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Play Together: A New Program

by Ben Shrag

On the last day of 2020, Ames Public Library rang in the new year with our annual family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve celebration. With a countdown ending at noon instead of midnight, families can get all the fun of a New Year’s Eve countdown and still get a good night’s sleep.

Unlike previous Noon Year’s Eve celebrations, however, this year we met online. We fired up the cameras in our Storytime Room (which has been temporarily converted into a make-shift sound stage and filming studio) and greeted each other through screens.

We weren’t sure how an event lik... Read Full Blog

Martin Luther King Day All Year Long

by Danielle Ziegler

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and here are some books for you and your kids to read! But wait. Why would I write an article about books to read with your children about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and publish it the day after?  Simply put, reading diverse books and thinking about antiracism are activities that should happen all year long, not just in January.  This is one very small way that we can carry on Dr. King’s work throughout the year.

There are some adorable board books that feature Black babies and toddlers.  One of my ab... Read Full Blog

Start a Reading Habit

by Megan Klein-Hewett

Are you a reading goal-setter? Do you set yourself an annual reading goal, whether it’s a number of books you wish to read or a more specific challenge? If you need some inspiration, there are plenty of options to choose from to make reading a habit in 2021.

First, let’s start with some misconceptions about reading goals and their “requirements.” Reading goals are personal, and reading is defined as whatever it means to you. Audiobooks count. Graphic novels count. Books read with your kids count! Don’t let anyone else define what reading a book means ... Read Full Blog

Downtown Plaza Public Meeting Planned

Post Date:01/06/2021 11:00 AM

Public input is being sought regarding the creation of a new Downtown Plaza across from City Hall between Fifth and Sixth streets. This proposed community gathering will include a mix of elements designed to enhance the Downtown experience, such as interactive water features, landscaped green space, public art, shade structures, open gathering areas, benches, restrooms, and winter ice skating. 

A Zoom teleconference meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21. Those interested can participate via telephone or Intern... Read Full Blog

Volunteers Sought to Serve on City Boards and Commissions

Post Date:12/15/2020 9:00 AM

Mayor John Haila is looking for Ames residents interested in volunteering their time to serve on a City board or commission.

Board and commission members make recommendations to the Ames City Council and also offer assistance to the Council in carrying out various forms and functions of city government. There are 20 separate boards and commissions, which focus on distinct issues, programs, or services.

“Volunteering to serve on a City of Ames board or commission is an excellent way to become more involved in our community, par... Read Full Blog

Ames Public Library Goes “Fine Free”

by Tracy Briseño 

All across the country, (and in Iowa,) libraries big and small are going “fine free,” and now Ames Public Library has joined them! But what does that mean? It means the Library no longer charges late fees on overdue materials, as long as they’re returned. (You’ll still need to pay for any lost or damaged items.)

Research shows that overdue fines are not as effective as once thought. In the past, the belief was that library fines encouraged people to return materials on time. What has been found is that materials are returned at much the same rate wit... Read Full Blog

AMES PUBLIC LIBRARY GOES FINE FREE

Ames Public Library is joining hundreds of public libraries across the country that no longer charge overdue fines for items that are returned late. This is one step in the Library’s commitment to providing equitable access to Library materials and services.

Library Director Sheila Schofer explains “Equity and access are core values for libraries and play a big role in our new Strategic Plan. Overdue fines disproportionately penalize people with lower incomes and can even keep them from using the Library.”

Overdue charges have long been used by libraries with the hope th... Read Full Blog

Library Receives Grant for Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Ames Public Library Friends Foundation (APLFF) is pleased to announce it has received a $6,000 grant from the Story County Community Foundation. These funds will support Ames Public Library’s efforts to provide computer and internet access to the Ames community, especially with increased need during remote learning.

In the past, Ames Public Library has helped meet this need by offering free internet, Wi-Fi, and computer access inside the Library. More recently, the Library has expanded access to mobile hotspots which are checked out for free and offer unlimited data and connec... Read Full Blog

Library Shifts to Curbside Service

In response to increased community spread of COVID-19, Ames Public Library will shift from “grab and go” lobby service to curbside service starting Sunday, November 22.

Curbside Holds Pickup will allow Library cardholders to request physical items like books and DVDs, then pick them up in front of the Library safely and easily. “We’ve got a new, flexible curbside system,” says Library Director Sheila Schofer. “Instead of making an appointment, you can come by when it’s convenient for you.”

After requesting items using the Library’s online catalog, customers need to ... Read Full Blog

Library Enters New Strategic Plan

Ames Public Library has entered into a new Strategic Plan.

The process of creating this plan began in the fall of 2019. Library staff gathered community input, analyzed data, reviewed library best practices, and looked at overall societal trends. 

“Our goal was to have an open and inclusive process,” said Ames Public Library Director Sheila Schofer. Library staff read the results of 1,000 completed surveys, held staff and board input sessions, and hosted six community stakeholder meetings. The arrival of the pandemic cancelled another meeting, but Library staff reac... Read Full Blog

First National Bank, Ames Donates $10,000 for Wi-Fi Hotspots

An Internet connection is more essential than ever, and a recent donation to First National Bank, Ames is making it more accessible than ever!

 

For the past few years, Ames Public Library has offered Wi-Fi Hotspots for checkout, allowing families a week of free Internet connection. Demand has been high, to say the least. Now, First National Bank, Ames has donated $10,000 to the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation to increase the Library’s number of available Hotspots to 100! This generous gift will also allow the Library to extend the checkout time.

&n... Read Full Blog

Free Books For Students at Grab and Go Meal Sites

Ames families will again have access to free books on Fridays at four grab and go meal sites: Meeker, Mitchell, Sawyer, and the Ames Public Library. The location for Ames Public Library is at the south end of the alley behind the Library. Vehicles enter the alley from 6th Street. Pedestrians should approach from 5th Street between Douglas Avenue and Kellogg.

One book per week per student will be distributed for students in grades pre-K through 12. Scheduled dates are July 17, 24, 31 and August 7, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Books were purchased by the Ames Public Library ... Read Full Blog

Reopening the Library: Phase 1

***UPDATE: Face coverings are now required in City buildings including the Library.

 

Starting July 1, Ames Public Library’s lobby will be open for limited “grab and go” services.

We’re excited to welcome the community back into the building!

However, this first phase is a limited reopening of only the lobby for quick holds pickup and checkouts. The focus is on short visits and reduced interaction with staff for the health and safety of visitor and staff.

Please do not come into the Library if you or a member of your household are sick ... Read Full Blog

Message from the Director and Trustees on Racial Injustice

In response to the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Ames Public Library and the Board of Trustees reaffirms that we stand against racism and social injustice.

Ames Public Library’s mission is to connect our community—all of our community—to the world of ideas. We are committed to creating that connection through diverse resources, programs, and opportunities that foster learning, self-reflection, and community dialog—be it thought-provoking book recommendations, conversations through our View from the Margins book club, workshops that foster community discussion,... Read Full Blog

Now Offering Curbside Holds Pickup

Ames Public Library has introduced a new, contact-free Curbside Holds Pickup service. Curbside Holds Pickup will allow Library cardholders to request physical items like books and DVDs, then schedule an appointment to pick them up in front of the Library.

Director Sheila Schofer says staff is excited to get materials moving out the door again. “We’ve been working hard to safely provide as many of our services as possible to as many people as possible. We were able to ramp up our online offerings quickly when this started, but we wanted to be very thoughtful in planning a safe way ... Read Full Blog