It was everybody’s birthday at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Library on Jan. 16 as Library Director Lisa Youngblood led a group of 20 children and their caretakers as they sang and danced into the decorated storytime room.

Youngblood said the library has celebrated birthdays in January for more than a decade.

“This is just another way to emphasize literacy, learning and the months of the year, which we have been working on for several weeks now,” she said. “During our storytime we highlight narrative skills, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, print awareness, vocabulary and print motivation.”

Prior to devouring cupcakes, snacks and drinks, children listened intently as Youngblood brought several birthday-themed books to life with an animated personality.

Children were invited to stomp their feet, blow out imaginary candles and to “wiggle their waggles away” in between the three short stories.

Monica Evans’ two sons, Josiah, 4, and Joshua, 2, have grown up in the library.

“After my first son was born, I didn’t know what we were going to do every week,” she said. “We started coming when he was 6 months old for the infant lapsit and the storytime and we have been coming every since.”

A former first-grade teacher, Evans said she appreciates the curriculum Youngblood follows.

“The storytimes are great. They are fun and educational and it gives the kids something consistent to come to,” she said. “We didn’t know that today’s storytime would be a party, but he is loving it, especially the balloons.”

A library regular, Evans visits twice a week.

“My youngest thinks the library is his school,” she said. “After I drop off my oldest at his preschool, we come to the library, or how he sees it, his school.”

The library also is part of the routine for mom Cassi Collazo and her daughter Zariah, 2.

“It’s nice to have something free to do and we love Miss Lisa,” Collazo said. “Whenever Zariah sees Miss Lisa outside of the library, she runs up to her and asks her for a story.”

The next birthday celebration won’t be held again until next year, but families can visit the library weekly for a variety of stories, songs, puppets, crafts and other activities designed for children ages 3 and older.

Storytime is offered at

10 a.m. every Wednesday and Thursday. The library is at 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. | 254-501-7567

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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