Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Junk Mail Migration

by Megan Klein-Hewett

Junk mail and bird migration, what’s the connection? For local artist Kristin M Roach, the connection was obvious - deforestation. Her new installation, Junk Mail Migration, focuses on the shifting patterns of bird migration that have been impacted by global deforestation. These changes are interpreted through an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring paintings, weaving, and technology, which is on display at Ames Public Library through November 29.

Upon entering the Library’s vestibule you will see paintings of 19 songbirds, all of which are impacted... Read Full Blog

Come to the Library for Storytimes and More!

by Ben Schrag

From Christian Robinson’s “You Matter”:


“The small stuff too small to see. Those who swim with the tide and those who don’t. The first to go and the last. You matter.”


While the phrase “back to normal” may not feel entirely correct, this fall the Youth Services department returns to a full schedule of in-person offerings for our youth and families. And we are excited to share them with you!

Baby Time takes place Tuesdays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays at 11:00am, and Thursday evenings at 6:30pm.
Baby ... Read Full Blog

Summer Fun for Teens!

by Ethan Atwell

We are now over a month into summer vacation and maybe you’ve run out of things to do with your teen. Not to worry; Ames Public Library is here for you and your teen!

The summer months are actually the busiest time of year for the Library. We offer Terrific Tuesday performers, storytime in the parks, library camp, free meals for 0-18 year olds, and much more. The above mentioned programs are mostly geared towards our younger patrons. But what does the Library have to offer for teens this summer?

There are loads of things for teens to do! This summ... Read Full Blog

Juneteenth at the Ames Public Library and Bandshell Park

by Ben Schrag

“What’s going on?”

“It’s a surprise,” replied her mother.

Cassandra thought for a moment. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday.

“What kind of surprise?” she asked.

“A Texas tradition,” said her father, as he bent down to kiss the top of her head. “You’ll see.”

So begins Carole Boston Weatherford’s picture book “Juneteenth Jamboree”. On the cover of the book we see a Black family releasing colorful balloons on a perfect summer day. They appear excited, but also at ease. The whole image feels peaceful and yet also full of energy.
... 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

All the World’s a Stage at the Ames Public Library

by Danielle Ziegler

Do you know kids and teens aged 7 to 14 years old who are interested in theater? Is your family’s summer filling up already, with no time for months of rehearsals and shows? Or maybe your child has never been in a show before and you’re not sure if they’d love it or not. Why not try Prairie Fire Theater’s “Peter Pan” at your Ames Public Library this summer?

Prairie Fire Theater is a professional theater company out of Barrett, MN.  How it works is that they send two professional actors/directors to a community where, in just one week, they will put on a... Read Full Blog

Earth Week at Your Library

by Megan Klein-Hewett

As the City of Ames makes progress in the Climate Action Plan (CAP) process, Earth Day provides an opportunity for each of us to learn about and engage in actions that will lead to greater environmental sustainability in our community. Whether you wish to learn in person, change your habits locally, or read up on climate change, the Library has something to connect you to climate action in our community.

Ames Public Library is again working with the City of Ames to present EcoChats, a series of presentations featuring local experts on topics focused o... Read Full Blog

20th Annual First Amendment Days Celebration

by Anessa Olson

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. These five freedoms are an essential part of American law and culture, and are woven into the fabric of our lives in ways both large and small. From big nation-wide protest movements to the clothes our children wear to school, the Firs... Read Full Blog

Library Teen Space Reopening!

by Ethan Atwell

If you have a teen and are trying to find something for them to do during these cold days, then look no further than Ames Public Library. The Library officially opened The Teen Space with limited hours in January after more than a year and a half being closed! The current hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-6pm and Saturdays 1-6pm. As the teen librarian, I am excited to be offering such an amazing resource for our teens and the opportunity to interact with them. And the rest of the Library is equally excited!

The Teen Space is open to all 6th-12th grade... Read Full Blog

Tough Topics: Death and Dying

Anessa Olson

Let’s talk about death.  It’s not a very comfortable subject; no one really likes to think about themselves or a family member passing away.  But whether or not we like to think about it, the reality is that death is inevitable for us all.  Another reality is that death and dying are complicated.  There are a lot of legal and financial issues that arise when someone is dead or dying, and these issues are often the responsibility of their family.  There are steps that you can take to make things easier for your family, and ensure that your wishes are ... Read Full Blog

Acts of Service Matter - No Matter the Size

by Brianne Anderson


“If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness...”

On February 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave what was to be his last sermon, ‘‘The Drum Major Instinct,’’ from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. If you have never listened to a recording of Dr. King giving this speech, I highly recommend you head on over to YouTube and look it up. The poetry and art embe... Read Full Blog

Hot Reads for Cold Days: Local Romance Author Denise Williams

by Cathy Cooney

Denise Williams always loved stories with quirky humor and plenty of heart. Now, in addition to reading those books, she writes them too. Her novels, “How to Fail at Flirting” and “The Fastest Way to Fall” both featured prominently on a variety of lists including LibraryReads, Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Indie Next List, and Good Morning America.

Ames Public Library (APL) is thrilled to host Denise Williams on Monday, December 6 at 7 pm for a facilitated conversation about the romance genre, her novels, and how life is different now that she’s a pu... 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

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

Sidewalk Science – Exploring Science with a Hands-on Approach

by Rosie Francis


Friday mornings are busy at the Ames Public Library. Patrons come in for browsing and borrowing material for the weekend, readers stop in to record their reading minutes and pick up prizes, and families gather in the library for Sidewalk Science – a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program where we explore science and engineering concepts with a hands-on approach.        

STEM influences every part of our life from the food we eat, to the technology we interact with, to the transport systems we use... Read Full Blog