Frequently Asked Questions

How do I...

Get a Library Card?

Library cards are issued free of charge to all residents of Van Meter and Dallas County.  In addition, residents of cities that participate in Iowa's Open Access program are eligible for a free library card. Parents may come to the library to apply for a library card for their child of any age.  

To get a library card, you'll need to bring a photo ID and proof of residency.  If your driver's license or state ID show your current address, you're good to go!  If not, you'll need to bring a rent agreement, utility bill in your name or other proof of residency.  Click here to see the full circulation policy.

There are no overdue fines, however if you fail to return an item in a reasonable amount of time you will be charged for the item.  

Return Books?

Items may be returned during normal hours inside at the circulation desk. A 24-hour Book Return is available next to the entrance.

Pay My Fines?

If you have lost a book, or a book has been overdue for more than 60 days, you will need to pay the replacement costs. Cash is accepted; we do not accept debit/credit cards at this time. 

Find Something to Read?

Check out the online card catalog to search our entire collection of physical books and movies available from the Van Meter Public Library. The online catalog also searches statewide for ebooks and downloadable audiobooks.

The search box is located at the top left hand corner. Click "More Search Options" to look up specific authors, keywords, topics, material types and more.

Look for Something New?

Look at the What's Hot box at the online catalog for popular titles, what's new, and booklists.

Get Email Notifications?

If you are not already getting notices by email, simply email us, call us, or stop by the circulation desk and we'll update your account.

Sign Up for the Newsletter?

If you are not already receiving the monthly newsletter by email, you can sign up online!

Access my account online?

Go to our catalog and click "Log On" in the top right corner of the page. First time users will enter their patron number (this can be found on your library card) as the username. Your password will be your phone number with no dashes. Once successfully logged in, you are encouraged to change this. 

If you are unable to access your account, please visit the library with your personal ID and library card so that we can reset your access.

Renew and Reserve Items?

To renew and reserve items you can always email or stop by and a librarian will be happy to help you. Or, you can log in to your account online to renew and reserve books.

Start by searching the catalog. Once you find the item you want to reserve, click on the title to expand the information. You can then click a link to "Reserve This Item" for physical copies, or "Download This Item" for ebooks.

Borrow from Other Libraries?

If a book you are looking for is not on our shelves, we can often obtain it from another Iowa library. The InterLibrary Loan Service (ILL) connects public libraries and select university libraries allowing patrons to borrow from a vast collection of materials.

Popular options include:
Audiobook listening devices - a preloaded MP3 player; headphones required.
Series Continuations - if we don't have the entire series, we can get it.
Favorite Authors - search for lesser known titles, other series, and more.
Movies/ Musicals - able to specify DVD/Blu-Ray format, occasionally VHS.
Voracious Readers - create a list of authors, topics, titles, or genres to keep at the library and we'll create a regular order so you never run out!

Please come in, call or email us to inquire about using the InterLibrary Loan service!

Find the Library?

We are located two blocks west of Casey's. We currently share the public safety building, next to the pocket park. Here is how you can locate our building.

When will we get a new library?

The passion and dedication of the community is needed to drive this project and raise the nessecary funds to build a new library.

The Van Meter Public Library Foundation, which oversees these efforts, is in need of dedicated board members and volunteers to lead the charge, plan fundraising activities, and champion the need for public library access to all. Contact to learn how you can help!

Still have questions?

Call us at 515-996-2435 or email at