Story Hour returns to the Judith Basin County Free Library

Special to the News-Argus

Story Hour participants join Library Director Jeanne Lillegard for a song about a new school year. 

Photo by Jane Hughes



“Library school,” better known as Story Hour, is back for Judith Basin County’s youngest readers. The Stanford branch of the Judith Basin County Free Library, as well as Diana Schmitt’s Kiddie Korner Daycare, and the Hobson branch both held their first events recently.

This first hour was a “welcome back” to school and highlighted a book by Adam Rex, “School’s First Day of School.” 

The story personifies a school, Frederick Douglass Elementary, the building of which has been completed just shortly before the first day of school. The only human being with whom the school has made contact is Janitor, who tries to alleviate the school’s jitters about the first day.

The school is nervous that the youngsters attending will not like it, and might be mean to it. Once they all show up, the students begin to invade the school’s space, and it is not so sure it likes having them around. Summer has been quiet and easy.

The children are noisy, many of them are messy and some of them suffer from the same anxiety as the school. A little freckle-faced girl, for example, doesn’t want anything to do with school. The school takes her behavior personally.

A fire drill in the middle of the day proves embarrassing for the school. Like many of the youngest children, it is unaware of what the drill is all about, but once it is over, everyone appreciates the training.

It isn’t long before the first day jitters are over for everyone – school and students – and in retrospect it wasn’t actually so bad. In fact, everyone looks forward to the following day.

Library Director Jeanne Lillegard “brought the story home” to her young readers, informing them it won’t be long before the expansion at the library will have its first day. She and the youngsters talked about what the library might think on that day.

They shared a simple song, “Brand New Year,” sung to the tune of “London Bridge.” The song notes the beginning of a new school year means re-connecting with old friends, making new friends and learning “brand new things.”

The group looked at the calendar and noted the upcoming arrival of fall. They will be keeping track of the passage of time and the changing of the seasons.

For their “welcome back” craft, the young readers made paper bag backpacks. Lillegard provided a new package of crayons for each attendant to put into his/her backpack.

The theme for this year’s Story Hour is birds of the world, and with the exception of this first hour and those highlighting the various holidays throughout the school year, youngsters will learn about ducks, swans, puffins, ostriches, flamingoes, pelicans, eagles and songbirds. They will discover these birds’ different habitats, what they eat and how they survive in the world. A special surprise will be part of each bird Story Hour.

The fun gets started at the library branches at 10:30 a.m. every other Wednesday and at the daycare at 9 a.m. Check the Judith Basin County Free Library’s websites at and for this year’s Story Hour schedule. Your young reader will be happy you did.

Former library board member Beulah Biegalke has joined Story Hour in Stanford for her 11th year. She typically shares treats and helps youngsters with their crafts. Lillegard is always appreciative of the time Biegalke shares with the library.



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