Blog Entries

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Staff Member

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

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


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

Solar-Powered Bench Offers Charging Stations

There's a new bench in front of Ames Public Library, and this one's powered by the sun!

Made by SELS - Smart Era Lighting Systems, the new new seating option offers wireless and USB charging stations for phones and electronic devices, including USB ports and wireless. It also has built-in lights for night time. The system is completely self-sufficient, storing power collected by solar panels in built-in batteries. As an added bonus, the Library's wi-fi can keep you connected to internet while you charge.

Stop by and charge up while you wait for the bus or enjoy the ... Read Full Blog

Read for Fun

by Tracy Briseño

I challenge you. I challenge you to read for fun this summer. Just for you. Whatever you want. I encourage you to do it visibly where your kids or neighborhood kids can see you. It sets a powerful example. But mostly, I encourage you to read for your own enjoyment or interest. Just to be clear – I embrace a WIDE view of reading. Read the newspaper, read an e-book, listen to an audiobook, crack open your favorite magazine, read a picture book for fun (no kids required!) or dive into a book you’ve always wanted to try. Just read.

We know that reading for fun... Read Full Blog

What a Novel Idea!

by Anastasia Tuckness

What do roleplaying games, flip-flops, and magnetic cup holders have in common? Not much, you might say, except this: they all became part of Ames Public Library as a result of our Novel Ideas program! Novel Ideas fosters innovation and creative thinking among Library staff. In the four years since its inception, it has done just that, prompting some unique and interesting initiatives. Any staff member can propose an idea to be considered by the Novel Ideas team. After approval, a cross-department team works together to implement it. Funding comes from a specia... Read Full Blog


by Tracy Briseño

It is becoming colder and darker. I am not excited about winter. I don’t like being cold, and I thrive in the sunshine. This is a time that my introvert self likes to hibernate at home. If you are like me, here are some suggestions for how the library can help you enjoy this season of chilliness.

Checkout the library’s online options for reading, listening to music, or watching movies, films, and TV shows. The library’s Winter Reading Challenge is for all ages and runs from December 15th - Feb 14th. You can sign up online or through the Beanstack app. Thro... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library: A Story, by You

by Keirra McFadden

Here at Ames Public Library we know we provide something different for everyone. We want to know more about the community members we serve every day and how the Library plays a role in their lives. This is why we are asking--what does Ames Public Library mean to you? We want to see how you view the Library and to accomplish this we are asking you to submit a story and photo you believe tell your experience with the Library. 

If I was to turn in my story, I would submit a photo of me working on this article. Accompanying it would be a story about my ... Read Full Blog

Your Library is a Center of Civics

by Megan Klein-Hewett

Ames Public Library values the role we play as a connector of information to help you be an informed citizen in our community. The Library always strives to make access to information easy, through events like voter registration drives and local candidate forums, but also through the Civics Center webpage at and through materials you can borrow. 

Are you registered to vote? Have you moved and need to update your voter registration records? Next Tuesday, September 28, is National Voter Registration Day and it provides the per... Read Full Blog

Student Library Cards

by Tracy Briseño

When my middle schooler came home yesterday, she was excited to have met her school librarian and check out some books she’d never read before. Also, she wanted to share with me some big news. “Did you know that we all have library cards?!” Cue my shocked face. Actually, I did know this as I was part of the team at Ames Public Library (APL) who worked with a school district team to organize this. In June, APL partnered with Ames Community School District (ACSD) to issue over 5,000 public library cards to students.

My daughter has always had library access.... Read Full Blog

Next Generation of Homeschooling Resources

by Brianne Anderson

At the end of last school year, most of us parents were celebrating a return to “normal” over the summer. The pool was opening again, the summer reading program was back at the Library, and we could again look forward to spending time outside with our families at summer concerts and fun events.

I don’t know about you, but the fact that we are not totally back to pre-COVID normal is still a hard pill for me to swallow. Masks are again donning faces as cases surge and social distancing is definitely still an important part of being out in society. Our are... Read Full Blog

My Epic Journey of Becoming a Library Cardholder

by Keirra McFadden

I feel like today nothing is actually free and easy to obtain, especially when it comes to becoming a part of a membership program. Services with memberships draw you in with lines like “first month free!” but to get that free month you have to put in all of your information, payment method, and agree to a million terms and conditions. It is stressful, confusing, and intimidating. After going through that process time and time again it makes you weary. That was why when it came time to get an Ames Public Library card, I was prepared to bear the entire process... Read Full Blog

The Library as Gathering Space

by Sheila Schofer

Over the last decade, the library’s role as community gathering space has becoming increasingly clearer.  As e-books and downloadable content took off and libraries’ digital collections grew, some wondered whether the library would continue to exist. I always reassure people that libraries will always be relevant.  While collection formats change and evolve, the physical book won’t go away completely and more importantly the library is so much more than its physical collection.

Libraries are also about space.  Free space, accessible space, ... Read Full Blog

What Will You Read Next?

by Cathy Cooney

With so many fantastic books in the world, and in the library, how do you narrow down your options? Some readers choose what to read based on their mood. Others go through phases where they only pick one type of book. (I once read nothing but cozy mysteries for 2 years.) Some move alphabetically through a list, grab a book with an eye-catching cover, binge series by series, or follow an order only they understand. What do all of these readers have in common? No matter what method you use, at some point you’ll finish your current book and need to decide on your next l... Read Full Blog

Armchair Adventures

by Ashley Wilson

There are a million good reasons to go on an armchair adventure. You probably already travel in your armchair a few or more times a week without even thinking about it! Maybe it’s armchair dining with your favorite food channel, space exploration with the latest issue of “National Geographic,” or revisiting your favorite trip with a photo album. All of these are great ways to explore from—and with—the comforts of home. However, if you're like me and have found yourself wanting to explore something new, be sure to stop by the Ames Public Library as there is plenty more to... Read Full Blog