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Richard L. Saunders - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Richard L. Saunders Richard L. Saunders

Dean of Library Services | Southern Utah University


Specializing in libraries and information, American history, and religious institutions



Dr. Richard Saunders serves as the dean of library services at Southern Utah University. He is professionally interested in the development of student research skills and open educational resources.

Dr. Saunders' writing includes historical or cultural studies on Mormonism, printing technology, the American West, national parks, and the US civil rights period. He is an accredited librarian and archivist with thirty years practice in academic libraries in Utah, Montana, Tennessee, and research experience at institutions across the country. As an advocate of open educational resources (OER) and open pedagogy in higher education, Dr. Saunders directed a four-year project in OER adoption across an entire undergraduate curriculum. He has also been employed in a full-service pre-press firm, managing academic books and textbooks through editing, design, and production.

Dr. Saunders holds a bachelor of science and master of science degree in history from Utah State University, a master of library and information sciences from Brigham Young University, and a Ph.D. in modern American social history from the University of Memphis.



Richard L. Saunders Publication Richard L. Saunders Publication Richard L. Saunders Publication





Industry Expertise (3)

Education/Learning Religious Institutions Library and Information Management

Areas of Expertise (12)

Open Education Resources US Civil Rights Period Academic Libraries National Parks Mormonism US History American West OER Library and Information Science Information Literacy Undergraduate Curriculum Library Management

Accomplishments (2)

Social Justice Award (professional)

Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, Univ. of Memphis, 2006

Marshall Wingfield Award (professional)

Given annually for the best research study relating to West Tennessee. Awarded for "The Racial Demographics of West Tennessee: An Essay Based on U.S. Census Data, 1830-2000."

Education (4)

University of Memphis: Ph.D., Modern American Social History

Brigham Young University: MLIS, Library and Information Sciences

Utah State University: M.S., History

Utah State University: B.S., History

Affiliations (1)

  • Academy of Certified Archivists

Media Appearances (4)

Understanding the Significance of Cedar City's LDS Temple

SUU News  online


Southern Utah University’s scholar on Mormon-related studies is its Dean of Library Services, Dr. Richard Saunders. “This temple includes design elements that reflect the community’s physical setting and culture. For instance, juniper branches are painted into ceiling corners, and the overall style reflects the straight, simple lines, the color schemes, and decor common to early homes in Iron County. The church was careful to design and decorate a building that reflects the heritage of the permanent settlers to this region.”

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SUU Library Welcomes Arrival of National Archive for Experiential Learning

Iron County Today  online


The archive of the National Society for Experiential Education arrived at Southern Utah University on July 11 for permanent collection in the Gerald R. Sherratt Library. The donation distinguishes SUU as a key player in the experience-based education movement and represents the first institutional home for the archive.

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Fundraiser set to buy Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio

The Spectrum  online


The Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Gerald R. Sherratt Library on the campus of Southern Utah University are joining forces to bring a piece of history to Cedar City.

Fundraising efforts are underway to buy William Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio, the first book produced featuring the complete set of the famous playwright’s works that was printed in 1685 in London, organizers said.

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Dr. Richard Saunders will speak at first Iron County Historical Society meeting of 2015

The Independent  online


Dr. Richard Saunders will talk about the first industrial machinery brought to Utah in 1849 and its importance to the development of the state. The small, hand-operated Ramage printing press was the first in a long line of similar machines that helped make settlement, politics, economics, and entertainment possible for early settlers. Dr. Saunders will talk about both the press and printed material, and how it fit into settlements up and down the Utah corridor. Dr. Saunders is Dean of Libraries at SUU and wrote Printing in Deseret, published by the University of Utah Press in 2000.

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Courses (1)

LM 1010 Information Literacy

An introduction to the research process and methods for retrieving information. Focuses on developing information literacy skills, selecting relevant sources, and then evaluating, organizing, and citing the information.