welfare, and criminology.

The complete list of classes and subclasses in the Library of Congress Classification scheme is here:

Is My Book in Another CUNY Library?

When you search in OneSearch, you can find out which CUNY libraries hold the item you need.  

The default location in OneSearch is John Jay College library.  

To search all CUNY libraries at once, select All CUNY Libraries from the top of the search box. The search results will show all relevant books from all CUNY libraries. You can see which libraries have the book by looking at Location within the book's detail page.

You can request a book from another CUNY library if John Jay doesn't have it. About requesting from other CUNYs »

Renewing books

You can take home circulating books for 4 weeks at a time, with 2 possible renewals. 

When it's getting close to your book's due date, you'll receive an email that contains a link to renew your book.

You can also renew online. 

(Not all books can be renewed — other users may have requested them,)