Blog Entries

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Staff Member

Percy Jackson and the Read-Alikes

by Ethan Atwell

I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but on December 20th Disney will release a new TV adaptation for “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”. This has been a popular topic of discussion for the numerous youth and teens that come to the Library. And honestly, I have high hopes for it since the film adaptations were a let down, to say the least.

Anyway, I thought now might be a good idea to spread the word about Percy Jackson read-alikes. There is of course the Rick Riordan Presents series, which focuses on highlighting middle grade authors and their books abou... Read Full Blog

Introducing the IDEA Center

by Anessa Olson

The IDEA Center is the Ames Public Library’s new digital conversion and editing lab. The purpose of the space is to provide free access to the equipment and software needed to preserve your family’s history by transferring treasured memories from vulnerable analog formats into digital files that can more easily be shared and saved. The IDEA Center has three stations, one each for video and audio conversion, scanning, and editing.

The video conversion station will be able to convert VHS, S-VHS, and VHS-C tapes into digital video files that can be burn... Read Full Blog

Black Arts Festival Call for Artists

Central Iowa visual and performing artists are invited to apply to have their work featured on April 20, 2024, at the Black Arts Festival at Ames Public Library.

This family-friendly event will celebrate and promote greater awareness and appreciation of the artistic and cultural contributions of Black visual and performing artists in the community.

Find more information and the application for visual and performing artists at

... Read Full Blog

Kids and Cooking

by Danielle Ziegler

Thanksgiving is almost upon us!  If you celebrate, you may be getting ready to prepare a feast later this week. If your kids are anything like mine, they’re excited to help as well.  But why wait for a holiday to cook together? Besides being fun, kids can learn lots from cooking, from reading to science to different cultures.

Reading recipes is a great way to get reading practice. Cookbooks may also help with kids’ vocabulary. Many times, as in “Star Wars: The Padawan Cookbook” by Jenn Fujikawa, there’s a section that explains different cookin... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library + RAYGUN

RAYGUN and the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation are teaming up to bring you the greatest Ames Public Library shirts in the universe!

Now you can buy locally-printed, library-themed shirts for yourself, friends, and family with 40% of the price benefiting Ames Public Library. Now that’s what we call the perfect gift!

Check it out at

... Read Full Blog

A Week at the Library

by Anastasia Tuckness

When the Library’s Annual Report comes out, it’s great fun to read the massive numbers—the Library owns 241, 210 physical items! The Library circulated 776, 917 physical items! But what does that really look like over any given week? And what happens in the back of the library, the part you don’t see? I joined the Resource Services team recently after a long stint in the Youth Services department, and even I was astonished at what goes on back here. Here’s what I found out, as I learned my job and my team’s job and dove into the numbers.

In one year (... Read Full Blog

Book Sale Video: Take One

by Sheila Schofer

When I was in High School, I had an amazing teacher who encouraged learning through creative self-expression. She allowed us to submit our homework in unique formats as long as it fulfilled the objectives. I wrote compare/contrast assignments using poetry, and essays using song lyrics. It helped me tackle tasks in an engaging way.  I may have been channeling that experience as I contemplated my Library Notes column. When I mused on the message I wanted to share, I envisioned it as quirky video.

Scene: librarian stands in the inviting lobby ... Read Full Blog

On Golden Wings

by Megan Klein-Hewett

James Herman Banning was born on November 5, 1899. On November 5 this year, 124 years later, we honor Banning’s amazing life and accomplishments at Ames Public Library.

By this point, you’ve hopefully heard Banning’s name. The Ames Municipal Airport was renamed the James Herman Banning Ames Municipal Airport in June of this year, and a play featuring Banning’s story was performed at the Ames/Story County Juneteenth celebration this summer. In partnership with the Ames NAACP, the library will show a recording of the play, “On Golden Wings - The Greates... Read Full Blog

Books to Movies

by Grace Hoffhines

When I was in elementary school, the Harry Potter movies were all the rage. My classmates would spend recess discussing potions professors, magical dragons, and a game called Quidditch. Naturally feeling left out, I begged my parents to let me watch the movies so that I too could be a part of the discussion. No matter how bad I wanted it, my dad refused. He told me that he wanted me to read the books before I saw the movies. Of course, eight-year-old me was not thrilled. “The books are always better than the movies,” he would tell me and locked away his Harry Po... Read Full Blog

A Frightfully Good Time

by Max Gulden

It’s that time of year again. As the air becomes crisp, leaves turn color and fall. Sunlight takes on a different hue, and the days grow noticeably shorter, while the nights grow inexorably longer. Around this time every year, my movie viewing takes a predicable turn. A turn to horror!

While horror movies can be enjoyed at any time of year, there is a certain appeal to treating oneself to a horror binge in the lead up to that spookiest of holidays: Halloween. If you too enjoy making a seasonal commitment to ramp up your horror movie viewing, you have a number... Read Full Blog

Spooky Stories at the Library

by Jill Philby

With Halloween just around the corner, Ames Public Library lends more spooky stories than usual.  Older children and teens love a good scare and will read books like Aaron Reynolds’ “Creepy Tales!” series, “The Jumbies” by Tracey Baptiste, or Katherine Arden’s “Small Spaces” series at any time of year. But books like Alvin Schwartz’ “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” are especially popular the closer we get to Halloween. 

Kids and teens love books that are scary, and the thrill in feeling the goosebumps on your arms or the shiver down your spine c... Read Full Blog

A Sense of the Season

by Seth Warburton

Autumn, that greatest of all Iowa seasons, is finally upon us.  Winter and summer overbearing.  Spring’s dramatic thunderstorms and new blooms are over-celebrated by excitable poet-types.  Autumn arrives like a Midwesterner at a party, softly sidling in, refusing to interrupt, and only revealing its presence in a quiet moment with a chill in the air, a combine in the fields, or a red leaf on a maple.  Fall may not be desperate to be noticed, but is worth engaging your senses with it all the same.

I first felt autumn this year with my foot -... Read Full Blog

Damaged Book? Leave the repair to us!

Rips, spills, and unglued spines happen. Luckily, we have an expert mender on staff with all the tools to give our items another chance at life.

If you find any damage on a Library item, please don't attempt to fix it yourself! Take it to a Library staff member so our specialist can mend it and get it back in circulation. 

... Read Full Blog

Ames Pridefest returns to Downtown and the Ames Public Library

By Ben Schrag

It’s always wonderful to see downtown Ames come to life with any of our large community celebrations! Farmers’ markets, art festivals, and outdoor live performances are all part of what makes downtown special. Did you see those pictures from RAGBRAI? Downtown is a wonderful place for our community to gather together. These large events are an economic boon and a feather in our community’s collective cap.

Of all the reasons to gather downtown, I’m particularly excited for Pridefest. Part of being in community with each other means supporting and caring for everyone... Read Full Blog

Try 12 To Try: APL’s Newest Reading Challenge!

By Cathy Cooney

I love browsing and scooping up a few new favorites in my go-to genres: romance, mystery, historical fiction, fantasy. I think everyone gravitates toward books we already know we’ll enjoy. But the library contains many different and amazing choices! This year, join the 12 To Try Reading Challenge for Adults to push the boundaries of your literary comfort zone.

Unlike our winter and summer reading programs, this challenge features 12 unique prompts to focus your year of reading. September’s challenge is to read fiction featuring LGBTQIA+ characters. You could cho... Read Full Blog