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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Columbus Lowndes Library is celebrating 40 years of service at the Bateman Building in downtown Columbus.

In 1973, The Bateman Building became home to the Columbus Lowndes Public Library. Late library director, and the building’s namesake,  Chebie Gaines Bateman made it her mission to move the library to downtown Columbus.  Library patron Rufus Ward says Chebie would be proud to see the progress, 40 years later.

“I think probably the first thing she would do is say “we need a bigger building”. She would be excited and what she accomplished was phenomenal and without her efforts we would not have the facility that we have now,” says Rufus Ward, a library patron.

The 40th Anniversary celebration was hosted by the Friends of the Library, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support the library.

“The “Friends” has been around for many years now and a lot of things that you see here today is because of the friends. A lot of people forget sometimes just what all is here that they can use for educational purposes,” says Keith Gaskin, Vice President of Friends of the Library .

The library now has 23 computers for public access, a children’s area, teen center and a genealogy department. As a part of the Mississippi Library Partnership, the Columbus Lowndes Public Library offers over three million book titles.

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