Speaking of History: The Words of South Carolina Librarians

Ethel Bolden

Photo of Ethel Bolden

Mrs. Ethel Bolden was born on December 7, 1918 in Charleston, SC. She attended Barber Scotia Junior College from 1936-1938 and completed her BA in English and Social Studies at Johnson C. Smith University in 1940. In 1959, she received her MSLS from Atlanta University.

Mrs. Bolden taught at Waverly Elementary School in Columbia, SC (1945-56) and began her career as a librarian there (1945-56). Beginning in 1956, Mrs. Bolden was the school librarian at Perry Junior High School. She was involved in teaching future librarians at Allen University (1964) and South Carolina State College (1966). Mrs. Bolden was given the honor and challenge of being the first African American professional at Dreher High School in 1968, where she continued to work until she retired in 1982.

Ethel Bolden has been active in many organizations - both professional and non-professional.

  • USO Columbia, SC, 1952-62; chairman 1959
  • SCLA (South Carolina Library Association)
  • Chairman, Mothers March on Polio, 1956-57
  • Mental Health Association, 1962-64
  • YWCA
  • ALA
  • American Teachers Association
  • Palmetto (SC) Teachers Association, Chairman of the librarian section 1964-66
  • League of Women Voters
  • Columbia Pan Hellenic Council, president 1958-59
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Jack & Jill of America, president 1958-60

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Jeannie Colson