Exciting tours "rev up" adventure at AASL's national conference

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

March 10, 2009

CHICAGO – Attendees of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 14th National Conference & Exhibition in Charlotte, N.C., are encouraged to sign up early for one of the exciting educational tours offered the Wednesday and Thursday before the conference. The conference will take place Nov. 5-8. More information is available at
http://www.ala.org/aasl/charlotte under "Educational Tours" in the "For Attendees" section.

"Enjoy the flavor of Charlotte when you take part in the educational tours. Relax and leave the driving to us as you chat with friends while experiencing Southern hospitality. Charlotte's got a lot," said National Conference Co-chair Ann Marie Pipkin.

Be inspired by the relaxed elegance of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s 250-room family home and country retreat with the Biltmore Estate Tour. Stroll through acres of formal and informal gardens designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Guests will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at Deerpark Restaurant, located on the property, and will have the opportunity to sample award-winning red, white, rose and sparkling wines when they visit the Biltmore Estate’s winery. This all-day tour will be held on Nov. 4, and the $120 per person fee includes transportation, a self-guided tour, lunch and a winery tour and tasting.

Guests of the Historic Homes and Neighborhoods Tour will be fully immersed in the history of Charlotte. The first stop will be Duke Mansion, a gracious estate made famous by its former owner, James Buchanan Duke. Built in 1915, the Duke Mansion has been home and host to leaders of the 20th century. After touring the Duke Mansion and its gardens, guests will be invited to enjoy a boxed lunch in one of the Duke Mansion’s private rooms.

The next stop on this tour is Rose Plantation. While here, guests will examine the architecture, history and daily life of Mecklenburg County. The final stop of the day will be the Charlotte Museum of History. Experience Charlotte’s past as you visit the museum galleries, historic gardens and the American Freedom Bell. This tour includes transportation, lunch and entry into the museum and is $70 per guest.

For those looking for adventure at speeds close to 200 mph, the NASCAR Valley Tour is the way to go. The day begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of Lowes Motor Speedway. Guests will then have the unique opportunity to take a lap around the 1.5-mile oval and visit the winner’s circle. The next stop is the Hendrick Motorsports racing complex, where guests will also be able to view the renovated Hendrick Museum that showcases more than two decades of Hendrick racing.

The morning will end with a tour of the Sam Bass Gallery. An influential member of the NASCAR community, Bass has been creating original illustrations and designing paint schemes for 25 years. The cost is $58 per person and includes tours and transportation.

"These tours are a fun way to start your professional development experience at AASL's national conference. Before you immerse yourself in learning innovative ways to 'rev up learning' at your school, enjoy some time taking in the culture and history of Charlotte!" said AASL President Ann M. Martin.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media 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 media field.