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

Memorable Memoirs of Differently-Abled Experiences

by Cathy Cooney

When you visit the library this month, we hope you’ll stop by our book displays in the youth and adult areas featuring Disability Awareness Month. You’ll find books by, about, and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, or vision impairments. (Pro tip: Some of the featured books are perfect for the 12 to Try reading challenge category of memoirs by someone with neurodiversity or ability diversity. Find out more at Here are just a few of my recommendations!

“The Cou... Read Full Blog

In Taxing Times

by Max Gulden

The dreaded time has again: tax season. Fortunately, Ames Public Library offers access to a variety of tax-related resources to help make tax season just a little bit easier.

This year, Ames Public Library is hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation appointments in partnership with Iowa State University and the United Way of Story County. These appointments are being held at the library and are facilitated by certified volunteers, many of whom have offered tax preparation services at the library in previous years.

To schedule a... Read Full Blog

Audiobooks for Everyone!

by Anastasia Tuckness

Driving around with children of varying ages, whether for a carpool or a family vacation, can be a big challenge! If Car Bingo or the License Plate Game aren’t doing the trick, try an audiobook. Finding a book that bridges all the kiddos in your car may be easier than you think—they can listen to and comprehend audiobooks that are significantly above their reading level, and a tween may be more apt to listen to (and secretly enjoy) a book they wouldn’t normally pick up because it seemed “too baby-ish.”

Adventure and humor are generally crowd favorites, and... 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

Adventurous Adaptations

by Jillian Ocken

Sometimes it feels like there are no new stories. I complain as much as anyone about the latest remake of a remake, but I have to admit to enjoying a few recently recycled stories. There are even some upcoming adaptations I’m looking forward to.

The biggest recent success story for my family was “One Piece.” As far as manga to anime to live action adaptations go, it was surprisingly good. (I keep my expectations low on these, because they often recreate the source material scene-for-scene without being particularly well done.) It was a fun watch with good pacin... Read Full Blog

Blind Date with a Book

by Chelsie Gohlmann

If you visit the library during the month of February, you will find a display in Adult Services called "Blind Date with a Book." Step into the realm of mystery and excitement as you select a book solely based on its genre and intriguing first line. It’s like unwrapping a present, not knowing what awaits inside!

When you choose to go on a blind date with a book, you embark on an adventure where the story’s essence can captivate you, free from preconceived notions or biases. It’s a delightful journey of exploration, where each book holds the promise... Read Full Blog

Music: An Important Component of Early Literacy

by Ben Schrag

If you know me, you know I love to write songs. (Technically speaking, I’m an award-winning songwriter. Though, to be sure, receiving commendations for songwriting from an educational theatre organization, however prestigious, feels a bit like little like winning “best dressed” at a swimming meet!)

I’ve been writing, singing, and playing in Iowa for years and have enjoyed playing at everything from Ames Main Street shops to the Des Moines Arts Festival. But one of my favorite gigs is getting to sing and play for toddlers at the Ames Public Library.

... Read Full Blog


by Seth Warburton

Like Katmai’s fat bears searching for salmon, we librarians stand in a river of literature. But catching the right book at the right time, pulling it glistening and shiny and fresh from the stream is more difficult than it seems.

“How hard can it be?” you say, “You just stand there and the books come to you,” and you’re right. But firstly, cracking open a new book is something of a commitment; it takes some trust that what I’m reading will entertain or educate, that it will feel right for my mood, and that it will only bore or shock me as much as I’m willing t... 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