For immediate release | June 1, 2017

AASL National Conference tours showcase Phoenix’s architecture, geography and culture

CHICAGO – Four tours will showcase Phoenix’s unique architecture, geography and culture ahead of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition this Nov. 9-11. Attendees arriving prior to the official start of conference festivities will have an opportunity to network with colleagues and learn more about the conference host city.

The full-day tour “Art and Architecture in the American Southwest” will start with a tour of Taliesin West, the winter home and studio of innovative architect, writer and educator Frank Lloyd Wright. A national historic landmark nestled in the McDowell Mountains, the site feels as much ancient ruin as 20th-century icon of modern architecture. After Taliesin West, attendees will travel to the home of Mary Wong, a former school librarian in the Phoenix area. Wong has collected more than 100 illustrations and original artwork from more than 60 illustrators including Aliki, Grace Lin, David Diaz, Molly Idle, Tomie DePaola, Suse MacDonald, Jan Brett, Ted Lewin, Brian Karas, Jane Dyer, Patricia Polacco, David McPhail and many other well-known illustrators of children’s books. Tour participants will have the opportunity to meet and have books signed by five local illustrators – Lynne Avril, Molly Idle, Wendy Watson, Mike Venezia, and Juana Martinez-Neal – and win their donated sketches, small art spots and drawings as door prizes.

During the half-day tour “At HOME: Native People in the Southwest,” attendees will visit the Heard Museum, the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art. Attendees will embark on a guided tour of the museum’s largest permanent exhibit, HOME: Native People in the Southwest, which includes more than 2,000 treasures reflecting the “home” for Southwestern Native peoples from ancestral times to today. After the guided tour, attendees will have a chance to browse other highlights of the museum and visit the museum’s library.

The half-day tour “The Gardens of the Desert,” will take attendees to the Desert Botanical Garden, which has been providing research and exhibits to help visitors understand, protect and preserve the desert’s natural beauty for more than 70 years. Attendees will discover the unique characteristics of desert plants from around the world and will also learn how desert plants are uniquely adapted to survive and thrive in a harsh desert environment.

During the “Phoenix Trolley Tour,” attendees can sit back and visit Phoenix's highlights. The tour covers more than 20 miles of downtown Phoenix’s past and present culture and community. The sites include entertainment and arts venues, professional sports stadiums, historic buildings and homes, public art, award-winning restaurants and the state capitol. The fully narrated tour also includes two stops at local highlights.

An additional registration fee is required for tour attendance and space is limited. Additional tour information and fees are available at

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. “Beyond the Horizon,” taking place Nov. 9-11, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession. Those communicating about the national conference are encouraged to use the official hashtag, #aasl17.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

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AASL National Conference & Exhibition


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)