Blog Entries

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Poetry: It’s for Adults Too (Even After April)

by Clelia Sweeney

You might remember this rhyme from childhood:

“Keep a poem in your pocket, and a picture in your head, and you’ll never feel lonely at night when you’re in bed.”

The catchy stanza comes from Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, a 1900s children’s book author. I remember hearing it in elementary school, when we were given printed poems to keep in our actual pockets throughout April. If you memorized and recited your poem to a librarian, you got a prize. I remember sing-songing my way through “The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven” by Jack Prelutsky over an... Read Full Blog

Memorable Memoirs of Differently-Abled Experiences

by Cathy Cooney

When you visit the library this month, we hope you’ll stop by our book displays in the youth and adult areas featuring Disability Awareness Month. You’ll find books by, about, and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, or vision impairments. (Pro tip: Some of the featured books are perfect for the 12 to Try reading challenge category of memoirs by someone with neurodiversity or ability diversity. Find out more at Here are just a few of my recommendations!

“The Cou... Read Full Blog

To Be or Not to Be…Read

by Tracy Briseño

My TBR (To Be Read) pile is out of control. Somehow, I always have more books that I want to read than time to read them. So, I’m looking for a plan for 2024.

I have already joined the 12 to Try Reading Challenge and am enjoying broadening my reading from “Ooh, this looks interesting.” And “I love everything else this author wrote.” to seeking out new perspectives and challenging myself to explore more broadly. I am particularly pleased that the 12 to Try challenge is so flexible and I can try things in any order. If you decide to join the challenge, you m... 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

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

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

Summer Reading Challenge Begins June 1

Ames Public Library's 2022 summer reading challenge, "Read Beyond the Beaten Path," will begin for all ages on June 1. Participants will earn prizes just for keeping track of their reading! Head over to to get signed up on the Reading Challenge website or to download the Beanstack app, so you'll be ready to go on June 1! You can also pick up a reading challenge gameboard from the Library or Bookmobile starting June 1 to track your reading on paper.

We also have a summer full of fun events planned for all ages to help you go beyond the beaten path! Kids an... Read Full Blog

A Reading Habit

by Jillian Ocken

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” - W. Somerset Maugham

January is a time for starting fresh, setting goals, and building good habits. While many of us focus on starting a healthier lifestyle for our bodies, there’s a lot to be said for exercising your mind regularly!

As a child I was always reading. As an adult, not so much. Until now. Enter the Winter Reading Challenge. Okay, so it started a few weeks ago, but there’s over a month left! Just enough time to complete the ... 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

Reading Colors Your World

byJerri Heid

Summer reading and activities are back at your Ames Public Library! Thanks to technology the Library has continued reading challenges and activities throughout the pandemic, but this summer will be more like a normal summer.

For youth, a normal summer means school’s out. It means time for activities, reading, and exploring and learning in a different way than they do in a classroom. After a hectic school year, participating in special Library events and the reading challenge can help your family relax, return to a familiar routine, and refocus.

This year’... Read Full Blog

Start a Reading Habit

by Megan Klein-Hewett


Are you a reading goal-setter? Do you set yourself an annual reading goal, whether it’s a number of books you wish to read or a more specific challenge? If you need some inspiration, there are plenty of options to choose from to make reading a habit in 2021.

First, let’s start with some misconceptions about reading goals and their “requirements.” Reading goals are personal, and reading is defined as whatever it means to you. Audiobooks count. Graphic novels count. Books read with your kids count! Don’t let anyone else define what read... Read Full Blog