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.


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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

New Mobile Charging Station in the Library

Running low on your cellphone battery? Forgot to bring your phone charging cable with you? Don’t worry! The SVA Library has a new charging station that can fully charge your phone by 20% faster than your regular AC adapter.


The charging station is located near the rear of the library next to the current periodicals shelves. There are 12 charging cables available: 5 Apple Lightning (iPhone 5 and up), 2 Apple Legacy 30-pin (iPhone 1st gen to iPhone 4s), and 5 Micro USB cables (Android and other OS).


The library is not responsible for lost or stolen devices, so please keep an eye on your devices while they’re charging.


SVA Alumnus Lauren Castillo Receives Caldecott Honor

Alumnus Lauren Castillo (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay) has received a 2015 Caldecott Honor for her illustrated children’s book, Nana in the City, which she both wrote and illustrated.


About Nana in the City: “In this magical picture book, a young boy spends an overnight visit with his nana and is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise and crowds and scary things. But then Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds, and smells of the city are not scary—but wonderful. The succinct text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy, and beauty of the city.”

Named after 19th-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, the Caldecott awards recognize the most distinguished American picture books for children.

In related news, last year’s Caldecott Medal went to SVA alumnus Brian Floca (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay) for his critically-acclaimed children’s book, Locomotive.

Nana in the City, Locomotive, and other Caldecott-winning and honored books are available in the SVA Library.

This post originally appeared in SVA Close Up; it is republished here with permission.

On Creativity

Artists know creative inspiration can come from many places. Whether you’re looking for new inspiration, seeking a new perspective, or overcoming creative block,  these books from our stacks might be just what you’re looking for:

creativeblockCreative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists / Danielle Krysa – N71 .K78 2014



livingandsustainingLiving and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists / Sharon Louden – N40 .L58 2013



creativeworkshopCreative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills / David Sherwin – BF408 .S4486 2010



thinkertoysThinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques / Michael Michalko – HD53 .M53 2006



showyourworkShow Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered / Austin Kleon – HF5381 .K5854 2014



Archival Highlights on Display

At the start of every semester, archives staff curates and displays items from the Milton Glaser Design Study Center & Archives and the SVA Archives in the vitrine located across from the circulation desk at the library entrance. Items in the vitrine highlight thematic topics or patterns within particular collections that might not be apparent from their provenance-based organization.


The current installation showcases an overview of the items held in the archives at SVA. It includes works by David Mazzucchelli, Pablo Ferro, George Tscherny, Louise Fili, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, Tony Palladino, Seymour Chwast, Eileen Boxer, James McMullan, and Mel Bochner, as well as the student publications Passion and FreeMan. For a complete description of the items on display, see Vitrine 05 Various Media.

Take a look the next time you’re in the library, and for more collection highlights, visit Container List, the archives blog.

Previous installations:

  1. SVA Identity Materials: logo evolution and associated materials from the school since its founding as the Cartoonists & Illustrators School in 1947. (Spring 2013)
  2. Chermayeff & Geismar corporate symbols (Fall 2013)
  3. Tony Palladino’s book jackets (Spring 2014)
  4. Product photography by Henry Wolf (Fall 2014)


Cabinet of Curiosities

The Cabinet of Curiosities, the Winter Wonderland edition, is now open for display.  If you didn’t notice the display last semester, 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.

COC2Some subject matter included in this edition’s Cabinet are: the science of snowflakes, 3D paper engineering, winter holidays, snow/winter themes, relaxation techniques, and some novels and comics either to be read in the winter or written about the winter.

The display will be up through the month of February.  Come take a look!