Programs Policy

Section: Library Resources

Approved: 6/23/2004

Reviewed: 1/19/2017

Revised: 10/10/2005, 10/19/2006, 9/18/2008, 8/16/2012, 12/17/2015, 2/20/2020, 06/16/2022


Ames Public Library offers programs to further its mission, “Ames Public Library; We connect you to the world of ideas.”

Library programs are planned public activities that are initiated or presented in partnership by the Library and take place at the Library, at the Bookmobile, at locations in the community, or online. Library programs include, but are not limited to: book talks, demonstrations, discussion groups, lectures, performances, storytimes, tours, and workshops.

The purpose of Library programming is to:

  • Encourage the use of the Library and its resources
  • Promote early literacy, acquisition of skills, and a life-long love of reading and learning
  • Present information on issues of current interest
  • Foster Cultural awareness, diversity, and equitability
  • Foster civic engagement and discourse
  • Facilitate the sharing of local talent, knowledge, and expertise


Programming Partnership

The Library encourages and welcomes program proposals from individuals and community groups. When a community group, agency, or individual approaches the Library with a programming request, the Library will consider partnership based on the following criteria:

  • The program fulfills the purpose of a Library program, as defined above
  • The program supports the Library’s mission and strategic priorities
  • The resources needed to accomplish the program are available and appropriate

Programming partners are expected to actively participate in the development, promotion, presentation, and evaluation of programs. The Library’s role includes, but is not limited to: facilitating and approving program design; furnishing appropriate space and equipment; coordinating promotion, and offering supplementary Library resources. 



The Library’s goal in programming is to connect members of our community with a wide variety of ideas and perspectives.

The Library is not obligated to represent multiple and/or opposing viewpoints within any one program or series. The Library welcomes the opportunity for other viewpoints to be represented in a separate program or series.

Presentation of a program does not constitute the Library’s endorsement of the content or views expressed by participants.


Charges, Sales, and Fundraising

All Library programs will be offered free of charge. Library programs must be non-commercial in nature. Although a businessperson or other professional expert may present a program, the information may not promote his or her specific business interest. No solicitation of future business, including but not limited to the development of prospect and mailing lists, is permitted.

Fundraising and sales are permitted with prior approval in the following circumstances:

  • For fundraising to benefit the Library by the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation or the Library itself, and
  • For sale of items created by authors and artists responsible for the content of a Library program.

Exceptions to the above may be made at the discretion of the Library Director.



All programs must be open to the public. Every attempt will be made to accommodate all who wish to attend a program.

  • Attendance may be limited if the number of participants reaches the room capacity established by the Ames Fire Department.
  • When safety or the nature of a program requires it, attendance will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis or by pre-registration.
  • Programs designed for specific audiences may have attendance restrictions or requirements based on age. Programs designed for a general audience have no age restrictions.
  • It is the responsibility of parents or legal guardians, not Ames Public Library staff, to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services.



Programs will be evaluated based on data collected from the audience, program partner(s), and staff.


Expressions of Concern

The Ames Public Library Director and the Board of Trustees welcome feedback from customers. Any customer concerns will be handled promptly and courteously, as detailed in the Expressions of Concern Policy.



This policy has been developed in concert with the following American Library Association Guidance Documents:

Libraries: An American Value

Library Bill of Rights

Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: “Library-initiated Programs as a Resource,” “Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors” and “Freedom to View Statement.”


Library Policies:

Conduct in the Library Policy

Display and Exhibit Spaces Policy

Meeting Rooms and Study Rooms Policy

Program Proposal Form