How do I…? Ask Us or be Guided

Have you ever been frustrated when trying to search for something in a library database? Not sure if we have a book, or where to find it? Don’t know where to start?

ask a librarian

Fill out our question form to ask us questions by email, or chat with a librarian on our homepage by clicking ‘Chat With Us:’


Librarians can also be reached by phone at 212-592-2660.

If you’re doing subject research, check out our guides for focused information on a range of topics from Advertising and Graphic Design to Photography and Building an Online Portfolio, and more:

New Books: Recent Exhibits

This selection from our New Books shelf represents books that accompany museum exhibits mounted within the last year. These books are a great way to get a sense of an exhibit either in conjunction with a visit or after the exhibit has been taken down.


New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America / N6502.5 .N49 2014

This exhibit opened at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York on November 4, 2014 and runs until April 6, 2015





dorothyDorothy Iannone : This Sweetness Outside of Time : a Retrospective of Paintings, Objects, Books, and Films From 1959 to 2014 / N6537.I26 A4 2014

This exhibit ran at the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, Germany from February 20 – June 2, 2014




keithharing Keith Haring: The Political Line / N6537.H348 A4 2014

This exhibit ran at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from November 8, 2014 – February 16, 2015




fiberFiber Sculpture: 1960-Present / NB1203 .F53 2014

This exhibit ran at the Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston from Oct. 1, 2014 – January 4, 2015

Interaction Design students tackle the Library

Fall Semester, 2014

During the summer of 2014, librarian Caitlin Kilgallen reached out to MFA Interaction Design chair Liz Danzico with nothing more than a vague notion that the library could use some help and Interaction Design could probably do something for us.  Liz connected us with Prof. Alex Wright‘s Research Methods course.  It is a half semester 7 week course.  The students learn usability testing, conduct field studies, create surveys and learn how to frame and solve problems.  The library became their client.  The class was divided into 4 groups with each group responsible for a library stakeholder: undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and librarians. Each group identified a cohort which was a guide and tool as they examined and evaluated the library’s physical and digital presence.  At the end of the semester the designers gave 4 presentations (one for each group), showcasing their findings and offering solutions.  The presentations were impressive and thoughtful.  It was a very rewarding experience with many areas for library improvement being identified.

Spring Semester, 2015

Building on their work in the Research Methods course, IxD students continued their work with the library in Prof. Jennifer Brook‘s UX Fundamentals class during the Spring semester. In this class, students tackle design problems with concept sketching, mapping, and wire-framing, primarily for screen-based experiences and occasionally for physical spaces. Librarians Caitlin Kilgallen and Phoebe Stein visited the MFA Interaction Design studios for research and facilitation meetings with the graduate students. The students were again split into four teams, each working on a different design problem within the library experience. Three of the four teams worked on website-specific improvements, building wire frames and user experiences for the library homepage plus specific tasks like placing holds, accessing their user accounts, and using the library’s federated database search tool. The fourth team focused on improving the entrance experience in the physical library space through the creation of an interactive kiosk.


Group B’s Do/Feel/Think/Say chart.

Over 2 sessions, the four teams elicited responses from librarians using a “Do, Feel, Think/Say” approach. For each user experience, like using the homepage, librarians were asked what we wanted our users to be able to Do on the homepage, what we wanted them to Feel after using it, and what we wanted them to Think or Say about the homepage. Each response was recorded on a sticky note, and librarians and students used colored stickers to vote on what they thought were the most important features to be incorporated into the new designs.


On February 19th, librarians Robert Lobe, Caitlin Kilgallen, Phoebe Stein, and David Pemberton visited MFA IxD again to view the students’ design presentations. Each group gave a 15-minute presentation of their research findings on the library experience, and demonstrated their redesigns with wire frames, task walk-throughs, and images.


Library homepage wire frame from Group A


Group D’s design solution for library user accounts

Group C's interactive kiosk map.

Group C’s interactive kiosk map.

The SVA Library is currently working with a developer to redesign the library website, and this collaboration with the Interaction Design department has greatly helped to steer the design focus of our new homepage and how users will interact with the library.

Cabinet of Curiosities – Springtime!

The Cabinet of Curiosities, Springtime edition, is now open for display.  If you haven’t noticed the display, it is located in the nook where the Reinhold Brown collection and underground comics live – right before the handicap bathrooms and picture collection area.


A few library staff members have created an initiative to work together to create a theme, curate, and decorate the cabinet twice a semester.  We display books that relate to an overall topic and that patrons may not be aware of in our collection.  Students and patrons are welcome to explore the cabinet and are encouraged to borrow any books they discover while peeking inside.

Some subject matter included in this edition’s Cabinet are: springtime, nature, and rejuvenation. The display will be up May.  Come take a look!

New School-wide Subscription to New York Times Online



The SVA Library is pleased to announce a new school-wide subscription to the New York Times Online. Students, faculty, and staff now have full complimentary access to and NYTimes mobile apps.*

We encourage you to take advantage of the world-class journalism of The New York Times to enrich your educational experience. covers a variety of topics with unsurpassed quality and depth through breaking news articles, blogs, videos and interactive features. In addition, you will be able to share content on social networks, save articles of interest, subscribe to email newsletters and set up personalized alerts. Your access to is available from any location, on or off campus.

Activate your Pass for free access to by clicking here and following the simple instructions.

You may also wish to view this short video.

The New York Times:



* Users must have a valid SVA email address. Mobile apps are not supported on all devices. Does not include e-reader editions, Times Premier content or digital versions of The New York Times Crossword. This program provides only select access to The New York Times Archive and does not replace database services to which your institution may currently subscribe. Other restrictions apply.

Privacy Policy


(c) 2014 The New York Times Company
PO Box 8041, Davenport, IA 52808-8041

Books to Improve Your Writing

Because art students have to write papers, too, here’s a sampling of books on writing at the SVA Library.  Need more help? Ask a Librarian!


How to Write Anything by Laura Brown / PE1408 .B8573 2014

A practical guide to everything you’ll ever need to write—at work, at school, and in your personal life, including college essays, cover letters, sympathy notes, wedding toasts, and much more.




a08-1The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White / PE1408 .S772 2005

This much-loved classic will forever be the go-to guide when in need of a hint to make a turn of phrase clearer or a reminder on how to enliven prose with the active voice. The only style manual to ever appear on bestseller lists has explained to millions of readers the basic principals of plain English, and Maira Kalman’s fifty-seven exquisite illustrations give the revered work a jolt of new energy.


index (2)

Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Research Papers by Laurie Rozakis / LB1047.3 .R69 1999

The experts at Schaum’s are at your service-ready to help you with concise, complete, step-by-step instructions that will make writing research papers a breeze, not a burden. The clear, concise guidelines and in-depth instruction in this book will show you how to write high-quality research papers that will help you succeed academically and in the professional world.


indexYour Research Project: A Step-by-Step Guide for the First Time Researcher by Nicholas Walliman / LB2369 .W26 2005

In this new edition of Your Research Project, Nicholas S.R. Walliman has made this bestselling book even better with the addition of a number of new features whilst retaining all the benefits of the original. New features include: more elaboration on the differing needs of masters and PhD students; a new overview of the entire research chronology from start to finish; student checklists throughout; a new chapter on research ethics; new sections on critical reading skills and compiling literature reviews; examples from a wide range of disciplines and a student glossary.

Spring Break 2015 Hours

The SVA Library will be open during Spring Break for the following hours:

Monday, March 2nd – Thursday, March 5th: 9am-6pm

Friday, March 6th – Sunday, March 8th: CLOSED

Regular hours resume Monday, March 9th at 8:30am.

spring break poster2