Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Black Future Month

by Seth Warburton

“How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?” asks author N. K. Jemisin with the title of her 2018 short story collection, though it may seem an odd question to pose here at the beginning of Black History Month.  But as Jemisin notes in her introduction, the stories of humankind’s many possible futures are too often written by those with the power in the past.  A science fiction story without black people implies that history’s racism will continue into the future.  During Black History Month, then, it’s entirely appropriate to envision a future that not only inclu... Read Full Blog

Home Voices at the Ames Public Library

by Ben Schrag

I work at a Public Library, but my background is in the creative arts; a little playwriting, a lot of songwriting. One of my regular duties is the Toddler Storytime, where these skills can come in very handy. 

When I started doing Toddler storytime, for example, I had a small conundrum. Storytimes usually start with a little welcoming rhyme to help set the tone. But when I started planning and preparing for my Toddler storytimes, I couldn’t find a rhyme that said quite what I wanted to say. They were either not quite the right message or not quite the fe... Read Full Blog

Get on Boards (or Commissions)!

by Cathy Cooney

Conservation. Historic Preservation. Planning and Zoning. Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team. Campus and Community. Library. Public Art. Human Relations. Veteran Affairs. These are just some examples of the boards and commissions who advise city and county government on issues, services, and programs. With over 30 boards and commissions between Ames and Story County, everyone can find a good fit for their interests. Serving in this way connects people more deeply to their communities, plays a valuable part in advising governing bodies and recommending policy... Read Full Blog

Adventure Pass


by Tracy Briseño

Have you ever visited Blank Park Zoo in the winter? Gone to Reiman Gardens to sit with the butterflies when it is twenty degrees outside? When the cold and snow feel endless and you are trying to figure out what to do, I recommend checking out the library’s Adventure Pass Program. Using your library card, you are able to reserve a time to visit one of six locations. You can reserve a pass to each location once every 365 days.

You can visit Reiman Gardens and explore plants outdoors and inside the indoor conservatory. There’s also a tropica... Read Full Blog

Serving the Community at your Ames Public Library

by Danielle Ziegler

Since 1994, the third Monday in January has been Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the only National Day of Service in the United States.  It’s a day to encourage people to find a way to serve in their community. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to the service of others. We here at the Ames Public Library encourage you to honor his legacy. 

One way that you can serve is by participating in Ames Public Library’s Supply Drive for ACCESS.  ACCESS stands for Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support, and they are dedicated to hel... Read Full Blog

Quick Picks

by Ellen Wanamaker

On the second floor at Ames Public Library, next to the new books, is a shelf of books and movies called “Quick Picks.” Some libraries call these “skip the line” or “lucky day” items. If you’re currently 36-deep in the hold queue for Colleen Hoover’s “It Starts With Us” or Michelle Obama’s “The Light We Carry,” then you’ll want to learn about Quick Picks.

Our librarians pay attention to the books and movies with the greatest demand, and buy additional copies for this special collection. Books designated as Quick Picks have a 7-day checkout with no renewa... Read Full Blog

Embracing Graphic Novels!

by Ethan Atwell

As a librarian, I frequently have caregivers come in with a child asking to help them find a “real” book, because the child primarily reads graphic novels. Graphic novels are one of the most amazing formats to enjoy reading. Below are benefits of reading graphic novels.

Graphic novels are accessible. According to Louise Baigelman (2022) at, the blend of images and words allows struggling readers to have more context while reading and not be overwhelmed by text. They also feel accomplished because they are able to finish a book. Graphic nove... Read Full Blog

Pride and Prejudice: Never Leave!

by Anastasia Tuckness

As a seventh-grader, I had pretty much exhausted our school’s library and was wandering aimlessly with no good book prospects in sight when my friend’s mom gave me a slim red volume and said, “Try this.” It turned out to be Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the first adult book I ever read and one that became a lifelong favorite. Once I’d entered that world of country lanes, drawing rooms, and witty banter, I never wanted to leave. Recently I discovered some new portals into that world! Shannon Hale’s hilarious “Austenland”, both the book and DVD, feature a ... Read Full Blog

The Perfect Holiday Gifts Exist!

by Brianne Anderson

I don’t know about you, but every year around this time my mind mentally freezes. The holiday season is coming and all of a sudden, I have no idea what my nieces or nephews are into right now, and do my in-laws really need/want another gift card? Gift giving around the holidays is our chance to show those we love how much we appreciate them and value them in our lives, but that also comes with the stress of trying to please everyone.

Although it might not be the first place that comes to mind, your local library is an amazing resource when those ... Read Full Blog

Watch Around the World

by Anessa Olson

We have come a long way from the time when the entire country watched the same three channels. Every year, there are more and more television shows about a staggering array of topics and characters. Additionally, more shows are becoming available from around the world.  Ames Public Library staff is happy to help you find shows or movies that suit your taste. In addition to popular Hollywood shows and films, our world language DVD section has films, shows, and documentaries from all over the world, in dozens of languages. And now, watching shows from our world la... Read Full Blog

Get Cozy with NextReads This Winter

by Rebecca Honeycutt (NoveList Readers’ Advisory Librarian) and Jillian Ocken (Ames Public Library)

Looking for a good book to get you through some cold days? Ames Public Library is here to help! One of the ways we connect you with books you may be interested in is NextReads e-mail newsletters. Sign up for any that interest you at, and enjoy booklist in your inbox curated by NoveList and Ames Public Library’s experts.

Here are some upcoming NextReads highlights:

This December, you'll find "2022 Debuts" theme lists in Teen Scene... Read Full Blog

An Ode to Libraries

by Rosie Francis

Growing up the very first public library that I used was the one in my neighborhood. The library was tiny, with just a few shelves of books, a couple of tables where magazines were displayed, and some tables with chairs for readers. When the idea to set up a library was first proposed, several families and individuals donated books to get it started. Adults in the community took turns to volunteer and serve as the “librarian”. This meant one week it could be a retired judge who checked books out, and another week it could be a stay-at-home parent.

My sibli... Read Full Blog

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

Spotlight on Library Friends Foundation

by Sheila Schofer

Recently libraries across the country celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week. The Ames Public Library gave a shout out of thanks to their sister organization, the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation (APLFF), to mark the occasion. The APLFF and the donations and support they receive from the generous Ames community are absolutely vital to the ongoing success of the library.

Funding from the APLFF allows the library to innovatively respond to community needs with everything from STEM Kits and author visits to Wi-Fi Hot Spots and impactful programs... Read Full Blog

A Marvelous Universe

by Jillian Ocken

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a busy place. We’ve already had two feature films this year, three series introducing new characters, plus the odd special, and there’s still more to come. The internet is buzzing with theories, casting news, and announcements of projects into 2025 and beyond.

Whether you’re trying to figure out what all the super-fans are talking about or your filling some time until “Wakanda Forever” comes out, this is a good time to check out some Marvel graphic novels. Ames Public Library has a large selection of comics in physical form... Read Full Blog