HBLL librarian devotes time to student research projects, his own research

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Mike Hunter, Mormon studies librarian and Religion and Family History library department chair, will give tomorrow’s devotional.

Born and raised in Virginia, Hunter decided to study history after coming to BYU as an undergraduate.

“Growing up in Virginia, I was surrounded by historical sites,” Hunter said. “History was always what I loved and  really wanted to do.”

Hunter holds BA, MLS and MPA degrees from BYU, as well as an MA from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Although he lives in Utah Valley, he worked at the Church Historical Department in Salt Lake City for eight years before beginning employment at BYU in 2001.

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Mike Hunter will give the devotional tomorrow. Hunter holds BA, MLS and MPA degrees from BYU, as well as an MA from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
“I wrote two books on the bus commuting up for all those years,” Hunter said.

He has also written articles in the field of Mormon and Utah history, and a book about Mormon folklore and urban legends.

Hunter is the librarian for Church history and doctrine and chair of the Religion and Family History Departments at the Harold B. Lee Library where, in addition to collecting church materials and performing administrative duties, he spends a lot of time helping students.

“I meet with a lot of students doing research projects and need research assistance,” Hunter said.  “I get a lot of emails from students at other universities doing research, especially students in Mormon Studies programs. Utah State, UVU, Claremont, Wyoming, even the University of Durham in England has a PhD program in Mormon Studies.  And so students quite often rely on BYU to get the research materials that they need.”

Hunter is also editor of and contributor to “Mormons and Popular Culture: The Global Influence of an American Phenomenon,” coming out later this year. The two-volume anthology outlines the influence LDS church members have had from the invention of the television to themes in “Battlestar Galactica.”

“It’s a book that covers how Mormons have been portrayed in movies, on television, in film and in the theater,” Hunter said. “It also discusses how Mormons have contributed to popular culture through their talents and skills.”

While Hunter wouldn’t give away the subject of Tuesday’s devotional, he did mention it would not be Mormons in popular culture or Church history.

“I’ll give you the title of my talk,” Hunter said. “It’s called ‘Small Things.'”

Devotionals are every Tuesday at 11:05 at the de Jong Concert Hall.

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