Approximately 20 local Bahamian boys banging on drums and scraping saws made a rhythmic beat welcoming those in the lobby of the Melía Nassau Beach Hotel. A man exemplifying traditional “Junkanoo” dance steps paraded around the conference room. These performances initiated the start of a weeklong ACURIL conference (The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries) in Nassau.
The conference, held June 10 this year, was initiated by The Association of Caribbean Universities (UNICA) in the late 1960s as part of a movement for Caribbean cooperation at the university level. After a great turnout at last year’s ProQuest-sponsored ACURIL breakfast (in Puerto Rico), Antonio Alba, Account Manager, Mike Mackinnon, Senior ProQuest Workflows Solution Engineer, and Ashley Shnapier, Field Marketing Manager from ProQuest, along with Javier Jimenez from regional distributor eTech, held another update breakfast during this year’s conference.
Approximately 40 decision makers (business, school, medical, legal and national librarians and heads of departments) woke up bright and early to listen to an update about ProQuest operations and happenings, products, regional initiatives, and new accounts. Mike Mackinnon gave a thrilling presentation entitled “Meeting Users’ Expectations: Discovery Beyond the Single Search Box.”
Antonio Alba discussed Flow, Pivot, and ebrary, and increased the awareness of the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses publishing program. We introduced new offerings as well, such as the regional microfilm collections, J.P. Morgan (business), Digital National Security Archives, and ProQuest Law.
David Drysdale, a librarian from Utech Jamaica, gave a great testimonial for the consortia approach, using COLINET (the College Library Information Network) as an example. Umbrellas and stress balls were raffled off, and the winners of the 2014 ProQuest Research Innovation Awards were announced.
Thanks to everyone in attendance! We look forward to Suriname in 2015.