How can I get a library card?
Bring a governmental photo ID (ex. driver’s license, state ID, military ID) as well as proof of residency (ex. tax bill, utility bill, imprinted check, voter registration card) to the circulation desk. If your governmental photo ID does not have your current address, please bring a second proof of residency.  You must pay taxes to the city of Columbia in order to get a free library card. These cards expire every three years. If you are not eligible for a free card, you may purchase a non-resident card for your family. Currently the yearly fee is $85.00 — ask us about our Friends of the Library discount program!

What is my PIN number?
The last 4 digits of your telephone number unless you specified otherwise when registering for your card. You will need it to create and manage your account on the online library catalog. If it does not work, please call us so we can reset it to the PIN of your choosing.

How long can I check things out?
Items from different libraries have different checkout periods, but if you check out items belonging to Columbia Public Library, this is how long you may keep them:

Books and Audiobooks: 2 weeks

TV Shows: 2 weeks

Children’s movies: 2 weeks

Adult films, Music, and Magazines: 1 week

What happens if I can’t return the items to the library on time?
If you know you won’t be able to return things by their due date, you may be able to renew the items up to two times. This is dependent on whether someone is waiting for the item and the rules of the library that owns the item. Renewals are never guaranteed. You can either renew your items in person, from the online catalog, or by calling us during open hours at 618-281-4237 ext. 0.

Items from different libraries may have different late fees. DVDs that belong to the Columbia Public Library are .50 per day when late, and books and other items are .20 per day.

To use the library (including, but not limited to checking out items and using computers), patrons must have less than $5.00 in fines or fees on their library account.

If there are extenuating circumstances (ex. theft, unexpected hospitalization), please contact the Library Director.