For immediate release | October 29, 2013

AASL13 storytellers to weave flights of fancy

CHICAGO — Three master storytellers will share their craft as part of the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) 16th National Conference & Exhibition taking place Nov. 14-17, 2013, in Hartford, Conn. Performers Carol Birch, Bill Harley and Valerie Tutson will appear at the storytelling festival and help attendees celebrate the everyday and fantastic in a casual evening of traditional and original tales. Admission to the festival is included in the price of registration, and a Q&A and book signing will follow the performance. More information on the event is available at

Carol Birch understands metaphors rock! In her sure voice, literature’s appeal is appropriately conversational and intimate. Audiences respond to her infectious enthusiasm, and her peers have awarded her the Circle of Excellence for setting standards in excellence. Her style revitalizes language; her art is an absence of artifice and the stories she tells offer memories of characters worth remembering.

Bill Harley is a singer-songwriter, author, musician and monologist. He is considered by fans and peers alike to be one of the best storytellers in the country for his celebrations of commonality and humanity through comic narrative songs and confessional spoken works. A two-time Grammy award-winning artist, Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life.

Valerie Tutson is an International Heritage Gallery Individual Artist who delights listeners with her tale-telling. Valerie draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions. Her repertoire includes stories and songs she learned in her travels and experiences in Africa and stories from African American history.

“Storytelling integrates the head and heart,” said Audrey Daigneault, the local volunteer who helped coordinate the event. “Through stories we share our history, our imagination, our dreams and our humanity.”

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,” will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the school library profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, 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 field.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)