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

This month, we talk about VetNow, a service available to veterans and their families that can help navigate the return to civilian life, VA benefits, and job search facilitation.

Plus, you definitely want to check out our sneak peek at the Summer Reading Programs and our big Kick-Off event taking place at Raccoon River Days on June 3rd.

We look forward to seeing you at the library!


Our Catalog Keeps Growing!

New book and movies have been added to our growing collection of adult fiction, juvenile fiction, biographies, DVDs, large print, picture books, and non-fiction titles for every age group.

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 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


Moving Forward: Planning the Next 5 Years 

The mission of the Van Meter Public Library is to provide materials and services that support and encourage lifelong learning and the love of literature. The library’s vision is a community of lifelong learners in Van Meter. 

To facilitate this mission, the Library Board approved a revised, 2020-2025 Strategic Plan at the March meeting. To better understand the need for this revised plan, let me first take you back to 2019.

The original planning process began three years ago when Kathleen Nubel, then Library Director, and members of the library board met with the State Library’s Central District Consultant for a 3-hour planning session.

During that meeting, the group reviewed demographic information from the State Data Center, statistical data from the library’s past annual survey reports, and current trends in libraries. The board and director then scheduled several work sessions to draft details of a strategic plan in alignment with community needs.

Just weeks after passing this original strategic plan in 2020, the VMPL closed temporarily due to the pandemic. As the country experienced unprecedented situations, so too, did our library. In March 2021, Kathleen Nubel resigned and in April, I began as Director.

These unforeseeable events impacted the library’s ability to make progress on many areas of the plan. When the library reopened in May of 2021, time was taken to reassess the needs of our community. We held a public survey last June, along with a focus group in November.

Overwhelmingly, participants indicated that expanded programming and a new building are seen as the top priorities for the library’s future.

The new strategic plan emphasizes three focus areas: improved Organizational Health, expanded Programs and Resources, and increased Community Involvement. 

Please take time to review the the full 2020-2025 Strategic Plannow available online at the Van Meter Public Library website.

In the coming months I’ll be using this column to delve into each focus area. This five year plan is for you, our patrons, and we appreciate your dedication!

~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer

Van Meter Public Library Director

VetNow: Navigating Civilian Life


The Van Meter Public Library is pleased to announce the launch of VetNow - support for our community's veterans and their families with navigating the VA bureaucracy, providing academic tutoring, and employment transition assistance.


VetNow Navigators are trained to help veterans and families connect with valuable benefits and resources. They boast many Navigators are veterans themselves.

Navigators can answer questions related to benefits eligibility, refer patrons to applicable community resources for housing, healthcare and educational benefits, and assist veterans with locating accredited claims agents.


In addition to benefits assistance, VetNow offers tools designed to help with all stages of the job hunting process.

The VetNow Job Tools feature career coaching, expert resume assistance, live interview preparation, and more from trained job coaches. Veterans and their families can use these nationwide (and local) career resources to discover their best career fit based on education, experience, and personality.

Vets can even get help creating and/or reviewing your resumes and cover letters. When you're ready to interview, VetNow offers live online interview practice from trained job coaches.


Veterans can also build academic skills and prepare for college with VetNow's array of educational tools. By accessing VetNow with your library card, patrons will find practice exams for the SAT, ACT, GRE, TEAS, HESI and more, live tutors in a wide range of college level subjects including language learners, along with access to helpful flashcards, tests, and educational games. 

The Van Meter Public Library is proud to offer this service free of charge to our patrons. If you would like help accessing VetNow, check out the User Guide online or contact the Van Meter Public Library for more assistance.

Did You Know?

You can see how much you saved every time you check out a book at the library! Look at the bottom of your receipt to find how much money you saved today, and how much you've saved all year.

To date, the Van Meter Public Library has helped patrons throughout Dallas County save over $71,000 this fiscal year!

Summer Reading Programs 2022

Kick-Off Friday June 3rd at Raccoon River Days


Join the Van Meter Public Library at the Raccoon River Days Family Fest Friday, June 3rd at the American Legion Hall from 6pm-9pm.

This year, Friday night will be focused on family fun with bounce houses, free-will hotdog dinner, and fireworks.

Friday night the library will be at the American Legion Hall offering free activities for kids including wearable arts and crafts, marshmallow shooters, and make your own light saber crafts to use throughout the night.

Children and Teens will be able to sign-up for the Summer Reading Program to start earning rewards immediately.

In addition to the kids crafts, attendants of all ages will help create a beautiful community art display showcasing our "Traditions with a Vision."

Using vinyl banners and paint markers, we will be asking participants to help color in graphics and create community graffiti around Van Meter themes. These banners will then be displayed along the chain link fence in front of the library throughout the summer months.

Raccoon River Days weekend and our Summer Reading Program Kick-Off have been made possible by the Van Meter Community Development Corporation (VMCDC) and generous sponsors of the Raccoon River Days. We thank them for their support!

Summer Reading Programs Sneak Peeks


Children Summer Reading Program

Ages 2-12

Summer Laugh and Learn- Weekly!

Join Nancy each Wednesday night from 5:30-6:30pm for story time, STEM activities, and crafts. Must be present to participate, no take home bags available.

Summer Toddler Time- Weekly!

Join Nancy for fun summer themes every Monday night; program is repeated Wednesday mornings from 9:30-10:30am. Ages 2-5, parental participation encouraged.

Monday Middle School Matinees

Movies every Monday from 2- 4:30pm


Tween Summer Reading Program

Ages 12-16

New this year, we will be offering an additional summer reading program for tweens and teens. This program offers targeted programs and rewards just for older readers.

Thursday Teen Takeover- Weekly!

Join Katrina each Thursday evening from 6pm-8pm in June and July for teen focused crafts, games, movies, and fun.

This dedicated time creates a safe place for tweens and teens to access the library collections, hang out during the hot summer months, and enjoy unfettered access to the librarian.

Check out our Facebook page for our full Summer Schedule of Events for Children and Tweens. Watch the June VMPL newsletter for a full breakdown of all the wonderful events and rewards we're offering this summer!

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

New Website! www.vanmeterlife.com

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