CHICAGO – Educational tours during the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 16th National Conference & Exhibition will give attendees a special look at the unique history of Hartford, Conn. and the surrounding area. Tours offer attendees of “Rising to the Challenge,” taking place Nov. 14-17, 2013, an opportunity to explore the conference setting and network with their colleagues prior to the opening of national conference. More information is available at national.aasl.org/tours.
Attendees looking to indulge a love for the sea and all things maritime will find their wish fulfilled during the full-day tour, Mystic Experience, taking place Wednesday, Nov. 13. The tour begins at the renowned Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, which is dedicated to the history of 19th Century seafaring. The museum features a re-created 19th Century coastal village with historic ships, a working preservation shipyard and formal exhibit galleries illustrating aspects of America's maritime heritage. After Mystic Seaport, the tour will visit Olde Mistick Village, an early American village with shops and restaurants.
Those attendees interested in literature and Victorian architecture are encouraged to sign up for the morning tour to the Mark Twain House & Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. During the half-day tour taking place on Thursday, Nov. 14, attendees will first visit the Mark Twain House & Museum, the home of one of America’s greatest authors, Mark Twain. There, Twain wrote some of his most important works including "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Just next door to Mark Twain House is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, where revolutionary author Harriet Beecher Stowe lived after the publication of her best-seller, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Attendees will have time to explore both homes, which are National Historic Landmarks and feature dramatic displays of Victorian architecture and art.
For those attendees with more of an artistic leaning, the half-day tour to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art takes place the morning of Thursday, Nov. 14. The Wadsworth Antheneum, founded by Daniel Wadsworth, is the oldest public art museum in the United States. Its collections contain nearly 50,000 works of art and span 5,000 years of human history. Wadsworth originally planned to establish “a gallery of fine arts,” but was persuaded to establish an “atheneum,” a term used in the 19th century for a cultural institution with a library, works of art and artifacts and devoted to history, literature, art and science. Attendees will enjoy a guided tour, time to explore and lunch in the café.
Registration for the AASL 16th National Conference & Exhibition is now open at national.aasl.org. Those wishing to join their colleagues for dedicated learning and networking are encouraged to register before the Aug. 22 early bird deadline to save $100 on registration rates. An additional registration fee is required for tour attendance and space is limited.
The AASL national conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 16th National Conference & Exhibition, "Rising to the Challenge," taking place Nov. 14–17, 2013, in Hartford, Conn., will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the school library profession.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library