Member of the Month: Jody Bailey
Director of Grants and Research
Liaison Librarian to Linguistics & TESOL
University of Texas at Arlington
What inspires you in your work?
The University of Texas at Arlington (where I work) is ranked fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity and has a majority minority population. I feel very fortunate to work in an environment where I can sit in my office and often hear three different languages being spoken just outside my door. I’m inspired by the diversity that surrounds me on all sides: my colleagues at the library, the faculty and staff, and our student population represent so many different nations and cultures, and I love learning about all of them. Furthermore, approximately 70% of our students work at least part-time, and more than half of them are first-generation college students. Their hard work and dedication constantly motivate me to do my best in service to this community – they deserve it!
Are you currently working on a project that is exciting or interesting? Tell us about it!
As director of grants and research, I am always working on ways to secure funding for innovative initiatives at the UTA Libraries, but this year, we are focusing in particular on our new FabLab, a makerspace that opened in our Central Library last October. The space is currently in its beta form and will be greatly expanded over the next year or so, both in terms of square footage and amounts and varieties of technologies. We are planning on adding a digital audio and video studio, an app and gaming development studio, an electronics bay, data visualization spaces, and more. In support of these initiatives, I currently have two grant proposals under review and several more planned for the coming months.
What do you do when you’re not being a librarian?
I hang out with my husband, dogs, and friends, and I play computer games. I watch very little TV (we cut the cable cord over 10 years ago) so almost all my entertainment is online. Also traveling! My favorite trip was a photo safari in Tanzania.
What are you reading?
One of my favorite authors is Donna Tartt, and I finished The Goldfinch not too long ago. I have 73 books on my to-be-read list on LibraryThing and haven’t yet decided what’s next.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people would not guess by looking at you?
I love playing MMORPG games! The three where I spend a lot of my free time are World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Guild Wars 2. I’ve been playing WoW since 2006 and have met some really cool people and made some amazing friends because of it. My alter egos include a level 100 shadow priest and frost mage (WoW); a level 70/145 wizard, monk, witch doctor, and demon hunter (Diablo III); and a lowbie elementalist in GW2 since I just started that game.
What is your favorite non-library website? Why?
Reddit — I find it to be really useful for staying current with contemporary society, especially the millennial crowd. Reddit users almost always post news and information much more quickly than traditional new outlets, and many of the memes and stories on the Internet that end up going viral start on Reddit. It’s an incredibly diverse site that has its dark side that some criticize it for (and often with good reason), but that’s true of the Internet as a whole. Here’s a link to a starter guide and another to a list of some cool subreddits to get you started if you want to try it out.
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