Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

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

Assistive Technology at the Library

by Rosie Francis

Accessibility is a word that is often heard at the Ames Public Library (APL). Like other public spaces, the library wants to be accessible to all patrons and visitors. This includes having special parking spaces that are reserved for visitors who may need them, having ramps that are wheelchair and walker accessible and having elevators that are designed and built so patrons who use them are able to do so with ease. At the APL you will find the active use of assistive technology to help patrons and visitors.

Assistive technology is an umbrella term that ref... 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

A Winter of This Content

by Max Gulden

It’s that time of year again when the air starts to turn decidedly chillier and the threat of wintery weather becomes ever more pronounced. At the same time, there are always more errands to run and people to keep in touch with. If only there were some way to make managing these obligations more convenient from the comfort of one’s home and on the go on one’s phone. But wait, there is in the form of a variety of useful online databases freely available to Ames Public Library cardholders!

To access the library’s databases, navigate to and select the... Read Full Blog

Brainfuse HelpNow: Your Family’s New Tutor

by Rosie Francis

This is a special year for our family. We have a high school senior, and it has been a heady time of trying to record and take pictures of all the “last time to do this” events on our list.  It is also an exciting time because just around the corner is the future that holds many possibilities, one of which we hope includes going to college. 

Visiting different college campuses and making new connections have all been part of this exciting process as my senior decides where to spend the next four years. While my family has thoroughly enjoyed and e... 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

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

Database Daze

by Max Gulden

In the midst of the sweltering heat of summer, finding ways to avoid the glare of the midday sun is a worthy goal in itself, yet many might want to beat the heat while stimulating the mind as well. For this, the library has your back. Of course, you could drop by the air-conditioned main library downtown and settle in to read one of the captivating novels or inspiring memoirs that line the shelves. You could also pop in to the Bookmobile at one of multiple stops this rolling library on wheels visits across Ames each week. For those who want to avoid a trip downtown and... Read Full Blog

Better Together

by Jill Philby

When kids ask for help finding books here at the library, it seems as if they fall into one of two camps.  They like either fiction or non-fiction, and there isn’t much overlap.  Once in a while someone will ask for non-fiction books about dragons or some other magical creature—which always makes me chuckle—but in general, it’s a definite one or the other. 

But the few kids who ask for both are on to something.

When you pair fiction with nonfiction, you learn better.

Reading fiction works on your emotional brain.  Fict... Read Full Blog

Library Shifts to Curbside Service

In response to increased community spread of COVID-19, Ames Public Library will shift from “grab and go” lobby service to curbside service starting Sunday, November 22.

Curbside Holds Pickup will allow Library cardholders to request physical items like books and DVDs, then pick them up in front of the Library safely and easily. “We’ve got a new, flexible curbside system,” says Library Director Sheila Schofer. “Instead of making an appointment, you can come by when it’s convenient for you.”

After requesting items using the Library’s online catalog, customers need to ... 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