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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 accept damaged books (e.g., broken bindings, missing pages, soiled, musty or moldy, excessive writing in the text) or clearly outdated materials.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)
  • Recent editions of magazines.

We cannot accept:

  • Large quantities of books that are not in boxes.  We are unable to return boxes or bins to donors. 
  • 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  • Clearly outdated materials (see below for guidelines)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
  • Condensed books (Reader’s Digest)
  • Professional journals
  • Encyclopedias
  • Non-commercially produced media
  • Cassette tapes
  • VHS
  • Workbooks or study guides that are partially or wholly filled in

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 Ext. 2 when you arrive at the Library. You will be instructed to park at our garage/receiving room.
  • 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. Your tax preparer can assist with this. 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 general collection; stored for our semi-annual book sale; sold in Literary Grounds Book Store; given away, or discarded.

Contact UsContact Us

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