Jane and I enjoyed the flight over, it was a chance to catch up on films (Startrek and Angels & Demons) and they gave us ice cream too! It was also a messy journey with one of us leaving the plane with wine all over her jeans, I will leave it to you to guess who. Getting through imigration was not as bad as we expected and the immigration officer even cracked a joke although he looked sceptical when told we were librarians. Having started the day at 6am we managed to keep going until 3.30 am after being cooked a lovely meal by Jacqui and Gary.
Debbi and I have now just returned from a day out at Monmouth University for a meeting of the ACRL / NJLA User Education Committee, to which members of the VALE Shared Information Literacy committee were also invited. We were on the agenda and gave a brief overview of our respective roles and our work on the CILIP Information Literacy group. We talked about LILAC and the Journal of Information Literacy. We discussed issues affecting libraries in the UK and US and found there were many similarities including concerns about how we best work with faculty, how we write information literacy strategies, assessment and how best to do it. We gave out leaflets about the group and promoted the LILAC conference generally.
Monmouth University Library is a fantastic building in a Guggenheim mansion, which was apparantly their summer house, due to its proximity to the beach. After the meeting, one of the librarians, Eleonora Dubicki gave us a tour of the building, which has some fabulous original features such as chandeliers and an impressive staircase. It was surprisingly quiet, given that term has started – apparantly Fridays are often very quiet! We also noticed the shelves are incredibly tidy and discussed the differences in book buying between UK and US students. We also took a detour on our way to lunch via the beach, where the waves were incredibly impressive – surfing is very popular in Monmouth! Lunch was a bewildering choice of omlettes – seriously over 100 different types – all served with fried potatoes and toast.
After lunch we headed to Jackson Premium Outlook mall for some retail therapy. Sadly the weather was really bad, so rather than head up the coast to check out Jon Bon Jovi’s home, we headed back east on the Interstate. Visiting Monmouth where JBJ got an honorary degree will have to suffice for today! We’re now waiting for pizza with a large G&T – it’s been an exhausting first day in New Jersey!