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Welcome to the new, monthly 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 newest service, Tumblebooks and grant a sneak-peak at the Laugh and Learn Bag. We also present our March selection for the Parent/Tween Book Club.

We look forward to seeing you at the library!

Thank you for your support!

A Word From Our Director

Children’s Programs: They’re really for the parents 

It’s a busy time at the library! We are still in the middle of Winter programming, but already preparing for Summer Reading. In the past year, we have developed a slate of programs for children from age two to tweens. Each program offers parents the opportunity to engage their child in learning; to watch the child’s face as they discover and explore.  

During Toddler Time we have several activity stations for parents and children ages 2 – 5 to explore together. In addition, there is a traditional story time with books and a group activity.  

Laugh & Learn is a program for grades K – 4. During the monthly meeting, the children engage in a couple of activities and listen to the first chapter of the book for the month. Each month has a theme; children leave with a bag full of crafts, games, STEM activities and more to enjoy with their parents. 

Parent/Tween Book Club is for middle school age children. Each month the parent and child read a book together. We gather to discuss the book. 

I hope all parents will join me for a “children’s program” soon, and experience the joy of watching your child learn.  

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

Tumblebooks Now Available!


Back in the 1970's, educators started to note that children's literacy skills were weaker following the summer months. Teachers found that kids slowed or stopped reading in the summer, opting instead to watch TV. This lead to struggles in the fall when children returned to school, especially elementary students.

Educators and librarians started developing summer reading programs, often incentivized programs that encourage children to read. To tap into the burgeoning market of young viewers, educational television producers began developing shows that were both fun and informative, such as The Electric Company, Sesame Street, and of course, Reading Rainbow.

These television programs incorporated visualizations that made stories come to life while developing children's love of words, narratives, and the desire to learn more. The fact we can reference these shows, some 20-50 years later, illustrates their positive impact.

Today, parents, librarians, and educators face a similar struggle: where once TV was king, we now have the internet, smart devices, and the concept of "Screen Time".

Studies are underway across many industries to best determine when and how to introduce screen time to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, "calls for no screen time at all for children until 18 to 24 months, except for video chatting, and says kids ages 2 to 5 should get an hour or less of screen time per day." What Do We Really Know About Kids and Screens, www.APA.org.

So, once we as parents decide it's time to introduce screen time, the question becomes how to encourage children and teens to read books, when so many of us have migrated to eBooks? Enter the Tumblebook Library.

TumbleBooks was created as an educational resource for parents, guardians, and educators who want to encourage the use of technology while also building core competencies such as literacy and comprehension. Each book is read aloud as the text streams across the screen. You may select to turn off the audio, letting children read the stories aloud. Children will also learn how to navigate a website by searching topics and keywords to find age appropriate stories with interactive buttons, animated illustrations, and videos.

Tweens will enjoy the graphic novel collection featuring tales by famous authors and illustrators you already know and love. Tumblebooks also has a collection of subject-based videos that are similar in production to those fun, informative, and bite-sized shorts we watched on PBS.

There is no sign-up or password required, no login needed! Follow the link on our website to discover over 250 animated, talking picture books and more than 1100 titles in English, French, and Spanish.

We are thrilled to share our subscription to TumbleBooks so your family can access this unlimited, kid-friendly service!

Click Here for Tumblebooks Library Access

Did You Know?

You can search the library catalog online, 24/7! Search by Title, Author, Keyword and more- then reserve books to pick up at your convenience. Grab your library card to sign in and start perusing the stacks from the comfort of home. Trouble logging in? Call the library for help today!


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!


March Laugh and Learn

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022 from 5:30pm-6:30pm.

Target Audience: Elementary Kids and Families

This month's theme is Go Green!

Book of the Month

Justine McKeen: Queen Of Green

Justine McKeen's trying to save the planet, one person and one cause at a time. Best of all, when she decides to get something done, it involves a whole lot of laughter and fun for everyone!

March Laugh and Learn Take Home Bag includes:

Individual STEM projects to build a mason bee house, crafts to create a work of art with cyanotype paper and photo frame, family game and activity, and

special surprises for March 17 & March 20.

Social Distancing? Drop by the Van Meter Public Library in your mask on March 2nd for a super quick pick-up!


Parent/ Tween Book Club

Parents and Guardians connect with their tweens by reading the same story and sharing insights with the group.


Summer Reading Program

Watch this space for fun announcements about this year's Kids and Teens Summer Reading Program, Read Beyond the Beaten Path!


March Parent/ Tween Book Club

Tuesday, March 8th from 7-8pm.

Target Audience: Ages 10-13 and Guardians

Bob by Wendy Mass

It's been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy's grandmother in Australia. Now that she's back, Livy has the feeling she's forgotten something really, really important about Gran's house. It turns out she's right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn't forget Livy, or her promise. He can't remember who - or what- he is, where he came from, or even if he has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it's time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

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