For immediate release | July 26, 2011

Get inspired to “turn the page” with AASL’s school tours at national conference

CHICAGO – Be sure to arrive early to the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 15th National Conference & Exhibition from Oct. 27-30 in Minneapolis. The Wednesday and Thursday before conference will be dedicated to many learning and networking events, including school tours. With four different tour options, school librarians are sure to find inspiration to bring back to their school library program.

During the Unique School Tour on Wednesday, Oct. 26, participants will visit two schools well known for their curriculum and resources. The general collection at the Perpich Center for the Arts Education contains over 17,000 print and non-print items which reflect diverse and unique areas of art and education. Perpich’s special collections include those dedicated to multicultural and diversity, professional development and research, dance education, National Gallery of Art Teacher Resources and boasts over 1,900 videotapes which are available to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

After browsing the collections at Perpich, attendees of the Unique School Tour will visit the Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School. At Robbinsdale, the school library, or biblioteca, is included in the comprehensive elementary curriculum offered. Students at Robbinsdale learn Spanish while they learn math, language arts, science, music, and more. The biblioteca follows this curriculum, teaching with instruction in Spanish only in grades kindergarten through third.

Two outstanding schools take the stage during the District 279 School Tour on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 27. North View Junior High is an International Baccalaureate (IB)World School whose mission is to infuse a core curriculum with a world focus that can help young people understand their role as responsible world citizens. The library at North View is always full, even with open hours before and after school. The school library program works to integrate technology and collaborate with teachers in order to encourage inquiry, discovery and understanding of the world community.

There’s no doubt that the library is the hub of the school at Maple Grove Senior High and there’s no “shhhhh-ing” allowed! Located off the main entrance, Maple Grove’s school library is a practical, useful and inviting educational space with a variety of learning areas. Students take the forefront in supporting the library’s technology, as a small group of students serve as tech support for the library’s 750 computers and 100 projectors.

The first school library featured during Independent School Tour 1 on Wednesday, Oct. 26, plays a key role in the school’s mission to “educate young men and women of diverse abilities, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds for opportunities in post-secondary education.” Cretin-Derham Hall is a Catholic co-educational high school with very focused core values for its students: Catholic, academic, leadership, community, service, diversity and equity. The school’s commitment to its students and to the role the school library plays in instilling these values is well documented – of the class of 2007, 94% of the graduates attended post secondary institutions.

Next on the tour is The Blake School, an independent school with three campuses in the metropolitan Minneapolis area. The tour will stop at the Blake - Hopkins Campus, which hosts the schools lower and middle grades. One of Blake’s core values is to instill a love of learning in every student and they do so by actively engaging students in the learning process. Blake’s school library is considered an integral part of this process.

The first stop on Independent School Tour 2 on Thursday, Oct. 27, is the Breck School. Breck is an Episcopal, coeducational, college-preparatory day school enrolling students of diverse backgrounds and abilities in grades preschool through twelve. The school hosts a library for each academic level – lower, middle and upper – and those libraries are committed to ensuring a balance in media across their collections.

The two school libraries of St. Paul Academy and Summit School contain nearly 55,000 books, videos, DVD’s, CD-roms, audiobooks and e-books. The Goodrich campus library serves students in grades K-5 and the Randolph campus library serves students in grades 6-12. Both campuses encourage students and adults to become independent learners by providing resources, activities and instruction in the use of information technology, as well as providing them with an environment that encourages reading for pleasure.

More information and ways to register can be found on the national conference website at

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.