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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damaged books (e.g., broken bindings, missing pages, soiled, musty or moldy, excessive writing in the text) or clearly outdated materials.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:

  • Boxes that have been moved directly from long term storage to the Library.  We cannot accept boxes of books that have not been properly inspected by the donor.
  • 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  • Clearly outdated materials (see below for guidelines)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?

  • Please bring donations of books to Literary Grounds inside of Ames Public Library during open hours.
  • For assistance with larger donations, stop by the Welcome Desk or call (515) 239-5646 and speak with the Volunteer Coordinator to schedule an appointment.
  • We may not be able to accept excessively large number of donations such as a “truck load.”  Also, once our inventory needs have been met, we may decline to accept donations.

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 sbohlke@amespubliclibrary.org.