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Ames Public Library
is a department of
the City of Ames.

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Support the Ames Public Library
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Book Donation Guidelines

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Thank you for your interest in making a donation to Ames Public Library.

Book DonationsBook Donations

Ames Public Library welcomes your donated books, audio books, movies, music, and magazines. Your donation will be added to the Library's collection or sold at the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation book sales or Literary Grounds to help enhance our programs and services.

Book Donation Guidelines

We will accept:

  • Hardcover and paperback books in good condition.  We cannot use damaged books (e.g., broken bindings, missing pages, soiled, musty or moldy, excessive writing in the text) or clearly outdated materials. 
  • Commercially published media (e.g., CDs, DVDs, videos)
  • Current editions of magazines (can be sold in Literary Grounds)
  • Recent editions of magazines can be put directly into the Magazine Exchange

We cannot accept:

  • Damaged books with broken bindings, missing pages, soiled, musty, moldy, with smoke or water damage, or with excessive writing in the text
  • Clearly outdated materials (see below for guidelines)
  • Toys, games, puzzles, artwork
  • Magazines (bound or unbound) older than current, periodicals, academic journals
  • Condensed books (Reader’s Digest)
  • Professional journals
  • Encyclopedias
  • Non-commercially produced media
  • Workbooks or study guides that are partially or wholly filled in
  • Computer programs

We accept certain materials within specified limits:

  • Price guides and almanacs (current only)
  • Medical and financial advice books (less than 5 years old)
  • Travel guidebooks (less than 5 years old)
  • Computer manuals (less than 5 years old)
  • Textbooks (less than 10 years old)
  • Test preparation guides (less than 5 years old)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I go to donate my books and other items?

  • Donations of books should be taken to 809 E. Lincoln Way during one of the following drop off times:
    Tuesdays: 3:30-5:00pm
    Thursdays: 9:00-11:30am
    Fridays: 3:30-5:00pm
    Saturdays: 12:00-1:30pm
    Or by appointment. (Call 239-5663 to schedule.)

How much can I claim as a charitable donation?

  • We do not determine the value of the donation. Receipts can be provided designating how many paperbacks and hardbacks were donated.

What happens to the items I donate?

  • Depending on the quality and condition of the donated items, they will be put into our semi-annual book sale; sold in Literary Grounds; put into the general collection of the library; or given away.

Contact UsContact Us

For more information, call (515) 239-5663 or e-mail