Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member


by Brianne Anderson

My day is not complete at the Library without a caregiver hauling out a screaming toddler, tears streaming down their little face, kicking, screaming and wailing. Boy do I feel for those caregivers when trying to manage a screaming child, but I also kinda feel good inside. That child had so much fun at the library today that they don’t want to leave! That’s a win in my book. (Sorry, parents.)

Throwing a temper tantrum is completely developmentally appropriate for a two-year-old. A young child’s brain is just developed enough to understand they have inde... Read Full Blog

Black Arts Festival at the Ames Public Library

By Emma Bravard

Stocked on our shelves are stories from individuals and communities located all around the globe. They are stories that inspire greatness, encourage learning, bring new perspectives, amplify often unheard voices, and so much more between their pages. They gather here together in the Ames Public Library to show us the joy and connectedness that comes from us all sharing our lives, our skill, and our art with one another.

These stories do not just sit here in our collection holding their knowledge or keeping their glance into another’s world secret. Rather, they g... Read Full Blog

Humor Me: First Amendment Days 2024

By Anessa Olson

Parody, satire, and comedy have always been at the forefront of the First Amendment. This year, the 22nd annual First Amendment Days will explore the freedom to laugh.  Join Ames Public Library and Iowa State University for a series of events that celebrate comedy and the power of free expression. 


Pun-damental Rights – April 16, 7 p.m. Ames Public Library

Celebrate by participating in (or laughing at) a First Amendment themed pun battle.  It promises to be a lot of pun(s)!  Presented in partnership with Ames Public... Read Full Blog

Eclipse Time!

by Ellen Wanamaker

In a few days, millions of Americans will see a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will cross 15 states on April 8th. To see the spectacle in totality, Iowans will have to travel a few hours, but if you stay in Ames, you’ll still witness about 85% of the sun eclipsed by the moon’s shadow.

There are many ways to learn about eclipses prior to the big day. The “New York Times” website has an interactive map-filled article, published by Jonathan Corum on March 25, 2024. Ames Public Library cardholders have free access to the NYT online through our web... Read Full Blog

Parenting Problems and Answers at the Ames Public Library

by Danielle Ziegler

Although the Ames Public Library Youth Services department offers many books, storytimes, and activities for the younger crowd, we don’t want to forget about parents and guardians! Adults are welcome to use the youth department, whether getting great books for the young people in their lives or themselves. (But don’t forget that we also have an amazing Adult Services department!)

Parents and guardians should check out the Parenting Collection, located at the South side of the Library’s youth department. This small collection focuses on books to aide in ... Read Full Blog

Cultivating Community

by Alissa Dornink

Are you a budding gardener looking to dive into the world of seed starting? Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or a complete novice, our upcoming Seed Starting Workshop is your ticket to hands-on expertise. We’re partnering with Mustard Seed Community Farm and the ISU Extension Master Gardener Program to create this free event as a fun experience for all green (and not so green) thumbs.

Drop in to Ames Public Library’s Saturday, March 23, between 10 am and noon and discover the art of growing plants from seed. Our new Seed Library, located on the 2nd fl... Read Full Blog

Celebrating 150 Years of Willa Cather

by Megan Klein-Hewett

The acclaimed American author, Willa Cather, would have been 150 years old on December 7, 2023. On February 28, from 7-8 pm, join the Ames Writers Collective, the National Willa Cather Center, and Ames Public Library to honor Cather’s great life and works in the Library’s Auditorium, or on Zoom.

Some of Cather’s most popular works, like “My Antonia” and “O Pioneers!” were heavily influenced by her time spent in Red Cloud, Nebraska, now the home of the National Willa Cather Center. Ames Writers Collective Executive Director and foun... Read Full Blog

Eric Carle’s Caterpillar

by Jill Philby

Just over 50 years ago, a very hungry little caterpillar burst out of an egg and ate his way through all sorts of food on the way to transforming into a beautiful butterfly!  Author/illustrator Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has been a perennial favorite among both children and adults. Now a stage production, the caterpillar and his friend, Brown Bear, will be visiting Ames’ Stephens Auditorium on Monday, February 12, 2024 at 6:30pm.

To celebrate Eric Carle and his caterpillar, Ames Public Library will be giving away one Family Pack of four ... Read Full Blog

What is BookTok? How can I become involved?

by Bri Martin

All who are on TikTok and have a passion for books, more than likely, have encountered this phenomenon called “booktok”. Yet, what exactly is it? Can I learn something from it? How are individuals coming up with a “booktok” book? What are the standards?

To answer your questions, I’ll share my own personal take on what booktok is, and how you can join this community of bibliophiles. So, to the first question, what is booktok? Booktok is a land of wonderful reads where fellow book lovers alike come on TikTok to discuss books. Popular, unpopular, “fashion-forwar... Read Full Blog

Introducing the IDEA Center

by Anessa Olson

The IDEA Center is the Ames Public Library’s new digital conversion and editing lab. The purpose of the space is to provide free access to the equipment and software needed to preserve your family’s history by transferring treasured memories from vulnerable analog formats into digital files that can more easily be shared and saved. The IDEA Center has three stations, one each for video and audio conversion, scanning, and editing.

The video conversion station will be able to convert VHS, S-VHS, and VHS-C tapes into digital video files that can be burn... Read Full Blog

Black Arts Festival Call for Artists

Central Iowa visual and performing artists are invited to apply to have their work featured on April 20, 2024, at the Black Arts Festival at Ames Public Library.

This family-friendly event will celebrate and promote greater awareness and appreciation of the artistic and cultural contributions of Black visual and performing artists in the community.

Find more information and the application for visual and performing artists at

... Read Full Blog

Book Sale Video: Take One

by Sheila Schofer

When I was in High School, I had an amazing teacher who encouraged learning through creative self-expression. She allowed us to submit our homework in unique formats as long as it fulfilled the objectives. I wrote compare/contrast assignments using poetry, and essays using song lyrics. It helped me tackle tasks in an engaging way.  I may have been channeling that experience as I contemplated my Library Notes column. When I mused on the message I wanted to share, I envisioned it as quirky video.

Scene: librarian stands in the inviting lobby ... Read Full Blog

On Golden Wings

by Megan Klein-Hewett

James Herman Banning was born on November 5, 1899. On November 5 this year, 124 years later, we honor Banning’s amazing life and accomplishments at Ames Public Library.

By this point, you’ve hopefully heard Banning’s name. The Ames Municipal Airport was renamed the James Herman Banning Ames Municipal Airport in June of this year, and a play featuring Banning’s story was performed at the Ames/Story County Juneteenth celebration this summer. In partnership with the Ames NAACP, the library will show a recording of the play, “On Golden Wings - The Greates... Read Full Blog

Spooky Stories at the Library

by Jill Philby

With Halloween just around the corner, Ames Public Library lends more spooky stories than usual.  Older children and teens love a good scare and will read books like Aaron Reynolds’ “Creepy Tales!” series, “The Jumbies” by Tracey Baptiste, or Katherine Arden’s “Small Spaces” series at any time of year. But books like Alvin Schwartz’ “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” are especially popular the closer we get to Halloween. 

Kids and teens love books that are scary, and the thrill in feeling the goosebumps on your arms or the shiver down your spine c... Read Full Blog

Ames Pridefest returns to Downtown and the Ames Public Library

By Ben Schrag

It’s always wonderful to see downtown Ames come to life with any of our large community celebrations! Farmers’ markets, art festivals, and outdoor live performances are all part of what makes downtown special. Did you see those pictures from RAGBRAI? Downtown is a wonderful place for our community to gather together. These large events are an economic boon and a feather in our community’s collective cap.

Of all the reasons to gather downtown, I’m particularly excited for Pridefest. Part of being in community with each other means supporting and caring for everyone... Read Full Blog