Book Donation Guidelines

Various books on shelf

Ames Public Library welcomes your donated books, audio books, movies, music, and magazines. Your donation will be added to the Library's collection or sold at the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation book sales or Literary Grounds to help enhance our programs and services. 

  • Hardcover and paperback books in good condition. 
    We cannot accept damaged books (e.g., broken bindings, missing pages, soiled, musty or moldy, excessive writing in the text) or clearly outdated materials. 
  • Commercially published media (e.g., CDs, DVDs)
  • Recent editions of magazines.
  • Price guides and almanacs: current only
  • Medical and financial advice books: less than 5 years old
  • Travel guidebooks: less than 5 years old
  • Computer manuals: less than 5 years old
  • Textbooks: less than 10 years old
  • Test preparation guides: less than 5 years old
  • Large quantities of books not in boxes. We are unable to return boxes or bins to donors.
  • Damaged books with broken binding, missing pages, soiled, musty, moldy, smoke or water damage, or excessive writing in the text.
  • Clearly outdated materials
  • Toys, games, puzzles, artwork
  • ReaderĂ­s Digest condensed books
  • Professional journals
  • Encyclopedias
  • Cassette tapes
  • VHS
  • Workbooks or study guides that are partially or wholly filled in
  • Please bring donations of books to Literary Grounds inside of Ames Public Library during open hours.
  • Stop by the Welcome Desk or call 515-239-5646 ext. 2 when you get to the library if you have larger donations. You'll be instructed to park at our garage/receiving room.
  • We may not be able to accept excessively large donations such as a truck load. Once our inventory needs are met we may decline to accept donations.

We do not determine the value of the donation. Your tax preparer can assist with this. Receipts can be provided stating how many and what kind of items were donated.

Depending on the quality and condition of the item they can be put into our general collection, sold on our book sales, sold in Literary Grounds, given away, or discarded.

Contact Us

For more information about donation guidelines, call (515) 239-5663 or e-mail