Bolden honored by mayor, council

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
There are not enough words to describe how valuable Joyce Bolden has been to the City of Atmore.
As director of the Atmore Public Library for 30 years, Bolden was instrumental in the growth of, not only the library, but of the city of Atmore as a whole. The work she has performed at the library will be enjoyed by generations to come and the endless hours of work with civic organizations throughout the city will never be forgotten.
The Atmore City Council honored Bolden during Monday afternoon's council meeting by presenting her with a proclamation in appreciation for her hard work and dedication.
"Joyce it is my pleasure to present you with this proclamation from the City of Atmore," Shell said.
The proclamation presented to Bolden read as follows:
Whereas, the governing body of the city of Atmore desires to recognize Ms. Joyce Bolden for her many years of service and valuable contributions to the City of Atmore and its citizens through her work at the Atmore Public Library; and,
Whereas, since becoming part of the Atmore Public Library as director in 1975; her contributions have truly made the Atmore Public Library a vital part of this community; and,
Whereas, she recognized the need for a larger library facility and was instrumental in the construction of a modern 15,00 square foot facility, and in 1985, formed the "Friends of the Library," an organization highlighting the library services, facilities and needs, bringing public attention to the library; and,
Whereas, because of her hard work and tenacity, our library is a true resource for information and holds not only the present and future of our city, but is rich in Atmore's history, an invaluable resource to future generations; and,
Whereas, through her service to such organizations as the United Fund Board of directors, the Pink Ladies at the Atmore Community Hospital, and Heritage Park, she made tremendous contributions to the City of Atmore.
No, therefore, I Howard Shell, Mayor of the City of Atmore, County of Escambia, State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the municipal laws of the State of Alabama, hereby extend well wishes on her retirement, and commend you for the fine work that you have done, and in honor of your valuable friendship and service, we present to you this proclamation on behalf of our city and its citizens.
"Congratulations on a job well done," Shell concluded.
Bolden received an applause from the council and those on hand in acknowledgement of her service. She was joined at the meeting by her husband of 50 years, Ray, daughter, Cindy, and longtime Atmore Public Library Board member, Bishop Lyons.
"I couldn't have done any of this without my board members, I just really couldn't have," Bolden said. "You can't do any of these things without everyone behind you. You just can't do it alone. If I hadn't had my staff and board, I wouldn't be here. Not many people are gratified with loving their job almost as much as they like being at home because I do love the library. I'll always love the library. It's my home away from home. Thank ya'll, I really do appreciate this."
Atmore had been home to a library since 1917, operating out of numerous temporary facilities until 1963 when Mrs. W.R. Holley, a longtime supporter of the library, gave a lot on South Trammel Street and later a donation of $10,000 for the construction of a new library. The library was a project of the Twentieth Century Club of Atmore that soon became a joint effort of many service organizations.
Bolden's leadership of the library led to the formation of the Escambia County Cooperative Library System in 1979. The system was composed of the Atmore, Flomaton, and Brewton libraries in an effort to broaden, improve, and upgrade local libraries and provide library services to all the citizens of the county. The headquarters for the ECCS are still located in Atmore's library today.
In 1980, the W.R. Holley Memorial Library's name was officially changed to the Atmore Public Library in an agreement between Mrs. Ruth Bradley Holley and the City of Atmore.
Atmore Public Library made a monumental move under Bolden's term into a state of the art two-story facility located on the corner of East Church Street and Third Avenue in 1984. The multi-media building was five times the size of the previous location on Trammell Street.
According to Bolden, the library currently has 12,518 patrons from the surrounding area and has a total of 75,000 materials being checked out monthly before Ivan hit last year.

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