Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"


Current hours: Monday - Wednesday & Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Visits are limited to a maximum of 45 minutes per person.
  • Total occupancy in the building is limited to 10 visitors at any given time, so short waits outside may be necessary.
  • Please go here for more information on what services are currently available.
  • Email us at, or call 508-238-2000.
  • Check out our list of online programs here!


How do I get a library card?

Click here to obtain a library card.

For even more online resources from the Boston Public Library, click here to get an eCard!


How do I access my library account?

You can access your library account by visiting our home page,, and clicking on "My Account" in the upper right hand corner. From here, you may enter your library card number and the PIN number that is assigned to your account (which is usually the last four digits of your phone number, unless you changed it), then click the "Log In" button. (If you have forgotten your PIN Number, you can visit the SAILS catalog to have it emailed to the email address listed in your library record. You may also call the Library at 508-238-2000.)

You may also access your library account from Enterprise, the Sails Library Network e-Catalog. Please select "My Account" located on the top right of the screen, where you will be required to enter your library card number and a PIN number.

Once logged in to your library account, you can check the status of items currently checked out to you; renew items; place, cancel, and suspend holds; and create lists of interesting items.

Click Here to see a useful sheet of common problems accessing the catalog.


How do I renew my materials from home?

Most libraries in the SAILS Network offer one automatic renewal on their library materials, as long as the item is a renewable item and it is not on hold for another patron. Three days ahead of the due date, you will receive either an email or a text notification* letting you know that the item has either been renewed or not renewed.

If you choose, you can also renew your library materials online four days ahead of the due date. To do this, access your account through Enterprise, the Sails Library Network e-Catalog. Click on the link for "Log In" located on the top right of the screen to log in.

Enter your "user ID" and your "PIN" number.

  • Your user ID is your library card number without the spaces
  • Your PIN number is the last four digits of your phone number

Once logged in click on "My Account" located to the left of "Log In". On the next page the default tab will be "Personal Information". Select the next tab to the left, "Checkouts" where you will see a list of all the items currently checked out to your library card. To renew specific items you will need to check the small box located to the left of the item's image, and then press the blue "Renew" button on the bottom of the page. You can also renew all items at once by utilizing "Select All" located to the left of the blue "Renew" Button.

*Please note that if you have opted for voice notifications by phone, you will not receive an autorenewal message, although you may still check your item status and due dates online through your account, or by calling 508-238-2000.

How do I place a hold on an item?

You can place items on hold through Enterprise, the Sails Library Network e-Catalog.

Click on the link for the Catalog Search on the library homepage to be taken to Enterprise and select "Log In" located on the top right of the screen.

Enter your "user ID" and your "PIN" number.

  • Your user ID is your library card number without the spaces
  • Your PIN number is the last four digits of your phone number

Search Enterprise for the item(s) that you are interested in and press the blue "Place Hold" button to the right of the item. You can place multiple holds at once by checking the small boxes to the left of each item that you are interested in, and then selecting "Place Hold(s)" from the "Select an Action" pull down menu. You will then need to confirm the SAILS Library where you will pick up the item(s), and press "Place Hold(s)."


Does the Library offer wireless Internet?

Yes, the Library has public Wi-Fi available both inside our building, and outside in either the Library or Queset House parking lots. No password is required. The network is called "Ames-Guest." To join, you will need to first read our Computer and Internet Use Policy which pops up on a splash page, and then click the link below the policy to accept the terms.


How do I download an electronic book or music ?

On the Library's homepage, click the "Downloads" button on the right hand side. You will see links to Libby, Overdrive, and Hoopla. Follow the instructions below each service to get started.

If you need additional information, visit our Tutorials page for help downloading from Hoopla, Overdrive, or Libby.

Overdrive tips

Click on the link for Overdrive.

You will then need to log in. Click the blue "Sign In" button on the upper right hand side. Select "SAILS Library Patrons" from the pull-down menu, and enter your card number and your PIN number in the fields that appear below.

  • Your Card Number is your library card number without the spaces
  • Your PIN number, by default, is the last four digits of your phone number (unless you have requested a different number). If you have forgotten your PIN Number, you can visit the SAILS catalog to have it emailed to the email address listed in your library record. You may also call the Library at 508-238-2000.

Click Here to view the Sails Overdrive Help page for full information on this topic.



How do I copy or print at the library?

To copy:

The library has a black & white copy machine located in the Barrel Vault room, where the non-fiction books are kept. The machine takes change and $1 bills only. The machine is loaded with letter (8.5 x 11 in) as well as legal (8.5 x 14 in) and 11 x 17" sized paper. 

To print:

The Library's printer is located in the Fireplace Room, where the magazines and newspapers are located. This printer defaults to printing in black and white - ask a librarian for help printing in color if you are using a patron computer. You may log on to any of our patron computers using your library card, or a guest pass issued by a librarian.

You may also print from a laptop or mobile device by emailing your document to and following the instructions that are emailed to you.

Printing costs .15/page for black & white, or .25/page for color prints. If you are unsure how many pages you are going to print, please ask for assistance.


Can I access newspapers and magazines digitally?

You can access several news and magazine databases with your Ames Free Library card. Here are the steps you would take to browse through any of the digital newspapers or magazines available on our website:
1) From the "Resources" menu on our website, click the "Research" link in the drop-down menu.
2) The second paragraph on that page contains a link to all of our databases.
3) From our Databases page, you'll see a section on the right hand side of the page with a link to databases that offer Newspapers and Magazines
4) The "Newspapers and Magazines" page offers access to Boston Globe, New York Times, etc.
5) For other publications, you can try the General OneFile database (4th database in the "Newspapers and Magazines" list)
6) From the General OneFile home page, use the "Publication Search" link on the lower right to type in the name of the publication you'd like to search. Or you can use the link that they provide to view/browse through all of their publications.
7) For a video tutorial on using any of the Gale databases that we offer, visit Gale's Video Tutorials page and select the database you'd like to learn more about.
In terms of digital magazines, we offer access to over 100 titles through our download service, Libby! You can access Libby through your computer's browser at, or you can download the app to your mobile device. You can still request any of our physical magazine issues through our SAILS catalog.


Can you help me identify what I believe to be an Ames shovel?

Unfortunately, the Ames Free Library holds no records or models of the Ames shovel products.

You may want to try contacting Stonehill College which is in town and maintains an Industrial Collections archive (including Ames shovels and True Temper shovels).

For more information on the Ames Shovel Company, please visit our Ames Shovel Company Chronology page, provided by the Easton Historical Society.

Excerpt on Ames shovels from historian Ed Hands:

"Be aware that it is next to impossible to date an Ames shovel.
Shovels with the date 1774 refer to Oliver Ames's father, Captain John, who allegedly made shovels that were used to dig the trenches at Bunker Hill. The 1774 stamp was an advertising ploy. The earliest shovels don't have this date stamp or label.
Once Old Oliver Ames perfected the back strap shovel about 1812, the company just kept making them. New designs came along and the company kept making them too. By the first half of the 20th century you could buy shovels based on designs that might date back 50 to 125 years.
What about labels you might ask? The company used dozens of different labels for their different brands over the years. An Ames shovel with a decent label is worth more than one without it, but the label for the top of the line official Ames shovel remained the same for decades; so absent some poor soul researching the incomplete collection of old labels, they aren't much use for dating either."