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Holiday Greetings from the Van Meter Public Library!

As we finish up 2022, we wish to thank everyone for their support and goodwill towards the library. We are honored to serve the community each and every day.

This month we talk about our future plans, our upcoming Medicare Seminar, and all the great events happening in Van Meter this December.

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

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!

A Word From Our Director


This time of year I am focused on preparation for the future. At work, that means thinking about what needs to be done to bring the best possible library service to our little community in the tiny facility we have. As I drive home from the library each day, past dozens of homes being built, I am reminded that our community is growing quickly . . . and our library will be challenged to provide excellent library service from our current location.  

To the extent we can, we provide the services of a first-rate library in the space that we have. I am happy to report that on Monday evenings we are often bursting-at-the-seams with small children for Toddler Time and Friday afternoons find the library filled with a dozen or more middle-schoolers. After the first of the year, we will be offering some programs for adults; we will be using the Legion facilities to make this service possible.  

Still, there are many services that we cannot offer in our current location. Many libraries offer high-capacity printing equipment that can be used by work-from-home employees and entrepreneurs. Almost all libraries offer small study/meeting spaces that can be perfect for entrepreneurs to meet with clients or for work-from-home employees to find a little quiet-space. Most libraries also offer larger meeting spaces that can be used by local companies and organizations for meetings or trainings.

The culmination of our preparation will be a new library, but much can and will be done between now and then to prepare. Watch this newsletter for information about how you can help us prepare in the near future.

"We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation." ― Thomas A. Edison

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

State Provided Free Tutoring

The end of semester is drawing near and that means papers are due, tests will be taken, and homework assignments are heavily weighted.

Now is a great time to explore HelpNow.

HelpNow is provided by the State of Iowa Library. That means it's paid for by taxes, provided to public libraries as a free service, and aligned with Iowa's curriculum for grades K-12. Plus AP, college, masters, and trade certifications.

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

Medicare Informational Seminar

January 12th, 2023. 6pm - 8pm. Veterans Reception Center. Registration Required!

We asked our patrons what kind of adult services you'd like to see at the Van Meter Public Library and heard that retirees and seniors could use some help with Medicare.

So the library joined forces with the Dallas County SHIPP offices, Iowa's Health Insurance Assistance Program, who offer assistance and education to Medicare beneficiaries.

SHIPP services are funded through state initiatives; this is not a sales pitch.

Dallas County is home to 13 communities and countless unincorporated areas, yet the only nearby Medicare classes require 30-45 minutes of travel time. By providing this seminar at the Veterans Reception Center in Van Meter, those in Dallas, Polk, and Madison County may receive the valuable information they need from a trusted resource close to home.

On January 12th, we will meet at the Veteran's Reception Center for a presentation by Dallas County SHIPP volunteers designed for people planning their retirement in the next few years, those who are age-eligible or nearly, and those currently on Medicare seeking a refresher. SHIPP will prepare packets for attendees, please register today!

Meeting local volunteers will provide an opportunity for individuals to learn about additional free, personalized SHIPP services available to them out of the Dallas County offices in Adel.

Medicare is a health insurance program for:

  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • The disabled—those under age 65 who have received Social Security or Railroad Retiree disability benefits for 24 consecutive months.
  • Veterans, as you may need to see a Non-VA hospital or doctor
  • Those with a diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
  • People with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).
  • To be eligible for Medicare, a person must be a US citizen and resident of the U.S. or an alien living in the U.S. for five years who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

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

Click Here to Register for Medicare Seminar

December Calendar of Events

Bookmark the new Van Meter Public Library website. Register for upcoming events, check out eBooks, view our entire catalog, and get access to community services!


8th Annual Holiday Sip & Snacks

Friday, 4pm - 7pm

Stop by the American Legion Hall Friday, December 2nd to purchase your Bingo Map, then tour the community while you sip, snack, and collect your stamps.

Turn in your Bingo Maps at the Legion to enter the raffle. Pick up your "Light the Town" maps at the Library at Sip and Snacks (and all December long!)

Winter Market

Saturday, 9am to 3pm

Support local vendors and find the perfect gifts, crafts, décor and more all day.

Christmas Reading at the Library

Saturday, 3:30pm to 4:30pm

3:30pm - 4pm

Simple 5-minute craft for all ages.


Reading of "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Sweet Smells of Christmas." Please note: many fragrance oils will be opened and passed around during this time.

Afterwards, we will parade to the new Memorial (Pocket) Park just a block away for downtown festivities.

Everyone is welcome- including your pets! We will have ribbons, bows and bells to decorate your fur-baby for the festivities!

Downtown Festivities

Saturday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Gather at the new Van Meter Memorial Park in downtown VM for music, food, and more!

The Van Meter Public Library will be closed Friday, December 23rd through Monday, December 26th, 2022.

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

Each month we are adding short Beanstack reading challenges that are perfect for kids, adults, and seniors.

Read 5 minute articles in the app that are sure to spark your interests. December features Winter Holidays Around the World.

Beanstack: The Running App for Books

Download the app, keep track of how many pages or books you and the family read a day. Unlock virtual badges, earn rewards and prizes.

Sign Up Today to Win a Canvas Tote Bag!

Already sign up? Stop by to claim your bag while supplies last.

1000 Books Reading Challenge

All Ages

Turn reading into a game! Create an online account and start reading to win badges, prizes, and free books!

Click Here for Beanstack!

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