Ames Public Library’s Bookmobile will now stop on campus


Rahemma Mayfield/Iowa State Daily

The Ames Public Library bookmobile at the Ames 4th of July Parade in 2014.

Jenna Hrdlicka

Iowa State community members will now have access to the Ames Public Library without ever having to leave campus, thanks to a new campus stop by Ames Public Library’s Bookmobile. 

The Bookmobile is a mobile bus where Ames Public Library members can browse, request, pick up, check out and return library materials. It will now be parked in the small parking lot east of Parks Library near Morrill Hall and The Hub from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday, beginning Jan. 12. 

One of the major benefits to the Iowa State community that this campus Bookmobile stop will bring is convenience, said Beth McNeil, Iowa State University library dean.

Iowa State community members can either browse from the collection on board the bus or request items online ahead of time and pick them up at the mobile during its stop every Thursday.

There are typically between 3,000 and 3,500 items on board, including workbooks, large print books, CDs, DVDs and a full range of both popular fiction and non-fiction books, said Tracy Briseno, Ames Public Library customer account services manager.

The bus acts as the local branch of the public library, bringing the library’s services closer to residents by stopping at designated spots all over town each week, Briseno said. 

In order to check out items, individuals must have an Ames Public Library card. You can become a member on the spot at the Bookmobile with a valid photo ID and proof of residence.

This new campus stop is just the beginning of the partnership between Parks Library and the Ames Public Library, with possible further collaborations in the future. 

“We see it as the beginning, almost the first step, of a renewed relationship between the two libraries, so that it’s almost seamless,” McNeil said.

Staff from both libraries expressed excitement for this partnership and the possibilities that it could bring. 

“This has been a partnership that we’ve kind of dreamed about for a number of years,” Briseno said. “Half of our population in Ames is part of campus, just if you include college students, let alone staff and faculty. We use our Bookmobile as a local branch, and so being able to provide popular materials to and partner with Parks Library is just amazing.

“To be on campus, to be right where people are at, we know it can be difficult for college students in particular to get over to the main library, so this way we can really serve them where they’re at.”

This partnership will also benefit Iowa State by opening up a wider range of items and services, due to the combined assortment from both libraries. 

“It’s just a real opportunity for complimenting the collections we have here and better meeting the library needs of our campus community,” McNeil said.

What will McNeil be browsing on the Bookmobile Thursday?

“I am very interested in current fiction,” said McNeil, who will possibly be stopping by the mobile with Lynne Carey, Ames Public Library director, during the event. 

Special events and appearances will accompany the Bookmobiles’ debut campus stop, according to Inside Iowa State, with one of them possibly being Cy, McNeil hinted.

The Ames Public Library will also be live streaming before the event on its Facebook page.