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Welcome to the September edition of the Van Meter Public Library Newsletter!

This month we are excited to talk about our Back-to-School Challenge featuring non-fiction titles. We also have details about our weekly Fall programs featuring the return of Toddler Time, Laugh & Learn, and our new Friday after-school program, Tween Scene.

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

A Word From Our Director

It’s been a great summer.

It’s been a great year!

We have wrapped up Summer Reading 2022. Young readers in Van Meter were rewarded for almost 2000 hours of reading!

Summer reading programs encourage children to make reading a lifelong habit. Reluctant readers can be drawn in by activities and prizes. 

Summer reading helps children maintain their skills and prevents “summer slide.” For each half-hour a child read, he/she won a small prize, a book of their choice and a raffle ticket. 

We also just finished our fiscal year, with record breaking circulation and program attendance.  

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

Survey: Should We Keep Tumblebooks?

The Van Meter Public Library is starting to plan for the next calendar year, and we need your help.

Tumblebooks is an online service supplying eBooks, audio books, multi-lingual literature, and educational videos for young readers. No account or sign-in needed.

Over the next few months, we'll be evaluating this and other VMPL programs. We encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions. Our goal is to provide Van Meter Public Library patrons with the resources and services that best serve the needs of our community.

Give Tumblebooks a try, see what your kids think, and tell us: should we keep it?

Should the VM Library Continue to Subscribe to Tumblebooks in 2023?

Take A Look at

Non-Fiction Books!

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the non-fiction collection at our local library. While my little sisters scoured the picture books, I would get lost in the Dewey decimal system. I loved how each topic had its own number and, at every 100 numbers, there was a whole new collection of topics to explore.

Alone in the stacks, I would pick a shelf and look through every book it held. I was taught never to judge a book by its cover, so I left no stone unturned. If I found myself stopping to read the book, I put it in the pile. This would go on for hours. 

When it was time to leave, they'd find me sitting on the floor, surrounded by stacks of books, incredibly pleased with my weekly haul. I'd go home and read obsessively, learning new topics that sparked my search during our next trip to the library. 

In the late 90's, our card catalog was upgraded to a fancy, new computer system. While I missed the drawers full of cards, I loved how much farther my interests could go. The internet was brand new back then, and very few people had it in their homes, let alone their hands. The idea of simply typing in what you wanted and having it search the entire library collection was astonishing.

As a teen, it became a game; I spent hours searching different topics and keywords just to see how they connected to one another. Soon, the card catalog became my gateway to the world.

I read up on different fields of science, history, and fine arts. I read about the struggles iconic figures faced throughout their lives and the obstacles leaders tackled with grace and poise. When I had questions- personal, existential, educational, political, or otherwise- the library's non-fiction collections had opinions and answers to share.

This Fall, our Beanstack Back-to-School Reading Challenge shares the joy of non-fiction titles. Toddlers to Teens are encouraged to read five (5) non-fiction titles between September 12th and November 18th. Track your progress using the new Beanstack app to claim your prize and free book!

We spent the summer adding books to our juvenile non-fiction collections. New and exciting titles are on display now. Stop by the library, or check out our online catalog, to enter a whole new world of reading adventures!

~Katrina Brocka, VMPL Library Assistant

September Calendar of Events

Click the images to learn more about upcoming events at the VMPL!

Be sure to 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!


The Van Meter Public Library will be closed on Monday, September 5th in observation of Labor Day.

Fall Toddler Time

Ages: 2-5

Monday Nights 5:30 - 6:30pm

Tuesday Morning 10am - 11am

*Registration Appreciated

September 12 & 13: "L" is for Llama

September 19 & 20: "P" is for Police

September 26 & 27: "A" is for Apple

Fall Laugh and Learn

1st - 3rd Grades

Tuesday Nights 5:30-6:30pm

Registration Appreciated

September 13: Reader's Theater

September 20: Fingerprints

September 27: Apples

Back to School Reading Challenge

Ages: Toddlers to Teens

September 12 - November 18

Kids who read 5 (five) non-fiction titles and keep track using Beanstack will win a small prize and book!

Fall Tween Scene

Ages: 4th - 6th Grades

Fridays 2pm - 4pm

*Registration Required

Attention: Due to the after-school nature of these events, parents must complete a permission slip with emergency contact information in addition to registering and before the child attends their first event.

Parents who register for Tween Scene will receive a weekly email outlining the event each Friday, along with a link to the one-time emergecy contact form.

Parents will be called at 2:15pm if tween does not arrive as expected to the event.

September 2nd: Board Games

September 9th: Middle School Movies

September 16th: Tween Book Club

September 23rd: School Spirit Crafts

September 30th: Middle School Movies

*Register online for all programming events using the new VMPL calendar on our website.

Reminder: Books are Friends, Not Food!

As a gentle reminder, please do not let children and pets chew on library materials.

We do our best to sanitize books and DVDs once items are returned, but keep in mind you can never tell where those items have been.

Blemishes like bite marks, punctures, and dog-eared corners can cost you, as patrons handle paying the full price to replace any materials damaged while in their possession.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our collections in great shape!

Community Resources


Van Meter City Hall

310 Mill Street

PO Box 160

Phone: (515) 996-2644



Van Meter Public Safety

Dallas Co. 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