Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

New International Student and Family Meetup

By Chelsie Gohlmann

We are very fortunate to have such a diverse population in Ames! The university and various employers draw in international individuals and their families to relocate to our city – even if it’s just for a short while. It can feel overwhelming leaving your home country and even isolating when you move to a new place with little support or friends. I feel very strongly about uplifting the international residents in our community and giving them a welcoming space to meet with others adjusting to life away from their home countries. The library will be hosting a new progr... Read Full Blog

Speed Friending

by Clelia Sweeney

It can be hard to make friends as an adult. Whether you are a recent graduate making your way in the world for the first time, someone who just moved to town, or just looking for new people to add to your circle, speed friending could be for you. It is a socializing, mingling event with a speed-dating-like set up but no dating or romance involved. If you are looking to meet new people and make friends, it is a great place to start.

If this sounds intriguing, come join us for a round of speed friend-matching and casual socializing at the Ames Public Library! We... 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

Summer Is for Grownups Too

by Megan Klein-Hewett

Summer is an exciting time at Ames Public Library, filled with fun and exciting programs for all ages. In adult services, we focus on bringing engaging and educational programming to our adult community members. This summer we’ve been lucky to host a number of talented guests, with more still to come!

First up, join Ames Public Library, Ames Pride, and Dog-Eared Books in welcoming author, poet and essayist, Diana Goetsch. Diana’s 2022 memoir, “This Body I Wore,” explores the author’s journey through gender transition as an adult, and the growth of the... Read Full Blog

The Elect Few: Running for Elected Office

by Cathy Cooney

I think most of us associate November with election season, which may leave you wondering why I’m writing about it in June. The filing deadlines for candidates come much earlier than the election itself, so those interested in running for office need to think ahead. In fact, the filing period for the fall election on November 7, 2023 is August 28 to September 21.

The upcoming November election will include several school board directors, DMACC board members, city council members (including Ames), some city mayors, and Ames city hospital trustees. Other elec... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library Partners to Celebrate Juneteenth

by Sheila Schofer

We want every member of the community to feel like they are welcome at Ames Public Library. It seems so simple, but there is a lot that goes into a sense of belonging—understanding what it means to truly be seen, understood, welcomed and celebrated.

I, along with library staff, have been learning from some amazing speakers about creating an antiracist culture, equity in hiring and recruitment, strategies for inclusive programs and service, and even white supremacy characteristics that are often entrenched in workplace culture. This is an ongoing reflectiv... Read Full Blog

Free Lunch for Kids and Teens

Ames Public Library is once again offering free lunch for kids and teens this summer! 

Families are invited to Free Summer Meals for Kids and Teens weekdays from 11:30am-12:30pm in the Library's Auditorium.

Lunch is free to all youth 18 years and younger; meals for adults accompanying youth are $3.50. (Sorry, no baby formula is available.)


Thank you to the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation for sponsoring Free Summer Meals for Kids and Teens!

... Read Full Blog

Free Children’s Movies at the Ames Public Library

by Ben Schrag

Summer is a great time to come to the library. Not only do we have lots of books, but we also have fun things to do! Today I want to tell you about our Family Flicks series - a great way to stay cool and have some fun this summer.

As part of our wide offering of summer programs, the Ames Public Library will show two family films per month. One will be a matinee showing of a more recent animated movie. The other will be an evening showing of a retro classic for the whole family.

And you can't forget the popcorn! We will have our popcorn popper on han... Read Full Blog

Conversation Circles

By Chelsie Gohlmann 

Interested in practicing your language skills and connecting with others? Come join one of the Ames Public Library's Conversation Circles programs! Our programs provide a welcoming environment where language learners of all levels can improve their skills by chatting with others in their chosen language.

Conversation Circles: English is led by myself and my colleague, Ellen, every Monday from 12:30-1:30pm. It is the only Conversation Circles program that is facilitated by library staff; whereas, the others are all volunteer-led. The main focus of this ... Read Full Blog

Connect with Fellow Readers at a Library Book Club

Clelia Sweeney

This week I wanted to highlight one of our mainstay library services: book clubs. We have three monthly adult book clubs, each run by a librarian on staff. We also offer a monthly homeschooling book club for youth during the school year.

028: Real Reads is our book club for recently published, popular non-fiction. The name is a reference to the Dewey decimal classification for “Books and Reading.” Recent popular choices include “Empire of Pain” and “Four Lost Cities”. Our librarian Cathy started this one in January 2017 and has continued to run it since. I pinch-... Read Full Blog

Summer is Coming

Join Ames Public Library for free special activities and a reading challenge for all ages this summer!

Everyone from babies to adults can earn prizes just for tracking their reading in the Summer Reading Challenge. Pick up a game board or sign up online starting June 1.

Once again this summer, children and teens can eat a nutritious free lunch at Ames Public Library. Lunch is available weekdays form Monday, June 5, through Friday, August 18 (except July 4).

Check the Library's calendar for free events including: Book clubs, meetups, and presentations for a... Read Full Blog

Playful Families…Step Into Storybooks!

by Brianne Anderson

I cannot tell you how many times my children have run upstairs and asked me to zip/snap/buckle them into some kind of dress-up outfit. They describe to me amazing stories about the adventures the three of them are taking, all while never leaving the basement. Children’s imaginations are incredible and seeing how the kids cooperate (and many times NOT cooperate) together is not only amazing to see, but it actually builds their cognitive and social development.

Creative play time is so important because it gives kids the chance to direct their own time an... Read Full Blog

Repair Café at Ames Public Library

by Ellen Wanamaker

Do you have a bicycle lingering in your garage with a flat tire or a dangling chain? A piece of jewelry missing a clasp? A jacket that needs mending? Perhaps your espresso maker is making weird noises? Possibly you’ve got a rototiller that isn’t tilling? A beloved old laptop with a stuck DVD drive? You get the picture. Many of us have things at home that need repair, and this weekend you can drop in to a free Repair Café at the library to get help from local volunteers.

The Repair Café will be held at Ames Public Library on Saturday, April 22nd from 10 a... Read Full Blog

First Amendment Days

“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.” These 45 words establish five freedoms essential to American democracy and culture.  It is too easy to take these freedoms for granted, and so the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Ames Public Library are hosting the First Amendment Days in April to recognize and appreciat... Read Full Blog

Battles at the Ames Public Library

by Danielle Ziegler

Over the years, you may have noticed a yearly program at our library called the Battle of the Books.  This is one of my absolute favorite programs! In short, 5th and 6th graders compete in trivia battles about books they have read.  However, there is a lot more to these book battles.

Each year, library youth staff get together to decide what books should be featured on the upcoming year’s battles.  These are fun meetings with lots of discussions, as we all keep track throughout the year of books that we think would be great for battle.  I... Read Full Blog