Update: Columbia Library Response to Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Library Closure Until Further Notice

On March 20, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued a Stay-at-Home Order beginning March 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. to April 7, 2020 in an effort to curb the spread and impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

  • Residents will still be able to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, hospitals and gas stations.
  • They can still go running or hiking and walk their dogs.

In accordance with the Governors state order, Mayor Kevin Hutchinson has declared a Civil Emergency for the City of Columbia requesting patrons to stay home accept for the essentials. All city facilities services will remain open, but will be closed to public for 7 days (Friday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m.) at which time they will reassess the situation.

While normally Columbia Public Library would invite school-aged children to come to the library in the event of an emergency closing, this is not the best course of action when trying to curb a contagious disease. Because containment works best when all organizations participate, many libraries and other cultural organizations have closed.

Columbia Public Library will be closed until further notice. However, on April 7th the current climate of this emergency will be reassessed and our Library Board will then consider the library’s response moving forward.

Library Updates:

  • The Columbia Public Library will be closed to the public. This includes any events hosted by us or by third-party organizations.  Do not contact the Library about third party programs, call your group leader.
  • The library drop box is closed and all patrons should keep library materials until the library reopens.
  • All checked out materials are fine free during this public health emergency.
  • If you renew online and get the message that your item cannot be renewed, rest assured you will not be charged fines.
  • Library to library delivery has been suspended until further notice.
  • The Library will not be offering home delivery at this time.
  • Library staff have been sent home. However, librarians will be checking emails and social media daily and phone messages a couple times a week to answer any questions you might have.
  • PLEASE NO BOOK SALE DONATIONS AT THIS TIME. Please do not leave donations outside.

Contact Us

Reference and General Information: reference@columbialibrary.org

E-books or account questions: annahesterberg@columbialibrary.org

Library Programming or Registration Questions: columbialibrary.events@gmail.com

Facebook: Columbia Public Library, Columbia IL Instagram: columbiapubliclibrary

Library Phone Number: (618) 281-4237 (Staff will be checking messages a couple times a week.)


Currently, Columbia Library patrons can download Cloud Library and RBdigital to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines. There is e-content for all ages.

How to Download Cloud Library

  • Download the App: Via the Apple App Store or Google Play
  • Log into your library: Select your state and library (Illinois Heartland Library System).  Enter your library card number and 4-digit PIN.  If you are not sure of your PIN please email the library at annahesterberg@columbialibrary.org or leave a message at the library number (618) 281-4237 and someone will assist you as quickly as they can.

How to Download RB Digital

  • Set up an Account: Go to www.rbdigital.com/illinoisheartland.  Click “create new account” in the upper righthand corner.  Enter your library card number and email and create a password.
  • Download the App: Via the Apple App Store or Google Play. Log on with your new username and password used to set up your rbdigital account.

Online Learning

Columbia Library also has a temporary subscription with Lynda.com which comes due in May. However, with the current stay-at-home order for many employees. This might be a great time for people to beef up their professional skills. Lynda.com offers 6,200 plus continuing education courses in up-to-date software, web development, marketing, business, soft skills, and more!

How to Access Lynda.com

  • Go to www.columbialibrary.org
  • Click “Online Resources”, then click “Online Learning”
  • Click “Lynda.com” icon
  • Log in with your library card number and 4-digit PIN

Also, Columbia Public Library is working to update and expand their online resources for children.

Fax and Copy Service

For your fax and copy needs you may want to contact your bank. 

Wi-Fi availability

No password needed to access our Wi-Fi connection. Wi-Fi will be available 24/7 outside the building.

Important Phone Numbers and Emails

  • In Illinois:
    • Illinois Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-889-3931
    • Email: dph.sick@illinois.gov
  • In Missouri
    • Missouri Coronavirus Hotline: 877-435-8411
    • Email: info@health.mo.gov

Reliable Resources 

City of Columbia, Illinois

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University