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Family Photos Build Community At Harrison Library

HARRISON, N.Y. – All sorts of families came to the Harrison Public Library on Wednesday to get their photos taken as part of the library’s “Building Common Ground” series.

Library Director Galina Chernykh said the program aims to build community and acknowledge the diversity of Harrison’s population. Chernykh said the library wants to preserve the community's identity, while highlighting how safe it is and its great schools.

“If you look at the latest census numbers over the past 10 years, they show that the town’s population is rapidly changing, and we need to address this and celebrate our culture,” Chernykh said. “At the same time, we need to value the American dream and learn to live together with respect toward our neighbors. It’s very important.”

Photos were taken by Harrison resident Anja Porto, owner of the Rye Camera Shop. Porto said the program was very special, considering that Harrison is the only library in the county to get such a grant.

“We are getting kids involved in reading, which is important because they are the future,” Porto said. “We try to help people, especially newcomers to town and introduce them to the library. It’s a great place for kids, who are very eager to learn at an early age to accept people for who they are.”

Resident Nora Mastoloni brought her son to the library Wednesday morning. Mastoloni originally came for another program, but when she saw that photos  were being taken for free, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“It’s a great place to come in this excessive heat,” Mastoloni said. “I jumped at this opportunity because the library is fantastic and provides a great community service, which makes a lot of people very happy.”

Annette Auguiste has been a nanny in town for 25 years. She said she has always brought the children she takes care of to the Harrison Public Library because of the programming it offers.

“It helps to enhance their vocabulary and they get to meet other kids,” Auguiste said. “It’s wonderful for socialization, which is very good for the kids.”

Porto said that any other residents interested in having photos taken at the library can contact her at (914) 967-2164, or by email.


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