Library plans oral history project and podcast

Marijo Dougherty talked with the late Joe Merli at the opening of an exhibit she put together on Altamont inventors.

ALTAMONT — The Altamont Free Library is planning a gala, set for Feb. 10, which will honor two women who have contributed a lot to life in the village. One of them is recently retired village historian Marijo Dougherty.

Meanwhile, said librarian Joe Burke, the library has received an anonymous donation from an admirer of Dougherty that will allow it to begin an oral history project.

The project will be named for her, as the Marijo Dougherty Oral History Collection.

Appropriately enough, the first podcast will feature Dougherty, who was interviewed by Laura Shore.

The plan, Burke said, is to edit the two hours or so of tape to one hour and turn it into a podcast.

“This is a new thing,” he said.

Another person who will be interviewed for the project, Burke said, is Thelma Elgie, a woman who grew up and spent most of her life in the village.

Burke’s hope is to have at least three interviews completed before he goes live with the podcast, “so we can keep rolling them out on a somewhat predictable schedule.”

As to when he expects to start, he said, “When I am able to figure out the audio editing software.”

The other gala honoree is longtime library board member Sally Dague, who, Burke said, “left the board in 2016 but remains a bulwark of support for us.”

Dague, after retiring from a clerical career at the Guilderland schools, works on records management for the district. She is not one to seek the limelight, but she was crucial in the years-long task of renovating the library, Burke said.

“She was never the person out front in the renovations, but was always here, with her sleeves rolled up, during every stage,” he said.

Corrected on Feb. 16, 2018: We removed the words “African-American” from the description of Thelma Elgie since she is not African-American.


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