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Welcome to the April 2022 edition of the Van Meter Public Library Newsletter!

We're excited to share all the wonderful events and services available at the Van Meter Public Library. This month, we talk about our Laugh and Learn events and take a sneak peek into our giveaway bags. We also have our new books added this month.

We look forward to seeing you at the library!

Thank you for your support!

A Word From Our Director

Many people ask me "Nancy, when are getting a new library?"

I wish it was that simple...

Last year, the City of Van Meter purchased land south of Trindle Park for a new library after a majority of surveyed respondents indicated that an attractive, new library building is important to the vitality of the community. This local finding echoes a 2013 Pew Research study that found 94% of respondents agreed that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community.

It's true that our library is under-sized for the growing population we serve throughout Dallas County. As a Class C Library, we serve about 1500 people each year. Class C libraries, on average, offer buildings of 5,000 square feet to accommodate the communities needs.

These needs include meeting rooms, dedicated space for children and teens, technology and internet access, handicap accessibility, and of course, lots of books!

Unfortunately, the current VMPL building is only 1,100 square feet. 

For some years, the Van Meter Public Library Foundation has been raising funds for the construction of a new library. To date they have less than $50,000.

So, the short answer to that question is “Yes, once we raise the money."

The real question becomes, "how can I help our community build a new library?

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

Have You Heard of Laugh & Learn?


If you have elementary aged children, we have a program for you. Laugh and Learn is a monthly event at the Van Meter Public Library fostering literacy, STEM, and family time.

The hour begins with Nancy reading a portion of the monthly book selection at 5:30pm. The March topic was "Going Green" and centered around spring, nature, and ecology.

The upcoming April theme is "Big Ideas", centered around inventors and their creations. Nancy will be reading Kobi Yamada's book, What Do You Do With an Idea about a brilliant notion and the child that shared it with the world.

Then, Nancy leads participants through STEM projects setup throughout the library. Previously, the group grew glow-in-the-dark crystals, conducted experiments with candy hearts, and planted milkweed plants for our friends, the butterflies. You'll have to join us on the 6th to see all the great projects planned for April!

The night concludes with the opportunity to check out books and grab your take home bag. Each Laugh and Learn bag has a STEM experiment, STEAM activity, writing challenge, family game, book of the month and surprises.

We understand every family faces unique challenges; perhaps you aren't ready to attend events at the library yet, but you don't want to miss out on the fun, either! Those who wish to social distant are welcome to stop by the library on April 6th anytime before 5:30pm to pick up your Laugh and Learn bag to take home.

As always, we ask that participants wear masks unless fully vaccinated and please do not attend if feeling sick or unwell.

There is no sign-up required, or cost to attend; this free program for elementary aged students and families is designed to help kids socialize and foster their love of reading. By interweaving science, technology, engineering, math, art and literacy together, we help children expand their world and foster independent learners.

We hope you will join us at the April Laugh and Learn! Weekly Laugh and Learn events start in June as part of our Summer Reading Program, Read Beyond the Beaten Path. Watch your email for the next edition of the Van Meter Public Library Newsletter to learn more!

Did You Know?

Your Van Meter Public Library card grants you access to E-books using the new Libby App. Simply sign in with your library card and start checking out e-books, magazines, audio books, and more on your Kindle, smartphone, or computer. Our digital collection continues to grow, with fiction and non-fiction titles. Can't log in? Give us a call or stop by the library with your device to get started!


Toddler Time

Providing children ages 2-5 with opportunities to learn pre-literacy skills, affording parents the opportunities to watch their children learn and foster a life long appreciation for the library.


Laugh and Learn

Make laughing and learning together part of your family’s routine with this fun grab bag filled with crafts, experiments, and more for Elementary aged children. Fun for the whole family!


April 6th Laugh and Learn

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 from 5:30pm-6:30pm.

Target Audience: Elementary Kids and Families

This month's theme is Big Ideas!

Storytime Book of the Month

Kobi Yamada: What Do You Do With an Idea

This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next.

April's Laugh and Learn Take Home Bag is all about inventors and their creations!

Social Distancing? Drop by the Van Meter Public Library in your mask on April 6th for a super quick pick-up!


Parent/ Tween Book Club

April 12th from 7-8pm


Summer Reading Program

Save the Date! June 3rd, 2022

Kick Off Carnival at Racoon River Days


Picture Books

  • Wonder Walkers
  • The Missing Beach Ball
  • I'm a Hungry Dinosaur
  • Click, Clack, Splish, Splash
  • Patti Cake and her New Doll
  • Fancy Nancy
  • Tacky the Penguin
  • Swimmy
  • Cornelius: A Fable
  • Scaredy-Cat, Splat!
  • Alexander, who used to be rich last Sunday

Early Readers

  • Adventures of Transformers
  • Adventures of Batman
  • Super Heroes Collection
  • Message in a Bottle
  • The Early Adventures of Amelia Bedelia

Juvenile Non-Fiction

  • Space! The Universe as You've Never Seen It Before
  • Evolved: An Illustrated Guide to Evolution
  • The Book of Bees: Inside the Hives and Lives of Honeybees, Bumblebees, Cuckoo Bees, and Other Busy Buzzers
  • You-ology: A Puberty Guide for Every Body
  • Crazy Contraptions

Juvenile Biography

  • Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning
  • Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
  • Just Like Rube Goldberg
  • The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and her tribute to Veterans
  • Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the little horse who became a hero
  • Just Pretend
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Maria Tallchief
  • Oprah Winfrey

Juvenile Fiction

  • The School for Whatnots
  • Marcus Makes a Movie
  • Athena the Brain: Goddess Girls
  • Persephone the Phony: Goddess Girls
  • Curse of the Mystery Mutt
  • Dog Diaries #1
  • Double Dog Dare: Dog Diaries
  • Mission Impawsible: Dog Diaries
  • Big Nate: Beware the Low-flying Corn Muffins
  • Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot
  • Late Lunch with Llamas
  • The Flames of Hope: Wings of Fire


  • Shadows Reel by C.J. Box
  • The Match by Harlan Coben
  • A Relative Murder by Jude Deveraux
  • The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich
  • Gwendy's Final Task by Stephen King
  • The Club by Ellery Lloyd
  • The Lightening Rod by Brad Meltzer
  • Fear Thy Neighbor by Fern Michaels
  • Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton
  • What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline
  • High Stakes by Danielle Steel
  • French Braid by Anne Tyler
  • A Safe House by Stuart Wood

Non- Fiction

  • Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World
  • Philippians: Practical Insights for Everyday Christian Living
  • Start with Prayer: 250 Prayers for Hope and Strength
  • How to Age without Getting Old


  • Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals

Teen Fiction

  • Cinder & Glass
  • Gallant

Electronic Collection

Available with your library card by accessing Bridges/ Libby App with your smartphone, Kindle, Reader, or Computer

Audio Books

  • Deep into the Dark by P.J. Tracy
  • Killing Trail: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima
  • Lie to Me by Molly McAdams
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  • Passion by Molly McAdams
  • The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich
  • Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton
  • The Second Season by Emily Adrian
  • Simply Scandalous by Carly Phillips
  • Simply Sensual by Carly Phillips
  • Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris


  • Christmas in Tinsel Tree Village by Viola Shipman
  • Claws for Alarm: Cat Café Mystery by Cate Conte
  • The Divorce Party by Laura Dave
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  • Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton
  • The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery
  • Trial and Error by Robert Whitlow
  • Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

Did You Know?

You can search for the latest titles on our website catalog. Look for the neon green "What's Hot" column underneath the running scroll of new book covers. You can search by Most Popular, and What's New this month, last month, and right now!


April Parent/ Tween Book Club

Tuesday, April 12th from 7-8pm.

Target Audience: Ages 10-13 and Guardians

The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton

Melissa, Wilf, and Bondi are chosen to compete for a scholarship. A mysterious “Mr. Smith” gives each of them a driver, a cellphone, a debit card, and three clues to solve about landmarks in their city. Bondi’s the first to present his solutions, but when he realizes he’s made a mistake that Mr. Smith doesn’t pick up on, he begins to suspect foul play.

Breaking the rules, he teams up with the other two kids to uncover a twisted plot. Combining their brains and talents, the three kids manage to thwart some bad guys, discover a good guy, and find their way to treasure and happiness.

Reserve and Pick Up Your Copies Today!

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 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