Library Reopening FAQ

Phase 1 Details

Special Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm*
Tuesday: 9am-9pm
Wednesday: 9am-6pm*
Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 9am-6pm
Sunday: 1-5pm

*Note changes in hours.

Available Services

  • Holds pickup
  • Quick Picks
  • New Grab & Go bags (pre-selected bag of books or movies featuring topics, genres, or reading levels)
  • Limited computer use
  • Copying and Remote Printing
  • Printed tax forms
  • Voter registration forms and absentee ballot request forms

Returns: Items can be returned to the drive-up book drop in the alley (preferred) or the walk-up book drop near the entrance. Oversize items, puppets, etc. can be returned in the book drop on the left side of the Welcome Desk in the lobby.

NOTE: Curbside Pickup and the Media Box are not available.

Cyclones Care. Wear a face covering. Distance 6 feet (2m) apart. Wash your hands often. Stay home if you are ill.


  • Only the lobby area is open. Other areas of the Library are not available for browsing, seating, etc.
  • Staff/visitor interactions are reserved only for specific library account questions. If you have other questions, please check our website or call (515) 239-5646.
  • Staff are not able to retrieve items from the shelves for visitors. Please request items online and wait until you receive notification that they are available for pickup before coming to the Library.
  • Face coverings are required in City buildings including the Library.
  • Hand sanitizer is available.
  • Bathrooms are available.



  • Please do not come into the Library if you or a member of your household are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks. 
  • Keep your visit short.
  • Wear a mask covering your nose and mouth. Face coverings are required in City buildings including the Library. (A limited supply of disposable masks is available for visitors that need one.)
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from staff and other visitors.

Closure FAQ

There is no reopening date set at this time. We will monitor the situation and use recommendations from City and health officials to determine when to reintroduce more services and areas of the building. This will happen gradually over multiple phases.

Requested items will be held in our lobby for 7 days. If you have items on hold that you no longer need, please call 515-239-5646 ext #2 or email

Items now check out for their regular loan periods. Look at your checkout receipt or log in to My Account to find due dates for your items.

Items can be returned to the drive-up drop box in the alley behind the Library or to the walk-up drop box near the Library's entrance. If you have oversize items or bagged items like puzzles, please bring them into the Library during our open hours and place them in the dropbox on the left side of the Welcome Desk.

If you cannot find your Library card please call the Library at 515-239-5646 and select option 2 for Customer Account Services.  If you forgot your password you can use the reset password button on the Library’s website.

You can! Any new patrons can sign up for a library card and will receive a temporary barcode. With the temporary barcode you will be able to access our streaming and downloadables as well as our online resources while the Ames Public Library is closed. (NOTE: Cardholders must be a resident of Ames or rural Story County to access some digital resources, including certain downloadable e-Books and e-Audiobooks.)

Sign up here>>

When you visit the Library, bring a photo ID and proof of your current address to verify your account.

When you visit the Library, bring a photo ID and proof of your current address to verify your account. Then you will be able to check out physical materials as well as online materials.

Search for items on the Library's catalog:

When you find something you want, click the "Request" button for that item and login to your Library account.

Wait until you receive notification that your holds are ready for pickup, then stop in during our open hours to pick up your holds.

Holds are currently spread out between the regular holds shelves and the Literary Grounds area on the north side of the lobby.

Holds are organized alphabetically by the last name of the Library account holder. Look for a slip that has the first three letters of your last name and the first letter of your first name.

We understand that some people will not be able to safely come into the Library to pick up items. To pick up holds for a friend:

  1. Find out what items they are expecting and what name they will be shelved under.
  2. Confirm that they have received notification that their items are ready to be picked up.
  3. Bring their library card (or library card number) and know their PIN/password.
  4. Use the self-checkout machines to check their items out.

Please do not attempt to clean or disinfect Library materials.

When items are returned, they are placed into quarantine for 72 hours. Items that are on a hold queue are disinfected according to current guidelines.

If you are concerned about the items you check out, you may quarantine them for 72 hours before using them.

We are not currently accepting donations of materials.

The latest updates can always be found on the Ames Public Library’s coronavirus response here>>

You can also contact the Library here>> or call the library at (515) 239-5646.