Blog Entries

Blog Type
Staff Member

Reading Aloud Can Be a Bridge to Reading Independently

by Danielle Ziegler


Every year here in Iowa, after other big children’s book awards are finished, it is time for the Bridge to Reading Book Awards. This award, sponsored by the Youth Services Subdivision of the Iowa Library Association, is definitely one of my favorites. The Bridge to Reading finalists are all chosen by Iowa librarians from amazing picture books that are perfect for reading aloud. And then, children and families get the chance to vote on what books they loved best! 

The Bridge to Reading Award has a lot more purpose than just honoring a gr... Read Full Blog

Plans Being Finalized for Jensen Avenue, Luther Drive, McKinley Avenue Improvements

Ames Public Works is finalizing design improvement plans for Jensen Avenue from 24th Street to Luther Drive, Luther Drive from Kellogg Avenue to 28th Street, and McKinley Drive from Hayes to Northwestern avenues, with work anticipated to begin during the 2021 construction season. 

These improvement projects will include pavement improvements, repair or replacement of storm and sanitary sewers, updating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps, and water main replacement and transfers. The project will be funded by City funds and not as a property owner assessment proje... Read Full Blog

Design Plans for Eighth Street Being Finalized

Ames Public Works is finalizing design improvement plans for Eighth Street from Northwestern to Duff avenues, with work anticipated to begin during the 2021 construction season. This project will include pavement improvements, repair or replacement of the storm and sanitary sewers, and updating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps. The project will be funded by City funds and not as a property owner assessment project.

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there is no public meeting planned for this project. However, a project webpage with additional details, v... Read Full Blog

Library to Reopen for Browsing March 15

Ames Public Library is moving into the next phase of reopening spaces to the public. Starting March 15, visitors will be able to browse collections on the first and second floors of the Library. Library staff will be available to answer basic reference and account questions. Computers will continue to be available for 30 minute sessions. Quick Picks, Grab and Go Bags, and @HOME Activity kits will remain conveniently located in the lobby. Play areas, study rooms, and meeting rooms will remain closed during this phase.

Visitors should limit their time in the building to 30 minutes s... Read Full Blog

Reading with a Vengeance

by Seth Warburton


I thought I knew myself as a reader.  Then 2020 happened.  Books I’d looked forward to reading fell flat.  I brought home new books from authors I loved and never even cracked the covers.  The shelves here at the Ames Public Library are full of good books, but I was having trouble finding one that fit my mood.  Books had been my gateway to adventure, my method of experiencing all the exciting lives I would never live, in interesting places and times I could never visit.  But when merely listening to the news could set ... Read Full Blog

Full STEAM Ahead

by Jerri Heid


Everyone’s talking about STEM and STEAM lately; what are they and why do we care?

STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. We definitely see this approach in K-12 school classrooms, but did you know that even younger children are capable of using it in their learning through play?

You may have heard the saying that play is a child’s work, and it is true! During play, children learn to... Read Full Blog


by Ashley Wilson


In either movies or books, a well-presented monster will always win me over. Dragons are my favorite, vampires next, followed by any manifestation of a creature of the deep, then aliens. In my opinion ghosts and paranormal activity do not really count as monsters, and werewolves are just okay; You can try to change my mind on this one, but I have yet to encounter a truly convincing werewolf shapeshifter narrative. Plus, I’m not too keen on the howling.

Dragons take the top prize for me because regardless of their assumed or presented size, they... Read Full Blog

Public Input Sought for Change of Use Designation on Sixth Street Properties

The public is encouraged to provide input to the City of Ames regarding its proposed change of use designation to City-owned properties at 519, 525 and 601 Sixth Street. These properties were purchased with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds as part of the City’s 2014-15 Acquisition/Reuse for Affordable Housing Program to provide for additional affordable housing for low-and-moderate income households. The 30-day public comment period will end on Monday, March 1, 2021.

The proposed change would no longer designate these properties for use for affordable housing for low... Read Full Blog

Loving Your Library

by Jillian Ocken


February is National Library Lovers’ Month, for people who pay attention to library-specific “holidays.” People share their love of libraries in many different ways, especially through stories, appropriately. At the Library, on the phone, in the checkout line at the grocery store, we hear so many stories: How a small town library inspired a lifelong reading habit. How a librarian helped find the resources that transformed a life. How the perfect book recommendation unlocked a child’s desire to learn to read. How a library felt like the last connection to... Read Full Blog

Lobby Opens February 1

Starting February 1, Ames Public Library will switch from curbside service to holds pickup and “grab and go” services in the Library’s lobby.

While the lobby is open, visitors may check out their holds, Grab & Go bags, Quick Picks, and other items on display in the lobby. Visitors may also pick up @Home Activity Kits and tax forms (as they become available).

Computers will be available for use in the Library’s Auditorium during lobby hours. Due to the need for distancing, computer sessions will be limited.

The Library staff and Board of Trustees are dedicat... Read Full Blog

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... 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.&n... 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 read... 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 ... Read Full Blog


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