Library Reopening FAQ

Curbside Pickup

Ames Public Library has shifted to Curbside Service (from grab and go lobby service) in response to increased community spread of COVID-19.

The lobby is currently closed, but holds are available by curbside pickup instead.


Here's how it works:

  • Place items on hold using the Library catalog, just as you have in the past.
  • Wait for notification that your items are ready before coming to the Library.
  • Park in front of the Library during open hours. No appointment necessary!
  • Text "HERE" to the number on the sign.*
  • Follow the automated prompts in the reply.
  • Stay in your car and open your trunk or passenger window for staff to place your items in your vehicle.

* Don't have a mobile phone? You can use the web version of the text service here, or contact Customer Account Services at (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 or for help using curbside pickup without texting.

Please wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose during your curbside pickup.

Curbside Holds Pickup web slide with graphic of car driving with books


Items can be returned to the drive-up book drop in the alley (preferred) or the walk-up book drop near the entrance. Oversize items, puppets, etc. can be returned during curbside pickup.

Curbside Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-9pm
Wednesday: 9am-6pm
Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 9am-6pm
Sunday: 1-5pm

Curbside FAQs

This service is available for current library card holders whose account is in good standing. If you have large fines or fees on your account, you may need to pay them before your holds can be checked out. You can pay your Ames Public Library fines online here


Wait for notification that you have holds ready to be picked up.

Then stop by any time during our open hours. (Please arrive 15 minutes before close to allow enough time.)

We receive about 800 hold requests each day, so your items will not be ready for you to pickup immediately. Please wait for notification from the Library that your items are ready.

Staff are working hard pulling requested items from the shelves in the order they are requested. It may take a day to get to your items.

If your item is in quarantine or if you requested on an item that is currently checked out to someone else, the wait may be longer.

Please return items in the drive up drop box in the alley behind the Library (preferred), or in the drop box just south of the Library's entrance.

If you have oversize items, puppets, or other items that should not go in the regular drop box, you may return them in the labelled bin during Curbside Holds Pickup.

Contact Customer Account Services at (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 or for help using curbside pickup without a mobile phone.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are welcome to use Curbside Holds Pickup!

When you arrive, text "HERE" to the phone number on the signs. When the automatic text message asks for your vehicle color, type in "walk up." Staff will send directions for picking up your items.

Be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from staff and doorways, and wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose.

If you don't need some of your held items anymore, call (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 or e-mail

Library staff are following current safety recommendations, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing with other staff as well as customers, washing hands with soap frequently, and disinfecting work spaces.

Library materials are quarantined after being returned.

If you have another question, please call (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 or e-mail

Closure FAQ

There is no reopening date set at this time. We will monitor the situation and use recommendations from City and health officials to determine when to reintroduce more services and areas of the building. This will happen gradually over multiple phases.

Requested items will be held for 7 days. If you have items on hold that you no longer need, please call 515-239-5646 ext #2 or email

Items now check out for their regular loan periods. Look at your checkout receipt or log in to My Account to find due dates for your items.

Items can be returned to the drive-up drop box in the alley behind the Library or to the walk-up drop box near the Library's entrance. If you have oversize items or bagged items like puzzles, please place them in the bin outside the Auditorium during Curbside Pickup

If you cannot find your Library card please call the Library at 515-239-5646 and select option 2 for Customer Account Services.  If you forgot your password you can use the reset password button on the Library’s website.

You can! Any new patrons can sign up for a library card and will receive a temporary barcode. With the temporary barcode you will be able to access our streaming and downloadables as well as our online resources while the Ames Public Library is closed. (NOTE: Cardholders must be a resident of Ames or rural Story County to access some digital resources, including certain downloadable e-Books and e-Audiobooks.)

Sign up here>>

When you visit the Library, bring a photo ID and proof of your current address to verify your account. Then you will be able to check out physical materials as well as online materials.

Search for items on the Library's catalog:

When you find something you want, click the "Request" button for that item and login to your Library account.

Wait until you receive notification that your holds are ready for pickup, then stop by during our open hours for curbside pickup.

Please do not attempt to clean or disinfect Library materials.

When items are returned, they are placed into quarantine. Items that are on a hold queue are disinfected according to current guidelines.

If you are concerned about the items you check out, you may quarantine them before using them.

We are not currently accepting donations of materials.

The latest updates can always be found on the Ames Public Library’s coronavirus response here>>

You can also contact the Library here>> or call the library at (515) 239-5646.