Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"


Our service hours are Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Email us at or call 508-238-2000

Our phones are very busy! If you are having trouble reaching us via phone, send us an email or use the chat box on the left.


Appointment-based window pickups of reserved material and external book drop

Reservation-based, 45-minute computer, printer, and scanner use

Online programs, plus eBooks, audiobooks, and databases for all ages

Returns: Book drop (located near handicapped parking spaces) is now open for all returns - returned items will be quarantined for several days prior to check-in. Fines for materials due 3/1/2020 - 7/31/2020 are waived.

Family Fun: Backyard Camping

Camping can feel like such an adventure for a kid – and such a chore for parents! How about a compromise? Set yourself up for some backyard camping this weekend. You can create the same experience without the vacation traffic! Just be sure to stock up on these essentials…

Find a relatively smooth, level spot to pitch your tent. If you haven’t got a backyard conducive to tent camping – set up inside! No tent? Make a blanket fort instead! Get out the sleeping bags, some pillows, and a flashlight or two. If actual tent camping isn’t for you, at least sit out on the porch or in the yard to soak up the outdoor ambience, and only go in when it’s time to actually go to sleep. Don’t forget the bug spray! 

Eat simple one-pot meals, camping-style (like mac & cheese with frozen peas mixed in!) or grill something tasty for dinner, just like you would at the campsite. Make s’mores over the fire pit or grill (in a pinch, you can prepare them inside and bring them out to enjoy!).

As it gets darker, tell some campfire stories (ghosts optional!), play flashlight tag (but watch out for those roots and tent pegs!), or look for lightning bugs and bats. Get out your star chart (or download an app) and stargaze. Which constellations can you find? What phase is the moon in tonight? Can you see any planets?

When you get up in the morning, it’s a campout requirement to have pancakes for breakfast – with chocolate chips!

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