August 1, 2008

NEWS: Next Gen Librarian

Billington Library hires a digital dude to, you know, do stuff

by Miguel M. Morales

Barry Bailey’s name appears in the credits for the video game “Saints Row.”

He’s also beaten “Guitar Hero” on expert setting on both right- and left-handed levels.

He likes the bands Bear vs. Shark, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Mos Def.

That’s definitely not what one would expect from a librarian or even a digital projects librarian.

Bailey brings a new face and focus to Billington Library and it's 21st Century Library project.

His job focuses on resources the college provides to the campus community and people everywhere.

“I’m responsible for organizing and creating online tools and collections that will benefit patrons; the preservation of the campus’ created output or acquired resources; and giving JCCC a digital presence to be distributed globally,” he said.

Bailey said the future of the library’s digital initiative stems from how it will affect and support students and faculty. He said the library will continue to add interesting digital collections and provide a sensible approach to searching and retrieving the information it already has.

“There are so many resources here that students and faculty probably need but aren’t taking advantage of,” he said. “Every library struggles with this, no matter how big or small, and I plan implementing better ways for the user to end up with the information they need.”

Bailey said part of that implementation includes awareness.

“We’re missing out on showing people how to get [information],” he said. “It comes down to how well the resources are promoted.”

Bailey attended high school in Paris, Illinois.

“It is embarrassing. The condition of my high school would be unacceptable as a parking garage for the high schools here,” he said. “I am truly overwhelmed by the size, scope, and value placed on education in Johnson County, and I am envious.”

From Paris Bailey went to the University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign for the last 7 years.

He attended as an undergrad, graduate student, then served as faculty working for the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center.

Bailey said he came to JCCC because of his wife whom he met at U of I. She used to live in Overland Park and wanted to return to start their family.

“I told my boss at Grainger that if a job ever opened up in the Kansas City area, I was going to try to get there,” he said. “Lo and behold, the Digital Projects Librarian position here in the city with the specific expertise I have. I’m glad it worked out so smoothly.

“Everyone’s very encouraging at JCCC and the entirety of the library is backing the projects we’re pushing forward -- I’m excited.”

Bailey Bits:

  • Programs for fun.
  • Plays D&D (is looking for a new group).
  • Plays a lot of instruments, but mainly the guitar.
  • Favorite author: Samuel Beckett.
  • Loves football and is a die-hard Bears fan (favorite current player: Lance Briggs. All time: Walter Payton).
  • Favorite video game: “Metal Gear Solid 2.”
  • Favorite movie: “Eraserhead.”
  • Has an obsession with Schlotzsky's because he thought it shut down nation-wide four years ago.
  • His dog is one of his best friends.

Originally published in the Billington Library newsletter, Summer 2008


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