Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Selecting On-Shelf Materials

THREE EASY STEPS to pick up materials!

 STEP ONE: Select items that are available on-shelf at the library.

With over 70,000 items within this building, you can always find something to suit your mood!

  1. Visit Ames Free Library's Catalog by following the link on the top right of the home page.
  2. At the top left of the Catalog page, pull down the menu that says “Everything” and select the last option “Search Ames Titles.”
  3. Type what you are looking for into the search field to the right.
  4. Click “Search.”
  5. Check the last column titled “Status.” If it says “Checked Out,” or “On hold for someone” it is not available. All other entries are available to you.


STEP TWO: Place your items on hold.

  1. If you completed the above search steps, all you have to do is click on “Place Hold.” Done!*
  2. We will contact you once your requests are ready.

*We will also be available to place holds via email or by phone, between the hours of 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. These requests are limited to THREE queries. Email or call 508-238-2000.

If you would like us to choose three items for you, please fill out our Reader's Advisory Form and we will contact you when your items have been placed on hold.

STEP THREE: Pick-up!

  1. Once you have been notified of your available hold(s), you may visit the Library to pick them up. Our doors are open for holds pickups between the hours of 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. You may use our self-checkout machine or request assistance from a staff member.
  2. OR, window pickup appointments are still available for patrons who prefer to remain more socially distant:
  • To reserve a window pickup appointment, please visit our reservation site to see available time slots. (You may also email, call us at 508-238-2000, or use the chat box on the left side of our home page.)
  • Once your request is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.
  • At your chosen pick-up time, please bring your library card to our pick up window, located to the right of our book drop (across from the handicapped parking spaces). Show your barcode to the friendly library staff member!
  • Once identified, the window will open and your requests will be handed to you through the window.
  • You may then leave the area, taking care to maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and other Library visitors. 
  • If you prefer to cancel your appointment and reschedule, you may cancel by using the link that was included in your confirmation email. If you miss the appointment, please visit our reservation site to pick a new day and time.

Questions? We are available to help between the hours of 10 a.m. - 8 p.m, Monday through Thursday, or 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Please email us or call us: or 508-238-2000. You may also use the chat box on the left hand side of our home page.