For immediate release | July 26, 2011

Enjoy a unique Minneapolis experience with AASL national conference educational tours

CHICAGO – Attendees of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 15th National Conference & Exhibition are encouraged to sign up early for one of the exciting educational tours offered on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the conference, held Oct. 27-30 in Minneapolis. More information is available at

Explore the diverse, internationally recognized holdings in the Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries during a half day tour on Wednesday, Oct. 26. For those fans of the astute detective, Sherlock Holmes, the Libraries host the largest collection of materials relating to the logical Mr. Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes collection contains over 15,000 items consisting of books, journals and a wide variety of other media depicting the rise of Holmes as a cultural icon. Also on the University of Minnesota Libraries campus is the Children's Literature Research Collection (CLRC). Internationally renowned, the CLRC contains six core collections and several smaller collections including the Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature; the Hess Collection of Dime Novels, Story Papers and Series Books; the Paul Bunyan Collection; the Laura Jane Musser Collection of Oziana materials; and the Illustrated Treasure Island Collection. Be sure to register early, as preregistration is required for this walking tour and tickets are not available on site!

Learn what inspired American author F. Scott Fitzgerald during a self-guided walking tour of his homes and haunts on Thursday, Oct. 27. Born in St. Paul, Minn., Fitzgerald is often considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. The author of multiple, plays, short stories and novels, Fitzgerald is most often remembered for his coining of the term “Jazz Age” and his most famous work, “The Great Gatsby.” Relive American literary history by joining your fellow conference attendees for a look at F. Scott Fitzgerald's St. Paul home. Price includes round-trip bus transportation between the Minneapolis Convention Center and the tour starting point. Preregistration is required for this self-guided walking tour and tickets are not available on site.

Those attending the Historic Cave Tours at the Wabasha Street Caves will have a lot to discuss after exploring the man-made sandstone caves! Mined in the 1880's, portions of the caves were later finished, and some were once a romantic night club called The Castle Royal. On Thursday, Oct. 27, view a unique part of Minneapolis that can boast mobster legends, ghostly lore and romance! Price includes tour, buffet lunch and round-trip bus transportation between the Minneapolis Convention Center and The Wabasha Street Caves. Preregistration is required and tickets are not available on site.

The AASL 15th National Conference and Exhibition, "Turning the Page," is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. Taking place Oct. 27-30 in Minneapolis, the AASL National Conference will feature preconferences, numerous concurrent sessions, more than 200 exhibiting companies, educational and school tours, a storytelling festival and special appearances by award-winning authors. The deadline for "early bird" discounted registration is Aug. 4. For more information or to register, visit

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.