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Happy New Year from the Van Meter Public Library!

Welcome to 2023! We are so excited about all the new programs and events we have scheduled for adults and kids of all ages.

Check out our winter Toddler Time, Laugh & Learn, and Tween Scene programs starting next week, new books arriving each month, fun contests, and more.

Time is running out! Sign up now for our Welcome to Medicare seminar- perfect for new members and those planning ahead.

We look forward to seeing you at the Van Meter Public Library!

Welcome to Medicare

Thursday, January 12th, 2023

6pm - 8pm

Event Location:

Veterans Reception Center

910 Main Street

Van Meter, IA 50261

A free seminar offered by the State of Iowa's Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), Dallas County SHIPP volunteers, the Van Meter Public Library, and Veteran's Reception Center.

"Welcome to Medicare" will cover:

  • Medicare Parts A & B benefits
  • Prescription Drug Benefits (Part D)
  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance
  • Identify Medicare Fraud, Errors, and Abuse

SHIIP/ SMP is a service of the State of Iowa. It does not sell or promote any insurance companies, policies, or agents.

Call the Van Meter Public Library at (515) 996-2435 with any questions or to register by phone.


Click Here to Register for Medicare Seminar

A Word From Our Director


There are many reasons for bringing a child to story time at the library, but as I prepare the programs for each age group, these are the reasons I’m thinking about. 

For Toddler Time I aim to provide an opportunity for parent-child bonding. Each program introduces children to new words and concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and rhyming in a fun way and builds listening, learning, and concentration skills. The books we read often include lessons about different life experiences and about the world we live in.

Laugh & Learn is for first through third graders. My goal is to encourage a love of reading and learning by making it fun for parent and child. We use reader’s theater, crafts, games and more to extend the child’s engagement with the book that is read to them each week.  

Tween Scene is intended to provide children in fourth through sixth grade with one of their first independent social opportunities. It is the only program that does not require parental attendance and participation. We provide a safe, casual, comfortable atmosphere where tweens can begin to learn how to interact with their peers independently. Programs include a movie and a game or craft- plus a snack. 


For all the programs, the library aims to provide services that will benefit the community we serve and the community that supports us - Van Meter.

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

Beanstack Winter Reading Challenges

Beanstack is like a running app, for books. Readers download the Beanstack App, create an account, and start earning prizes for each minute/ book you read. You'll earn badges for each milestone you cross with encouragement all along the way. Challenges for adults and kids are available now.

We encourage families to setup their Beanstack accounts to prepare for the 2023 Summer Reading Program! No more paper to keep track of, instead you'll log your books on Beanstack to earn raffle tickets.

No computer or smart phone? Patrons can log their reading using the library's public computer and tablet. Register for Beanstack and win a reusable tote!

Youth Reading Challenges at VMPL

New for 2023: Get to Know Short Stacks

Short Stacks are fun and informative nonfiction stories with themes and content developed specifically for students. Each Short Stacks reading challenge includes four short nonfiction stories centered around a unifying and curiosity-spiking theme.

The bite-sized stories each include interesting tidbits about curriculum-aligned topics in history, social studies, and science. Signed up for multiple challenges at once because all reading count towards your total- sign up today!

January 1st through March 31st: Love Your Library

The Love Your Library challenges take readers on a curiosity journey through the "shelves" of a virtual library. The templates include 12 original nonfiction articles specifically tailored for two age ranges: grades 2nd-6th and grades 6th-12th.

January: Symbols, Secret Codes, and Emojis

Students uncover fun facts about the history of written communication in four short nonfiction stories, including—you guessed it!—emojis. Topics cover the ancient origins of the alphabet, how humans use symbols for communication, the history of books and paper-like materials, and the most ingenious methods for sending secret messages throughout the ages.

February: Heart Smarts

This Valentine’s Day, students delve into the historical and scientific side of love with Heart Smarts’ four engaging short stories. Each story features a different spin on the heart, including how the heart became a symbol for love, the history of Valentine’s Day, wacky different animal hearts, and adorable (and surprising) animal friendships. Readers glean fun facts while also learning about the functions of the heart in human and animal circulatory systems.

March: Animals Across America

The Animals Across America Short Stacks focus on the animals, habitats, and food chains in four distinctive regions of the U.S. Students travel to the wild West to learn about grizzly bears and other western creatures, and then to the prairies and forests of the Midwest to read about amazing animals like bison and beavers. The Northeast’s rocky coastline and snowy peaks offer learning opportunities about fox and moose adaptations before the reading adventure ends in the South with fun facts about alligators and other coastal creatures.

These short and snappy stories grab children's interest and help them develop a self-guided reading routine. By incorporating Short Stacks into your at-home readings, you’ll help instill a strong culture of reading the whole family can enjoy.

Adult Reading Challenges at VMPL

New for 2023: Read the Classics

Get swept away in the classic tales that helped shape literature as we know it today and discover timeless stories that capture humanity through the ages. Includes 12 classic tales such as Frankenstein, The Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Dracula, and more.

Ongoing: 1,000 Books Challenge

One thousand books? That seems like way too many, right? Not at all. You got this. Take that motivation, open one book, and get started. And remember, 1000 is just a number. Originally intended for children, this challenge is open to anyone who wants to test themselves to read 1000 books.

Get to Know the Van Meter Public Library

Did you know that the VMPL offers online services for Veterans and Job Seekers? What about state-sponsored tutoring? Did you know we have events every month or new information added to our website regularly? This challenge introduces you to VMPL online services and resources available thanks to your library card. Complete six activities to receive a prize!

Click Here for Beanstack App

Academic Tutoring For All Ages

HelpNow is provided by the State of Iowa Library and aligned with Iowa's curriculum for grades K-12.

Students of all ages who are pursuing college credits, advanced degrees, professional licenses, and trade certifications, too!

By creating an account, you will have access to every subject's study guides, flash cards, one-on-one tutoring, and writing labs.

We are proud to provide HelpNow Online Tutoring with your Van Meter library card account. Simply follow the blue links here and on our website to access this valuable resource.

Click Here for HelpNow

New Books Added This Month!

Your favorite holiday writers are back with seasonal tales that are sure to delight readers. Kids will be excited for the latest addition to their favorite series, and some new

graphic novel adventures. Check out our online card catalog to see what's new today!

How to Navigate our Catalog:

  1. Visit the Van Meter Public Library Website, www.vanmeter.lib.ia.us.
  2. Click on the orange button labeled "Library Catalog".
  3. The "Search Box" is then located in the top left corner.
  4. Or, click "More Search Options" to search by author, keyword, or subject.
  5. Use your library card to reserve the materials and pick up at your convenience.
  6. Or, check out eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines straight from the catalog with our Libby app. 

Having troubles finding the book you're looking for? Stop by today or give us a call!

January Calendar of Events

Click on each image to register.


Ages 2 to 5

Join Nancy "Down on the Farm" each week to share a craft, activity, and story about life on the farm. Mondays at 5:30pm, Tuesdays at 10am. Register online today!

Click Here for Toddler Time


1st to 3rd Grades

Join Nancy every Tuesday for a different theme each week! Includes craft, activity, and story. Tuesdays at 5:30pm. Register online today!

Click Here Laugh & Learn

Medicare Seminar

Join us for a free Medicare Seminar on January 12th at the Veterans Reception Hall. Dallas County SHIPP volunteers will be presenting an introductory/ refresher seminar for all those eligible.

Presented by the Van Meter Public Library, Veterans Reception Hall, and Dallas County SHIPP organization.

Registration Required by January 4th.

Click Here for Medicare


4th to 6th Grades

Hang out after each Friday for Tween Scene this winter! Perfect for kids ages 4th to 6th grade. Each week includes games, crafts, and a movie.

Registration and Permission Slip Required each week.

Click Here for Tween Scene

The Van Meter Public Library will be closed December 30th through January 2nd, 2023 to ring in the new year.

The Van Meter Public Library will be closed January 16th in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Van Meter Public Library is now

on Instagram!

Facebook and Instagram users can like and follow the VMPL to learn about upcoming events, programs, and activities happening at the library!

Follow us on Instagram at vmpublib

Community Resources


Van Meter City Hall

310 Mill Street

PO Box 160

Phone: (515) 996-2644



Van Meter Public Safety

Director of Public Safety: (515) 202-4154

Sheriff’s Dispatch:

(515) 993-4567

Emergency: 911



Van Meter Community Development Corporation


Van Meter Public Library

Phone: (515) 996-2435

505 Grant Street

PO Box 160

Van Meter, IA 50261

Website: van.meter.ia.lib.us

Email: library@vanmeteria.gov