Share Your Story

Polaroids of Library visitors next to the Share Your Story Logo


Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who shared their Ames Public Library story! We love to hear the many roles the Library and its staff play in community members' lives.

Read the submitted stories below.


Allison L.

Videotaping at the Library

I bought my house here in Ames because of the library. Ok, maybe some other reasons too...but the library here in Ames played a big part!

The Ames Public Library blew me away when I came to Ames for college. The library feels like a community center rather than just a location to checkout some books. Everyone who works for the library has a true passion for what they do and are committed to helping members of the community in ways I never thought a library could.

When I worked for the city, we worked alongside the library to create videos for the community and it really gave me an inside perspective of all that the library does and all that it provides.

While looking for my first home, it HAD to be in Ames. I couldn't give up the library! I couldn't give up the sense of community and care that the City provides. Once you've had a taste of what a library should be, it's impossible to go somewhere without.

That's why I tell people that I bought a house here for the library. Anywhere else just wouldn't feel like home.

Maggie W.

Third Stanza Poets

Third Stanza Poets, an Ames area poetry workshopping group, has been together since the mid-90's, and have been meeting at the APL for many years. It's a wonderful gathering place for poets to sit round the table together for sharing and workshopping poetry.

The staff has always been overly accommodating; the rooms are quiet and private; some even located close to a kitchenette if needed. We've benefited greatly by always being able to count on our public library being there for us for monthly gatherings!

Thank you from myself, Maggie Westvold (facilitator) and all the talented poets who make up Third Stanza Poets!

A New Family In Ames

Family Reads Books and Plays with Puzzles at Ames Public Library

Ames public library was the first place we visited when we arrived in Ames two years ago. We fell in love at first sight at that moment.

We found a place that is totally different from what we had in our country. When we first heard the word library, what we had in mind was a pile of books, organized systematically from A-Z. We were wrong!

It has more than just books! It has events that we can join to experience Ames, its culture, its people, and beyond. It has activities for all ages, from babies to adults, and our family feel that Ames Public Library is our second home since we could do activities that are us: as parents, husband, wife, couple, and children of eleven and nine years old. We could even visit places such as Des Moines Science Center, Reiman Gardens, or Blank Park Zoo with the Library Pass.

Ames Public library is not just a library, it is a place for us a family and individuals to experience different cultures, a place to share our love for books, to learn from each other, to grow, and to explore. It never loses the charm until now even when the pandemic hit.

An ISU Graduate

The APL was a big help to me while I was a student at ISU. They often had my class textbooks available for checkout, so I was able to save hundreds of dollars on books. They were also able to provide a study environment that worked best for me (the campus library was just a little too noisy for me).

Since I've graduated, I continue to use the APL, this time for "fun" reading! They have an excellent selection of books and I could easily spend hours there browsing!

An Avid Reader

Five years ago I made a commitment to myself I would no longer buy hardback books just for the sake of reading them. I told myself, you have a fabulous library right here in Ames. I started checking out and have never stopped.

I love listening to books while in the car. Staff is always pleasant and digs until they can answer a questions. Kudos to all of you.

Anh T.

The library has always been my favorite place. It represents knowledge and community to me; and now also entertainment thanks to the Ames Library.

I have met a library that provides its customers with video games before and this feature has been a life-saver during Covid. Like a lot of people, I picked up old hobbies in this pandemic and aside from videogames I also started reading again.

I'm so grateful to this library for providing options for borrowing books that are not available at this library. The staff is always so helpful with my odd book requests :).

A Reader and Writer

School Board Candidate Forum at Ames Public Library

The library means many things to me, but what I most appreciate about it is how it seems to grow with the individual. Starting with children's books, music and programming. We enjoy bringing our kids to pick out books (they LOVE coming to the library!) and participate in story time with music and activities. My partner and I enjoy checking out anything we like. I found my writing group through the library (for which I am forever grateful), and the programming is superb. From children's book authors to school board forums, to drag queen shows, the library is for everyone at every stage of life. There's nothing else quite like it. We heart APL.

Cassie L.

As a little girl I spent as much time as I could in my elementary school library. It was an escape from a challenging environment at home. I will never forget the day the head librarian asked if I'd like to be an "assistant" librarian and check out books. I was so proud and thrilled! When I became an adult I realized the library staff likely knew my situation and understood that my time in the library was a respite from a troubled home. Libraries have always been and I hope will continue to be a place of fun, community and security.

A Homeschool Parent

2nd grader excited for First day of homeschool

When we moved to Ames, one of the first things we did was open a library account. We turn to the library as a money-saver (borrowing as opposed to buying books and movies) and as a place to build community.

Last year, when the pandemic was in full swing, the Ames Public Library became my go-to resource for homeschooling my two kids. I'd pick a science/history subject, go to the online catalog, and put what seemed like a billion books on hold. I'd pop in, grab them off the shelf, and go home to plan my lessons. It saved me time not to have to find and pull the books myself.

My daughters pored over the books, we'd read segments together, and do activities. We made an Egyptian water clock and parachutes to throw off the roof. The library was my partner in giving my kids a great education in a mixed-up year.

This photo was my daugher's first day of homeschool. Her excitement to learn about outer space is obvious. And the library was an integral part of making her learning successful.

Jane K.

In 1986, I moved to Gilbert, Iowa, with my two preschool children. We all absolutely loved reading together, so I was thrilled to learn that the Bookmobile came at noon on Tuesdays to the elementary school, just two doors away from our home. After an early lunch, we’d walk over and return our books, and each child was allowed to check out ten new books. After returning home, we’d read four of each child’s books, and then my 18-month-old daughter would settle easily into her nap, while my son perused the rest of his books during his quiet time.

Through these weekly visits, both kids developed a very special relationship with the librarian, Mrs. Andreae. Before long, my daughter began asking each morning, “Is it Mookmebile day?”

On my daughter’s fifth birthday, my mother gave her a blank book with an outlined space for a picture and lines for printing on each page. She busily wrote her stories, sounding out the spellings as best she could, for several months.

When she proudly told Mrs. Andreae that she had written a book, Mrs. Andreae asked to read it, and then set up a date to take the “author” out to lunch to discuss it. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen a child so proud. What a caring gesture from a dedicated librarian!

Jim L.

I do a lot of research which often includes Interlibrary Loan materials. Megan and Cathy have both been superb as helpers!

Ellen W.

The Ames Public Library has a marvelous Interlibrary Loan department. I worked in ILL at another library and know the work involved in searching for obscure or out-of-print material.

APL has been fantastic at locating books for me from small colleges and large public libraries in the US and overseas. Of all the ILL books I've requested, they've been unable to locate only one. That quality of work, especially for a public library, is superb.

Ames Public Library's ability to hire and maintain such wonderful librarians speaks very highly to the quality of the entire staff. I am grateful to live in a town that supports its public library as much as Ames does.

Nancy F.

APL - Where Community Happens

I volunteer at the library several times each week due to gratefulness for books, people, and place. Each time I am at the library I stand at the cross roads of our community. Every slice of Ames calls the library home for many different reasons.

For me, I love wandering around this literary forest to learn, engage, and act that in turn benefits me and my community. I read children’s books, watch and talk with people different than me, and take home joy and knowledge that enriches my life.

As a volunteer I feel highly valued by staff and customers. So many wonderful people helping make Ames a better place for all of us.

How lucky I am to have APL people and resources in my life! How wonderful that I get to live in Ames!

Keirra M.

Keirra taking photos for her Ames Public Library internship

My story is about my desperate, and I mean desperate, search for an internship. You see, for my degree at Iowa State University I have to rack up 400 hours of an internship to graduate. The internship also had to pass specific criteria and get approved which meant it was no easy feat. As you can imagine, finding an internship matching the criteria was nerve racking.

I had spent months searching for an internship and Ames Public Library was my saving grace. I will never forget finding out I was hired and that they would work with me to accommodate my criteria. It was such a huge relief and I got super lucky.

I love working at the Library and will be sad when it is time to go. Working here has changed my life, which I know is cliché but it’s true.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus consectetur lobortis urna, id hendrerit dolor consectetur eget.

Donec ornare maximus accumsan. Etiam scelerisque suscipit volutpat.

A Story Title

Nullam aliquet mattis sollicitudin. Nulla malesuada, elit a accumsan condimentum, magna metus vestibulum mi, non vehicula dolor augue in ligula. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Mauris tristique est sit amet faucibus dictum. In sodales semper ex at accumsan. Phasellus eu est quis sem hendrerit tristique. Nunc auctor mi ac hendrerit ullamcorper. Cras porta malesuada porttitor. Integer non arcu velit. Aliquam sollicitudin ultrices aliquam.

Aliquam mauris neque, viverra id faucibus quis, aliquet tempor augue. Sed non est commodo, aliquam libero a, cursus ligula. Proin dignissim consequat odio, sollicitudin vehicula augue suscipit sed.

A Story Title

Nullam aliquet mattis sollicitudin. Nulla malesuada, elit a accumsan condimentum, magna metus vestibulum mi, non vehicula dolor augue in ligula. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Mauris tristique est sit amet faucibus dictum. In sodales semper ex at accumsan. Phasellus eu est quis sem hendrerit tristique. Nunc auctor mi ac hendrerit ullamcorper. Cras porta malesuada porttitor. Integer non arcu velit. Aliquam sollicitudin ultrices aliquam.