Library history bannerHistory of the Library: Foundation & General History

After many years in the old library that is now known as the Electronic Learning Center, the collections and technology needs outgrew the building. The undertaking to build a new facility began.

The new library, a $10.4 million, 82,418 square foot, state-of-the-art facility was opened in March 1996. Linked to other libraries throughout the United States and world, the library provides materials and services to support the university curriculum in bringing students, faculty, librarians and technology together. The online catalog and computer bibliographic indexes provide access to the library's collection and to additional resources world wide. These materials and services are available to all SUU students, faculty and staff who have a valid SUU I.D. card. Patrons who are not affiliated with the University but desire to check out materials may purchase a yearly patron card at the circulation desk or join the Friends of the Library.. 

The Information Commons on the main level houses over 100 computer workstations where students may seek reference assistance, access the library collection online, or consult electronic databases using the library's integrated system. The network operating within the building connects the campus to more than 30,000 periodicals, many of them full-text, which complement the in-house periodical collection. Also located on the main level are the check-out desk, the Copy & Post, the reserve library, and the journals and media collection. In addition to data access in this area, the library has a wireless network available throughout the building. The library offers interlibrary loan service using a network of more than 3,000 participating libraries nationwide. This service provides patrons with books and journal articles not available at SUU. The Copy & Post provides copy machines, printing services, production services and supplies and mail services including post office box rentals.

The Main Collection, on the second level, supports the core curriculum in a variety of academic fields. Federal and state government documents are available for all citizens in the Main Collection and online. The Juvenile Collection, on the third floor, contains fiction and non-fiction of particular importance to prospective teachers. 

The Jon and Karen Huntsman Reading Room, a two-story sky-lit rotunda on the second level, is designed with table seating for study and use of library materials. Study space on the top floor overlooks this vast reading room as well as the north side of the campus and valley. More than 1,200 study stations are available. Mediated study rooms where students may work in pairs or small groups are available on the first, second and third floors of the building. Traditional library carrels, study tables, and lounge furniture are integrated into the library.


The Curriculum Collection, located on the third floor adjacent to the Juvenile Collections, includes current public school curriculum materials. Also located on the third floor is the oversize collection which includes music scores, art books and other large format materials.

On the Garden (Fountain) level are the Barbara A. Matheson Special Collections and SUU Archives, an electronic classroom and quiet study space. Special Collections contains materials that are rare, expensive, or in need of special handling. The Christopher/Mann Reading Room provides a serene setting to examine materials about SUU, Southern Utah, Shakespeare, and the humanities. The Seymour Room, with its authentic Victorian furniture, provides valuable materials in opera, drama, literature and language. The Palmer Room contains material about the Paiute Indians and Southern Utah. The Howard R. Driggs room contains materials collected by Dr. Driggs about the American trails. 

A library instruction/electronic classroom is also located on this level and provides an environment for instruction in information retrieval skills and contemporary library research. 

The Garden of Symbols  is a unique fountain with water seeping from two sandstone spires. It is surrounded by symbols of communication including ancient and modern alphabets. It was funded by the Utah 1% for the Art Program, and is visible from the lower two levels of the library.