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Children Flock to Popular West Harrison Librarian

HARRISON, N.Y. - There were five minutes to go until West Harrison Children's Librarian Liz Karkoff was to host her weekly "Mother Goose Time" reading event for local children and she waited patiently upstairs. She was hesitant to show her face to a room with close to 30 children anxious to play.

"I usually don't go down until it's time to start," Karkoff of Tarrytown said. "Otherwise the kids think it's time to start."

Karkoff hosts the popular library event twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays with the latter day drawing more kids because of her signature finale of bubble-blowing. Children ages three and younger are accompanied by their parents at events to sing, dance, and play.

"The kids can tell that I enjoy doing it. I appreciate them," Karkoff said. "I'm open, welcoming, and just want the kids to have fun."

Tracy Fontanez of Harrison and her five-year-old daughter, Hannah, became regulars at the program and started bringing little 10-month-old Matthew to learn the ropes.

"Liz is awesome" Fontanez said. "The kids have a chance to come here, play, and make some new friends. They look forward to it."

Karkoff has been running the event since she joined the library five years ago, but her work has impressed new faces to the community as well. Galina Chernykh was recently named director of the library and said Karkoff was an asset to the team.

"She's an amazing person," Chernykh said. "Parents love her and you can see it. She has that natural talent and a unique approach with the kids."

Chernykh said the Harrison Library is planning more dynamic events including reading sessions at Ma Riis Park at the downtown branch and Karkoff might be featured in the programs.

"I want to create an excitement about the library," Karkoff said. "I'm lucky that I can do this."

Which library programs would you like to see? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter .

E-mail town reporter Phil Corso at PCorso@TheDailyHarrison.com .

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