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Ames Public Library Becomes the Iowa Affiliate for Library of Congress Center for the Book

Ames Public Library is honored to announce its new designation as the Library of Congress Center for the Book Iowa Affiliate.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is a community of 56 Affiliated Centers, promoting reading, libraries and literacy through the Library of Congress and its Affiliated Centers across the country. These Centers also elevate and advocate for their state’s unique literary heritage. There is an Affiliate Center for the Book in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Norther... Read Full Blog

Tracy Loves Juvenile Nonfiction – Round 2: Biographies

by Tracy Briseño

I have always loved biographies. I love learning about people and the time they live in. I think it is a really interesting glimpse into other’s thoughts and decisions within the context of place and history.

Last year, my daughter became enamored with reading about women scientists. She read through everything her teacher had and was working her way through her school library, too. We visited the public library together to pick out books and ended up taking home over 50 biographies, extending well beyond her original focus of female scientists. We read so... Read Full Blog

Library of Congress Centers for the Book Choose ‘Great Reads’ Titles for Each State, Territory for 2024 National Book Festival Book

News from the Library of Congress

The 56 affiliated Centers for the Book of the Library of Congress have chosen books, called Great Reads, that will be recognized at the 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival, the Library announced today.

Every year since 2002, these Library affiliates have chosen a book to celebrate at the Book Festival in the Library’s Roadmap to Reading -– a vast space at the festival where every center has a table to promote their book choices as well as other aspects of their state’s or territory’s unique literary heritage. Each Center for the Boo... Read Full Blog

Tracy Loves Juvenile Nonfiction – And You Should Too

by Tracy Briseño

Years ago, I worked in youth services at the library. I was always excited when a kid would come in and announce “I don’t like to read”. I knew that they were giving me a chance. I knew they hadn’t found the right book yet. Challenge accepted! 

I would often take these kids over to the juvenile nonfiction section and start pulling out titles. I’d ask them about what they liked to do, what they liked to watch, what they liked to do outside. I’d assure them that they didn’t have to like anything I picked out. But I’d sort through – do they like weapons ... Read Full Blog

Poetry: It’s for Adults Too (Even After April)

by Clelia Sweeney

You might remember this rhyme from childhood:

“Keep a poem in your pocket, and a picture in your head, and you’ll never feel lonely at night when you’re in bed.”

The catchy stanza comes from Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, a 1900s children’s book author. I remember hearing it in elementary school, when we were given printed poems to keep in our actual pockets throughout April. If you memorized and recited your poem to a librarian, you got a prize. I remember sing-songing my way through “The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven” by Jack Prelutsky over an... Read Full Blog


by Brianne Anderson

My day is not complete at the Library without a caregiver hauling out a screaming toddler, tears streaming down their little face, kicking, screaming and wailing. Boy do I feel for those caregivers when trying to manage a screaming child, but I also kinda feel good inside. That child had so much fun at the library today that they don’t want to leave! That’s a win in my book. (Sorry, parents.)

Throwing a temper tantrum is completely developmentally appropriate for a two-year-old. A young child’s brain is just developed enough to understand they have inde... Read Full Blog

Black Arts Festival at the Ames Public Library

By Emma Bravard

Stocked on our shelves are stories from individuals and communities located all around the globe. They are stories that inspire greatness, encourage learning, bring new perspectives, amplify often unheard voices, and so much more between their pages. They gather here together in the Ames Public Library to show us the joy and connectedness that comes from us all sharing our lives, our skill, and our art with one another.

These stories do not just sit here in our collection holding their knowledge or keeping their glance into another’s world secret. Rather, they g... Read Full Blog

Humor Me: First Amendment Days 2024

By Anessa Olson

Parody, satire, and comedy have always been at the forefront of the First Amendment. This year, the 22nd annual First Amendment Days will explore the freedom to laugh.  Join Ames Public Library and Iowa State University for a series of events that celebrate comedy and the power of free expression. 


Pun-damental Rights – April 16, 7 p.m. Ames Public Library

Celebrate by participating in (or laughing at) a First Amendment themed pun battle.  It promises to be a lot of pun(s)!  Presented in partnership with Ames Public... Read Full Blog

Eclipse Time!

by Ellen Wanamaker

In a few days, millions of Americans will see a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will cross 15 states on April 8th. To see the spectacle in totality, Iowans will have to travel a few hours, but if you stay in Ames, you’ll still witness about 85% of the sun eclipsed by the moon’s shadow.

There are many ways to learn about eclipses prior to the big day. The “New York Times” website has an interactive map-filled article, published by Jonathan Corum on March 25, 2024. Ames Public Library cardholders have free access to the NYT online through our web... Read Full Blog

Parenting Problems and Answers at the Ames Public Library

by Danielle Ziegler

Although the Ames Public Library Youth Services department offers many books, storytimes, and activities for the younger crowd, we don’t want to forget about parents and guardians! Adults are welcome to use the youth department, whether getting great books for the young people in their lives or themselves. (But don’t forget that we also have an amazing Adult Services department!)

Parents and guardians should check out the Parenting Collection, located at the South side of the Library’s youth department. This small collection focuses on books to aide in ... Read Full Blog

Cultivating Community

by Alissa Dornink

Are you a budding gardener looking to dive into the world of seed starting? Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or a complete novice, our upcoming Seed Starting Workshop is your ticket to hands-on expertise. We’re partnering with Mustard Seed Community Farm and the ISU Extension Master Gardener Program to create this free event as a fun experience for all green (and not so green) thumbs.

Drop in to Ames Public Library’s Saturday, March 23, between 10 am and noon and discover the art of growing plants from seed. Our new Seed Library, located on the 2nd fl... Read Full Blog

Memorable Memoirs of Differently-Abled Experiences

by Cathy Cooney

When you visit the library this month, we hope you’ll stop by our book displays in the youth and adult areas featuring Disability Awareness Month. You’ll find books by, about, and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, or vision impairments. (Pro tip: Some of the featured books are perfect for the 12 to Try reading challenge category of memoirs by someone with neurodiversity or ability diversity. Find out more at Here are just a few of my recommendations!

“The Cou... Read Full Blog

In Taxing Times

by Max Gulden

The dreaded time has again: tax season. Fortunately, Ames Public Library offers access to a variety of tax-related resources to help make tax season just a little bit easier.

This year, Ames Public Library is hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation appointments in partnership with Iowa State University and the United Way of Story County. These appointments are being held at the library and are facilitated by certified volunteers, many of whom have offered tax preparation services at the library in previous years.

To schedule a... Read Full Blog

Audiobooks for Everyone!

by Anastasia Tuckness

Driving around with children of varying ages, whether for a carpool or a family vacation, can be a big challenge! If Car Bingo or the License Plate Game aren’t doing the trick, try an audiobook. Finding a book that bridges all the kiddos in your car may be easier than you think—they can listen to and comprehend audiobooks that are significantly above their reading level, and a tween may be more apt to listen to (and secretly enjoy) a book they wouldn’t normally pick up because it seemed “too baby-ish.”

Adventure and humor are generally crowd favorites, and... Read Full Blog

Celebrating 150 Years of Willa Cather

by Megan Klein-Hewett

The acclaimed American author, Willa Cather, would have been 150 years old on December 7, 2023. On February 28, from 7-8 pm, join the Ames Writers Collective, the National Willa Cather Center, and Ames Public Library to honor Cather’s great life and works in the Library’s Auditorium, or on Zoom.

Some of Cather’s most popular works, like “My Antonia” and “O Pioneers!” were heavily influenced by her time spent in Red Cloud, Nebraska, now the home of the National Willa Cather Center. Ames Writers Collective Executive Director and foun... Read Full Blog