Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Trice, Carver, Banning, Martin

by Jillian Ocken

Most people who have spent time in Ames, Iowa, know the names of Jack Trice and George Washington Carver. Many are just now becoming familiar with James Herman Banning, with the possible renaming of the Ames municipal airport in his honor. These three African American men broke down barriers and left their mark on Ames and Iowa State College. Their portraits are being featured as part of Ames Public Library’s Black History of Ames Exhibit this month in the Library’s entryway, along with portraits of Archie and Nancy Martin.

Archie and Nancy Martin may not have ... Read Full Blog

Residents Sought for Appointment to Ames Public Art Commission

Mayor John Haila is looking for Ames residents interested in volunteering their time to serve on the Public Art Commission. There are currently four openings on the Commission.

The 14-member Public Art Commission establishes public art philosophy, develops a public art plan for the City, monitors the public art budget and recommends funding allocations for public art within City facilities, develops guidelines for selecting artwork, seeks private and governmental funding for public art, and develops educational, promotional projects for public arts programming.

“Voluntee... Read Full Blog

Come to the Library for Storytimes and More!

by Ben Schrag

From Christian Robinson’s “You Matter”:


“The small stuff too small to see. Those who swim with the tide and those who don’t. The first to go and the last. You matter.”


While the phrase “back to normal” may not feel entirely correct, this fall the Youth Services department returns to a full schedule of in-person offerings for our youth and families. And we are excited to share them with you!

Baby Time takes place Tuesdays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays at 11:00am, and Thursday evenings at 6:30pm.
Baby ... Read Full Blog

Earn Your High School Equivalency with Library Resources

by Clelia Sweeney

As someone with a GED, I feel very strongly about the importance of helping people earn their high school equivalency. It opens doors for employment, training programs, military careers, and applying to college. Through a conversation with a patron last week, I learned that Iowa does not use the GED test but the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test, a much more straightforward acronym!) I hadn’t heard of the HiSET, but 23 out of 50 states currently offer it instead of the GED. It was developed in 2014 to better suit the needs of adult students, be more affordable, a... Read Full Blog

Great Reads for Hispanic Heritage Month

by Cathy Cooney

In order to include the celebrations of as many Central American, South American and Caribbean independence days as possible, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. Celebrate this year by picking up a great book by a Hispanic or Latinx author!

 For the horror fans among us, try Mexican-American author Isabel Cañas. Her debut novel, “The Hacienda,” blends Gothic suspense and horror. After her father’s execution during the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz chooses to marry for safety and convenience. She ends up at her husband’s... Read Full Blog

Tools for School

Get homework help with the Library's free online resources, check out a Wi-Fi hotspot for Internet access, and use our space for quiet study time! 

Your Library card gets you free access to premium online resource, like Brainfuse Homework Help, TumbleBookLibrary, Britannica Library, and many more to help students reach their educational goals. Best of all, they're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

You the library also lends many helpful resources, from books to Wi-Fi hotspots to STEM learning kits. All you need is a Library card.

How do yo... Read Full Blog

Voting for all Ages at the Ames Public Library

September is the month of school, apples, and even the start of pumpkin spice. But it also has National Voter Registration Day on September 20th.  The League of Women Voters will be here at the Ames Public Library from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm to register people to vote.

Adults may know what voting is and why we should do it. But how do we teach kids and young people? The best way is for you to vote yourself and talk about how and why you vote. But another great way is to read books about voting and government with them!

Even babies can get started on the road to voting ... Read Full Blog

Libraries in Cahoots

by Anessa Olson

The Ames Public Library has almost 400,000 items in a variety of formats.  That’s a lot.  But no library can contain everything, so odds are good that sometime in your life you’ll want something that we don’t have. Fortunately, we aren’t limited to our own resources.  Libraries all across the country work together, lending and borrowing materials from each other on behalf of their patrons in a process called inter-library loan, or ILL. 

For you, the ILL process is very simple.  Just fill out our request form, available on our websit... Read Full Blog

Digital Resources for Learning

by Megan Klein-Hewett

As students of all ages return to school, those of us at the Library are winding down from the hustle and bustle of the Summer Reading Challenge and are looking toward the many tools we offer to students returning to their studies. APL offers a robust selection of online resources to help learners of all ages connect to the world of ideas.

For young learners, the Library subscribes to Bookflix and Tumblebooks. Bookflix is perfect for our youngest learners—pre-k through grade 3—and helps early readers practice important literacy skills by pairing ficti... Read Full Blog


by Brianne Anderson

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read." — Abraham Lincoln

By far one of the best parts of our job as librarians is getting to recommend books. Don’t get us wrong, we love the satisfaction of helping someone discover a link to an ancestor, or helping kids find just the right source for their school paper, but the absolute best feeling is when we get to walk the shelves, pulling out our favorite titles and describing them to patrons. Our goal at APL is to be just like Abraham Lincoln’s bes... Read Full Blog

Family History

by Tracy Briseño

Recently my grandmas both shared some family pictures. I’ve never been very interested before. I know the basics of my family history, but hadn’t really gotten into many stories about folks I’ve never met.

Seeing photos of them changed that for me. I started listening more to the stories and asking more questions. Once I jumped in, I realized I needed a way to understand who my grandmas were talking about. Was Aunt Pat their Aunt, their Great Aunt, my grandpa’s aunt, or a close family friend not even related to us? I tried out Ancestry to map out my... Read Full Blog

Dog Days of Summer

By Alissa Dornink

In a couple weeks, I will join the almost 70 million households in the US that have a dog, specifically a golden retriever puppy tentatively named Sylvie. Or possibly Poe. Or maybe Din Djarin. I’m still working on the perfect name. I have been watching updates of her with her littermates online and I am pretty sure she’s the most adorable dog ever, although I may be slightly biased.

It’s been a little while since I have had a dog so I am taking time to bone up (the only dog-related pun I will make here, I promise) on all things pertaining to dogs. I have gone ... Read Full Blog

Summer Discoveries

by Anastasia Tuckness

Summertime as an 11- or 12-year-old can be very unpredictable. The rhythms of the school year are thrown off. You meet new people, unearth deep family secrets, or simply learn more about yourself. For this column, I’ve selected some of my very favorite summer stories about kids and young teens. They  tell stories about summertime experiences that, while sometimes surprising and unpredictable, really could have happened, either now or in the past. Their characters are dear to my hearts and their settings are vivid in my imagination—I truly, truly love each ... Read Full Blog

A Good Book

by Jill Philby

When I was in elementary school, I remember thinking to myself, “I will always read chapter books that have pictures. They are so much better than books without!”  In my mind, if a book had wonderful illustrations, then the story was probably wonderful, too.

To my sister at that age, a good book meant a horse book.  To one daughter, it meant a book in which everyone was nice to everyone else.  To another, it meant a funny book. To my best friend, it meant a teen romance. 

No matter what the story is about, though, good books hav... Read Full Blog

The Little Theater

A One-of-a-Kind Treasure

Written in 2018 by Christina Robinson


Did you know Ames Public Library’s Youth Services employees, in addition to their other duties, do window cleaning?  On any given day upon entering the youth area, children and adults alike stop to peer into the window of the Little Theater.  That is the name given to the display case that features a children’s book diorama.  And yes, we wipe down the window at least once daily.  Children like to get really close.  We love it when they do!

The Li... Read Full Blog