Laura Saunders

Professor and Associate Director of SLIS

Laura Saunders teaches and conducts research in the areas of reference, instruction, information literacy, and intellectual freedom. She has a strong interest in the connections between information literacy and social justice issues, as well as in the impact of mis- and disinformation.

Her most recent books include Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 6th edition, co-edited with Melissa Wong and the open access textbook Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers: An Introduction, co-authored with Melissa Wong. Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals including College & Research Libraries, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, and Communications in Information Literacy. Laura has a PhD and a Master of Library and Information Science, both from Simmons College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Boston University. She serves as a Trustee for the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, MA. She is the 2019 recipient of Simmons University’s Provost Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.


  • PhD Simmons University (formerly Simmons College)
  • MSLIS Simmons University (formerly Simmons College)
  • B.A. Boston University

Area of Expertise

Information literacy, academic libraries, mis- and disinformation ("fake news"), reference services, assessment


  • LIS 407 Information Sources & Services
  • LIS 408 User Instruction & Information Literacy
  • LIS 451 Academic Libraries
  • LIS 493 Intellectual Freedom & Censorship

Research/Creative Activities

Laura co-created and co-hosts LIS Pedagogy Chat, a community of practice hosting bi-monthly moderated discussions on topics of interest to faculty and practitioners who teach in library and information science.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Library Association
  • Association of College & Research Libraries
  • Association for Library and Information Science Education


  • Simmons University’s Provost Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2019)
  • Reference Services Press Award (2014)
  • ACRL/NEC Best Paper Award (2014)
  • Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Award for Doctoral Research (2010)