Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Audiobook Revolution

by Megan Klein-Hewett

Have you started using downloadable or streaming books and audiobooks in the last five years? If so, you are not alone! Whether you love the ease of access that digital books provide, or you’re a road warrior who’s always on the hunt for their next audiobook, the library’s Libby and Hoopla apps are great options for free access to digital books and audiobooks.

There has been significant growth in use of digital books and audiobooks over the last five years, in part due to the critical access that these services provided during the pandemic. Suddenly, ... Read Full Blog

Digging into Digital

by Amanda Molumby

Now that summer is here, maybe you have a little more time to read some books or magazines, watch a movie, or browse online. Or perhaps you have even less time than usual and are looking for ways to wind down in the spare time you do have. While I highly recommend visiting the library—we have some pretty amazing programs happening during summer, and it’s a nice, cool spot to get out of the summer heat—if you find yourself unable to swing into the library itself, try looking for some excellent online resources on the Ames Public Library website!

You can us... 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

Tools for School

Did you know...
Ames Community School District students get a FREE Ames Public Library account through their school!

Use your account all year long for access to books, Wi-Fi hotspots, online tools, STEM Kits, and much more!

Get ready for school with these great online tools for free using your Ames Public Library card:

Brainfuse: Live online tutoring, Writing lab, Test preparation, Language lab Britannica Library: Age-appropriate articles, videos, and biographies for children and teens BookFlix: Read-aloud stories, nonfictio... Read Full Blog

E-Magazines for Days!

by Max Gulden

Electronic resources provide excellent library content that more and more people use each day. They are convenient on the go, as you can access them anywhere with the right apps and an internet connection to download or stream. One electronic resource format that is sometimes overlooked is e-magazines. We have thousands to choose from and they’re available any time!

One way to access e-magazines is the online catalog BRIDGES. To use BRIDGES, you can download the free app Libby on your tablet or smart phone. BRIDGES can also be accessed through the webpage ame... Read Full Blog

Projects and Papers and Tests, Oh My!

Ames Public Library is here to help students finish out the semester with success!

Your Library card gets you free access to online tutoring, test prep, and writing lab with Brainfuse HelpNow. Get started at

The Library has also reserved space just for quiet study time. Drop in any of the following times, or ask about our regular study rooms!

Monday-Tuesday, December 5-6: 1-8:45pm, Rotary Room Wednesday, December 7: 1-8:45pm, Danfoss Room Friday-Saturday, December 9-10: 9am-5:45pm, Rotary Room
  Sunday, De... Read Full Blog

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

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

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

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

Read Beyond: E-content

by Max Gulden

The Fourth of July has rolled around once again, and there is no denying that we are in the midst of a full-blown Iowa summer! As you may know, we are also in the midst of a full-blown Ames Public Library (APL) Summer Reading Challenge! If you have been participating all along, you know that the Summer Reading Challenge is a blast, with various ways to track your progress, fun prizes to earn as you read, and a grand prize drawing at the end. For those who missed the start of the Summer Reading Challenge, have no fear, as there is still plenty of time to catch up and co... Read Full Blog

Road Trip!

by Jillian Ocken

Who’s ready for vacation? It’s almost time to pack up the family, hop in the car, and head out in search of adventure!

If you haven’t picked a destination yet, be sure to check out Ames Public Library’s Adventure Passes. There are a lot of great places to visit nearby, and even some in Ames! Adventure Passes are like tickets to local attractions that you can borrow from the Library for free. Choose from places like Blank Park Zoo, Reiman Gardens, The Science Center of Iowa, the African American Museum of Iowa, and more! Be sure to reserve your Adventure Pa... Read Full Blog

To Make Your Day

by Max Gulden

One of the many enjoyable things about library work is making someone’s day by introducing them to something they haven’t encountered before. Be it a book they hadn’t heard of, a timely program they didn’t realize was on offer, or a community resource about which they were unaware, sharing just what is needed on any given day is enduringly rewarding.

One thing that is particularly enjoyable is introducing people to online library resources. Barely a day goes by when we aren’t able to introduce someone to online access to e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, ... Read Full Blog