Rosalie M. Burgher
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Rosalie M. Burgher has been a fixture for over six decades in the Ulster County Town of Olive, touching the lives of those who live in the close knit community. Throughout the years, she has been involved in the local school PTA, the American Legion Auxiliary, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and many other community organizations. Ms. Burgher’s greatest contribution was helping establish the Olive Free Library.
In the 1950s, a group of citizens decided that Olive was in need of a library. It was a very rural area and the closest library was more than 15 miles away. Ms. Burgher was a key member of that early group, and in 1958, the Olive Free Library was born. From the time of its inception to the present day, Ms. Burgher has played a vital role in the library’s operation and growth. She helped collect book donations to fill the shelves of the first library, housed in the old schoolhouse. When the library outgrew this space, she served on the building committee to help raise funds to construct a new library. She then served on the board of trustees, worked as a volunteer, held a staff position, and ultimately became the library director. Even today, after stepping down as library director, she has stayed on in a staff position at the age of 86.
During all those years, Ms. Burgher has introduced hundreds of adults and children to the joy of reading. At the weekly story hour, she has delighted children with her reading and storytelling. Ms. Burgher understands how important reading is to a child’s development, education and success in school. Her love of reading has helped many children in the Town of Olive develop their own love of reading and, in turn, helped lead them to their success in school and in life.
Ms. Burgher is no ordinary librarian. She is a beloved community member who has given so much to the Town of Olive. She is part mother, grandmother, counselor, teacher and advisor to everyone who she comes in contact with and has quietly contributed to a community’s well being for decades.