Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

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

Wrapped Up in Christmas

by Anastasia Tuckness

Holiday picture books are a delightful part of the Christmas season, their illustrations inviting readers to imagine Christmases past and present. Our library has a great section of them, shelved all together in one place for easy browsing. But maybe this year you’d like to get truly wrapped up into a Christmas story you can read over several nights, a story that can transport you back in time or off to some other place. You need a juvenile fiction Christmas story! Read on to hear about several I’ve discovered this year as I wandered the stacks looking f... 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

How Comics Changed My Life

Tyler Campbell

The library has always been a staple of my life. As a child I remember every summer I would take home my summer reading program and a different book every week. At first I would make my way through the reading program by devouring the local library’s Hardy Boys collection. Then I slowly transitioned into Choose Your Own Adventure novels before setting in on the popular Alex Rider series. I loved reading these series as I could envision kids my own age going on adventures and solving mysteries or completing “James Bond-esque” missions, and I couldn’t get enough.

H... Read Full Blog

Despite a Year of Ups and Downs Ames Public Library Strategic Plan on Course

by Sheila Schofer  

It was about this time last year—after gathering data, surveying our staff and public, and holding several community engagements sessions—that the Ames Public Library unveiled its new Strategic Plan.  Now one year in, I thought it would be great to take stock of what we have done to move our goals forward, despite a tumultuous last 12 months.  When we created our plan we did so with broad staff and community involvement, and our goal for implementation of the plan has been the same. We have employees from across departments working collaborati... Read Full Blog

Medium Spooky

by Seth Warburton

Well, here we are in October when recommendations for scary books are thicker on the ground than the leaves falling from the trees.  I’m loathe to lean in on horror, however.  Being terrified, even when it’s seasonally appropriate, isn’t my idea of a good time.  Reading scary books or watching scary movies is sometimes compared with riding a roller coaster: you get the experience of a frightening situation while actually remaining perfectly safe.  It must be some mental block, but I generally choose to take a pass on as much terror as I can, be it re... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library: A Story, by You

by Keirra McFadden

Here at Ames Public Library we know we provide something different for everyone. We want to know more about the community members we serve every day and how the Library plays a role in their lives. This is why we are asking--what does Ames Public Library mean to you? We want to see how you view the Library and to accomplish this we are asking you to submit a story and photo you believe tell your experience with the Library. 

If I was to turn in my story, I would submit a photo of me working on this article. Accompanying it would be a story about my ... 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

Learning to Play

by Jill Philby

Quite a few years ago, my husband and I brought home our first child.  He went back to work after a few days.  I stayed home with our daughter.  I held her, fed her, bathed her, rocked her, and repeated all of that until I couldn’t stand it anymore. 

My husband and I had planned for me to stay at home. I wanted to be home with her.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love her, and I certainly wanted the best for her.  I just didn’t know what to DO with her.  I had never been around babies, and though I had been assured that it would c... 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

A DVD Near You

by Anastasia Tuckness

For the past couple years, things have been all quiet on the movie front. Theaters have stood empty, abandoned movie lots have led to a mere trickle of new releases, and video stores have gone out of business. But—things have not been quiet at your Ames Public Library where movies are concerned! Let me take you on a tour of the additions and improvements we’ve made just in the last 2 years.

First of all, we added a “new” movie section—so all DVDs and Blu-Rays that are new to our collection are shelved together in one spot for easy browsing. (And yes, ... Read Full Blog

Student Library Cards

by Tracy Briseño

When my middle schooler came home yesterday, she was excited to have met her school librarian and check out some books she’d never read before. Also, she wanted to share with me some big news. “Did you know that we all have library cards?!” Cue my shocked face. Actually, I did know this as I was part of the team at Ames Public Library (APL) who worked with a school district team to organize this. In June, APL partnered with Ames Community School District (ACSD) to issue over 5,000 public library cards to students.

My daughter has always had library access.... Read Full Blog

Saving the Best of Summer

by Ashley Wilson

I love all the seasons, but none is more bountiful to me than late summer. The colorful, soft, fruits and vegetables that begin to appear in quantities larger than anyone could eat beckon my canner and crocks. I begin dreaming of popping open a jar that holds a little bit of warmth and sunshine on the darkest January nights, munching on crunchy ferments in between meals, and bottling honey mead that I can share with those closest to me on special occasions. Many winters of my youth were lightened with beets swimming in their dark ruby brine, frozen kernels of field-... Read Full Blog

Strong and Sane and Ready to Fight

by Ellen Wanamaker

I set out to write this column about silliness and fun, about nudging adults to give into their inner child and embrace play and creativity. But then I paused. So many serious and dangerous things are happening: Afghanistan in crisis; the Haiti earthquake; more dire news about climate change; the surging coronavirus delta variant; ongoing issues of poverty and inequity. It’s impossible to ignore these things, and we shouldn’t ignore them. So how do we balance ourselves in the face of all the stresses in the world? How do we keep strong and sane and ready to fight ... Read Full Blog