Check Out & Renew

girl reading a book in library stacks

Most items may be checked out for 3 weeks. Exceptions include:

  • Quick Picks, Blu-Rays, and magazines: 1 week
  • DVDs: 3 weeks
  • Book Club Collection: 6 weeks
  • You may have up to 12 TV Series (excluding Family TV Series) checked out at a time.
  • You may have up to 12 Blu-Rays checked out at a time.
  • You may have up to 3 Video Games checked out at a time.
  • You may have up to 2 Launchpad Learning Tablets checked out at a time.
  • You may have up to 2 Quick Picks checked out at a time.
  • You may have 1 Wi-Fi Hotspot checked out at a time.

If the Library does not own the item you want, we may be able to request the item from a nationwide network of over 19,000 libraries. Please fill out the online request formcall Adult Services at (515) 239-5646 ext. 4, or visit at the Information Desk.

Federal census schedules, genealogical records and other historical materials can be obtained on microform. Charges vary according to the lending agency.

Request An Item >>

You can return your items to the following locations:

  • Drive-up drop box in the alley behind the Library
  • Walk-up drop box outside the entrance to the Library
  • The Bookmobile (see the Bookmobile Schedule)


Special items:

  • Return oversized, bagged, or heavy items to the inside drop box by the Welcome Desk during open hours.
  • Hardware including Launchpads and Wi-Fi Hotspots must be returned to a Library staff person.

Most materials may be renewed two times (if no one else has placed a request for the item):

  • Online on your account
  • At the self-check stations
  • By calling Customer Account Services at (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 during our open hours
  • In person at the Welcome Desk

You may receive a due date slip when you check out your items. If you are signed up for e-mail notifications, courtesy reminders are sent two days before an item’s due date. Overdue notices are sent shortly after your items are due and when they have been overdue for 39 days.

Ames Public Library no longer charges late fees on overdue items. However, items that are kept too long past the due date are considered lost, and the cost of the item will be due on your account. For more information about Ames Public Library's change to fine free, visit

Borrowing privileges are suspended if  $25 or more is due on your account.

If an item is lost or damaged beyond repair, your account will be charged for the cost to replace the item.

If you have any questions, please call Customer Account Services at (515) 239-5646 ext. 2 or e-mail