Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Pub Fic D.I.Y. Costumes for a Cause

By Sheila Schofer

When I read, I create pictures in my mind, visualizing in detail the book’s setting and characters. That’s why it’s fun to see books made into movies. We get to see the characters brought to life – even if they don’t always cast the actors we would have picked!

Lucky for you, the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation offers a fun event each summer where you can join fellow booklovers while supporting a good cause, your local public library!

Pub Fiction, dubbed the most literary pub crawl in Ames, invites you to dress up as your favorite literary cha... 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

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

Dressing the (Literary) Part

by Anessa Olson

Every year, the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation hosts Pub Fiction, the most literary pub crawl in Ames! Participants visit participating locations downtown, each with its own theme and exclusive drink special. Pub Fiction is on Thursday, August 10, with check-in between 5:30 and 6:30 at the Ames Public Library, and tickets can be purchased at the Library or online at All participants must be 21 or older.

All of the money raised by Pub Fiction goes to support the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation. The Friends support the li... Read Full Blog

Spotlight on Library Friends Foundation

by Sheila Schofer

Recently libraries across the country celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week. The Ames Public Library gave a shout out of thanks to their sister organization, the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation (APLFF), to mark the occasion. The APLFF and the donations and support they receive from the generous Ames community are absolutely vital to the ongoing success of the library.

Funding from the APLFF allows the library to innovatively respond to community needs with everything from STEM Kits and author visits to Wi-Fi Hot Spots and impactful programs... Read Full Blog

Understanding Social (In)Justice Through the Power of Place

by Cathy Cooney

According to Oxford Languages, social justice is “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” By extension, social injustice describes the opposite – a lack of justice regarding the way those privileges and resources are distributed. A solid understanding of both of these principles contributes to improved equity, diversity, and inclusion. But if you’re like me, just reading the definition isn’t enough. I always benefit from more specific examples and more in-depth conversation around complex social topics like thi... Read Full Blog

Summer Reading Begins!

Ames Public Library's annual Summer Reading Challenge is here!

Read for Prizes

Do you love free stuff? Are you between the ages of 0 and 120? Then join our Summer Reading Challenge starting Tuesday, June 1!

Three Ways to Play

Visit Download the Beanstack Tracker app Or pick up a Summer Reading Challenge gameboard at the Library

Find out more at

Events for Everyone

We have a summer full of fun and learning planned for all ages, incl... Read Full Blog

Full STEAM Ahead

by Jerri Heid


Everyone’s talking about STEM and STEAM lately; what are they and why do we care?

STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. We definitely see this approach in K-12 school classrooms, but did you know that even younger children are capable of using it in their learning through play?

You may have heard the saying that play is a child’s work, and it is true! During play, children learn to... Read Full Blog

Loving Your Library

by Jillian Ocken


February is National Library Lovers’ Month, for people who pay attention to library-specific “holidays.” People share their love of libraries in many different ways, especially through stories, appropriately. At the Library, on the phone, in the checkout line at the grocery store, we hear so many stories: How a small town library inspired a lifelong reading habit. How a librarian helped find the resources that transformed a life. How the perfect book recommendation unlocked a child’s desire to learn to read. How a library felt like the last connection to... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library Goes “Fine Free”

by Tracy Briseño 


All across the country, (and in Iowa,) libraries big and small are going “fine free,” and now Ames Public Library has joined them! But what does that mean? It means the Library no longer charges late fees on overdue materials, as long as they’re returned. (You’ll still need to pay for any lost or damaged items.)

Research shows that overdue fines are not as effective as once thought. In the past, the belief was that library fines encouraged people to return materials on time. What has been found is that materials are returned at much ... Read Full Blog


Ames Public Library is joining hundreds of public libraries across the country that no longer charge overdue fines for items that are returned late. This is one step in the Library’s commitment to providing equitable access to Library materials and services.

Library Director Sheila Schofer explains “Equity and access are core values for libraries and play a big role in our new Strategic Plan. Overdue fines disproportionately penalize people with lower incomes and can even keep them from using the Library.”

Overdue charges have long been used by libraries with the hope th... Read Full Blog

Library Receives Grant for Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Ames Public Library Friends Foundation (APLFF) is pleased to announce it has received a $6,000 grant from the Story County Community Foundation. These funds will support Ames Public Library’s efforts to provide computer and internet access to the Ames community, especially with increased need during remote learning.

In the past, Ames Public Library has helped meet this need by offering free internet, Wi-Fi, and computer access inside the Library. More recently, the Library has expanded access to mobile hotspots which are checked out for free and offer unlimited data and connec... Read Full Blog

First National Bank, Ames Donates $10,000 for Wi-Fi Hotspots

An Internet connection is more essential than ever, and a recent donation to First National Bank, Ames is making it more accessible than ever!


For the past few years, Ames Public Library has offered Wi-Fi Hotspots for checkout, allowing families a week of free Internet connection. Demand has been high, to say the least. Now, First National Bank, Ames has donated $10,000 to the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation to increase the Library’s number of available Hotspots to 100! This generous gift will also allow the Library to extend the checkout time.

&n... Read Full Blog

Free Books For Students at Grab and Go Meal Sites

Ames families will again have access to free books on Fridays at four grab and go meal sites: Meeker, Mitchell, Sawyer, and the Ames Public Library. The location for Ames Public Library is at the south end of the alley behind the Library. Vehicles enter the alley from 6th Street. Pedestrians should approach from 5th Street between Douglas Avenue and Kellogg.

One book per week per student will be distributed for students in grades pre-K through 12. Scheduled dates are July 17, 24, 31 and August 7, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Books were purchased by the Ames Public Library ... Read Full Blog

What's Happening During the Closure?

New York Times Online
You asked for it! Ames Public Library now offers free access to The New York Times online! Connecting you with news and information sources is more important than ever.

Book Give-Way
Did someone say free books? Kids can pick up a free book along with their Grab & Go lunch from Ames schools thanks to the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, United Way of Story County, and Ames Community School District!

Little Free Libraries
Working with Raising Readers in Story County, the Ames Public Library Friends F... Read Full Blog