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Get to Know the Faculty: Jeff Bailey


Much more than the “head librarian,” Jeff Bailey leads the Dean B. Ellis staff that teaches Arkansas State students how to master the use of information.

Jeff Bailey

Jeff Bailey

Place of birth:
Dayton, Ohio
Wife, daughter and son-in-law, one grandson, and three dogs
Why did you choose A-State?
I chose A-State because it was the first place I found employment after completing my degree (many years ago). I have stayed at A-State for 25 years because I have had many opportunities to succeed and advance here and I continue to believe I am making a positive difference in the lives of students.
What makes a good professor?
Someone who is stays current and is flexible enough to use different teaching methods to reach students who learn in different ways.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
A world history professor named Charles Holt. Not only was he incredibly engaging and entertaining in the classroom, he saw something in me and took the time to personally mentor me throughout my last two years as an undergraduate student.
What makes for a good student?
A combination of creativity, integrity, perseverance, and flexibility, topped off with the desire to succeed.
What’s the value of a university education?
A good university education provides one with the skills necessary to successfully change, adapt, and grow throughout their lives so that they can remain relevant, current, and involved (plus employed!).
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Provide the foundation for success throughout life.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
American History. There is so much in our past that places current events in context and I enjoy helping people make those connections.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
Books are only a small fraction of what libraries are about. Libraries are about information – how to find it, use it, interpret it, and learn from it. Those are the things that librarians care about and work toward. Here’s a helpful bit of advice: If you apply for a library job and get an interview, don’t say that you want the job because you “love books.” That will almost guarantee that you won’t be the person we hire.
In college, I was known for...
being the person that went to bed early the night before exams and got up at 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning to get in my last rounds of preparation.
What music is playing in your car?
Duke Ellington’s 1960 Jazz Party in Stereo album. Before that it was Into the Great Wide Open by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
My favorite motion picture is...
Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part One.
The television series I must TiVo...
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
The last book I read for fun was...
Death and the Dancing Footman, a 1941 mystery novel by Ngaio Marsh.
My favorite trip was...
Several years ago I made a solo drive completely around Lake Superior and I took a side trip north into the boreal forests of Ontario. Now I know where I want to spend my summers after I retire!
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
I would love to spend several days north of the Arctic Circle.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Benjamin Franklin, Henry Clay, Muhammad Ali and Mel Brooks.
The best advice I ever received was...
don’t take yourself too seriously.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
Your high school and college years aren’t the best years of your life. It gets so much better later on!
My hobby is...
baking yeast breads from scratch.
My passion is...
getting a good night’s sleep.
My pro sports team is...
The Cincinnati Reds.
My pet peeve is...
people who are unwilling to change their minds.
My favorite meal is...
I love too many foods too well to give only one answer.
A perfect day is...
one where I laugh a lot.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
It’s not too big and not too small.
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is...
Surfin’ Bird.
Cats or dogs?
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
Definitely mountains
Dinner or supper?
I wish I could...
time travel.
My favorite saying is...
If you can’t do anything about a problem, then there’s no sense in worrying about it. And if you can do something, then do it and stop worrying.