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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Finding legal information: the absolute basics. : Books

How to find cases, laws and some other stuff. By Ellen Sexton.

How to find books using OneSearch

Video tutorial

Finding a book in OneSearch, step by step

  1. Use the search box above, or start at the Library homepage.
  2. Type the title or topic you're looking for into the search box, for instance:
         Search box with "incarceration nations" as example title
    It helps to select "Limit to: Books," but this isn't necessary.
  3. Look at the results and get the section and call number of the book, if it's there. For instance:
         Available at John Jay College Stacks HV8705 .D74 2016
    Make sure the author(s) match the book you're looking for, since different books might have the same title.
  4. Write it down. What you do next depends on the section:
    • Reserves: Bring the call number to the Reserve Desk to check out the book for 3 hours at a time.
    • Stacks and all other section: Find the book on the shelf using the guide to the right, or ask a librarian for help.

You can search by ISBN in OneSearch Advanced Search by selecting ISBN from the "Any Field" dropdown menu. But it's best to search by title. Different editions of the book might have different ISBNs.

If you can't find the book in OneSearch, you can click the "All CUNY" option at the top of the page to see if any other CUNY library has it. If they do, you can try requesting the book using the Request button. (More info on intra-CUNY borrowing.) If no library at CUNY has the book, try searching for it in public libraries.

Law Reference Collection

We have a collection of books on the upper floor of the Library, in the south wing.  In addition to case reporters and code books, we have secondary legal materials including treatises, practice books, manuals and guides on different areas of law.  Browsing here can be very helpful.  (On the lower level of the library, you will find the books about law that can be borrowed from the library). 

In addition there are e-books on law in our Ebrary and our ebook collection from ebscoHOST (formerly named netLibrary) collections, and in other databases  (All books regardless of format are listed in the library catalog, OneSearch)

For books about law on the library shelves start browsing around these call numbers:

Law of the United States     KF

About finding legal information.    KF 240

About law school, and the LSAT     KF 265

Constitutional law  KF 4500

Civil rights   KF 4748 

U.S. Supreme Court.   KF 8741

Criminal law   KF 9200 

Search and seizure      KF 9630

Evidence       KF 9660 

Sentences and corrections.  KF 9680

New York State law     KFN 5001 to KFN 6199  

New York City law       KFX

International and comparative law, laws of other nations      K40 to  K 9000; KG to KZ.      Human rights    K 3236