Bob Jones

 Bob Jones

As first impressions go University Librarian Bob Jones says he was far from smitten with Jacksonville after his first encounter. During his time as a undergraduate in the mid 1960s he came through Jacksonville on the way to Daytona on spring break. "I vowed I'd never live here. The traffic was horrible that day and I was detoured on many roads and bridges and yes, I got lost!" recalls Jones.


Born in Fort Monroe, Va., Jones was raised an Army brat and moved often. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and finishing graduate school at Florida State University, Jones says he was offered a job at UNF and "accepted it in spite of my vow. I thought well maybe only two years will be okay, and here I remain in year 26!"


Jones started his career at UNF as a cataloger, moved up to head the library's Circulation Department and "got hooked on automation. Now I'm both head of the Public Services Division of the library (including all service units) and coordinator of library systems. As a gadget person, I guess I'm in hog heaven," Jones says.


Looking back Jones says he recalls the special challenges that led to opening day, such as occupying the first building "with no electricity, no water or plumbing, no elevators, no roads and setting up to open in the August heat."

Jones says he has enjoyed being an integral part of UNF's past. "I really enjoy what I do and the size of UNF lets us try innovative ways of doing things without being bogged down with the instilled traditions of previous generations. We made our own history. Not only do I like UNF, but I enjoy the collegiality of working with all the SUS libraries."