Day 2 of my Jamaican Adventure

ACURIL welcome sign Today I shopped, then I laid on a lounge chair on the beach. That pretty much sums up my day.. I registered for the conference and cleared up the hotel room issue as well, but for the most part, I bummed around until about 6:30pm, when I attended the ACURIL opening ceremony. The ceremony part was nice – a presentation of the flags of the Carribbean nations, lots of welcoming from the various people who have worked hard to put this conference together and a speech from a representative of the Ministry of Tourism about how libraries assist in getting tourists to their destinations (with lots of facts and figures about the number of people who use the Internet to make or research travel arrangements). The real fun of the evening came with the Hatfield Folk & Cultural Group, though. Hatfield Folk & Cultural Group They did some traditional folk songs, some drumming and some dancing. It was a really cool introduction to the Jamaican culture! We also heard the Mount Peace Mento Band do some Bob Marley tunes – which were real crowd pleasers!
After the ceremony was the reception. I sat (somewhat to the dismay of the ACURIL president, who wanted us to mingle) with most of the American presenters at the conference. Michael Sauers, Stephen Abrams and Cliff Landis – as well as Michael’s wife and a Jamaican librarian whose name I never did catch – sat around the table and discussed issues of librarianship and the sad, US-centric state of both the US and US librarians. As Stephen is a Canadian and we had a Jamaican at the table, the insights into how silly we Americans often look were enough to make us one of the loudest (laughing, not arguing) tables in the water park (where the reception was held).
Tomorrow is Stephen’s keynote speech (which I’m looking forward too – I always love hearing him speak!) and my Mashups presentation. I’ll blog about both of those tomorrow night – stay tuned!

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