Gary W. Jones
Retired Director of Learning Resources and Librarian
Served SIC from 1985-2016
Bachelor of Science, Television and Multimedia Production, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan
Master of Arts, Educational Systems Development, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Master of Science, Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ABD, Instructional Technology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
National Association for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award
Illinois Council of Community College Administrators Innovation Award
Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market Pioneer Award
David R. Pierce Faculty Technology Award Finalist
Illinois State Library Scholarship Award
SYNERGY: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative Participant
Exemplary Assessment Initiatives Award, Southeastern Illinois College
Have you held other positions at SIC?
When I began at SIC, I was hired as Media Specialist and served in that role from February 1985 – August 2006. During my tenure, I initiated telecourses, interactive video courses, and online courses.
What position(s) did you hold prior to SIC?
Before I began working at SIC, I worked as Media Coordinator at East Lansing High School in East Lansing, Michigan from 1983-1985.
What does SIC means to you?
SIC is a major part of my life. All three of my children attended SIC, and my best friends are my colleagues. I look forward to coming to work every day. I am proud of the fact that I work at an institution that has made such a difference in the lives of so many. I hope that in some small way, I have contributed to helping change the lives of others.
What is your favorite memory at SIC?
I have many great memories of SIC, but the best memories are being able to work with my mentor, Ms. Melba Patton, who was SIC’s librarian from 1964 to 2000. In her quiet way, Ms. Patton positively affected so many lives. She was very kind to me, and she believed in me. She is the reason that I became a librarian later in my career.
What do you do in your spare time?
One of my greatest loves is Reading. If I have extra time, you will find me with my Kindle in hand. I am also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA) in Saline County. I advocate the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. In addition, I am currently President of the Harrisburg Public Library District. I also enjoy spending time with my family and researching family genealogy
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I have vacationed in Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean, but my favorite vacation spot is anywhere in northern lower Michigan. We refer to it in Michigan as “Up North.” “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice”
How would you spend $1 million?
If I had to spend one million dollars, I would buy modest homes for my three children and a lakefront retirement home in northern Michigan. With the rest of the money, I would fund a scholarship at SIC for students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in Library and Information Science, and give the remainder to the Harrisburg Public Library building fund.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to have dinner with Abraham Lincoln. I have always admired Lincoln not only as a politician, but also as a kind and gentle human being. I would like to discuss the Republican party of his era with the Republican party of today. It would be an intense conversation.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
David Patton, former LRC Director at Rend Lake College once told me, “It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.” Several times during my career, I have taken chances because I knew what was best and believed in what I was doing.