Update: Columbia Library Response to Coronavirus

July 20, 2020


Please help us keep our doors open by following these guidelines. 

  • Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm
  • Friday 9 am – 4 pm
  • Saturday 9 am – 3 pm

Visit:  If possible, please limit your visit to one adult.  If that is not possible, please no more than two per household.    Children 12 and younger must be with an adult.  Library visits will be limited to 30 minutes.    Seating in the building is not permitted at this time. 

Masks:    Face coverings will be worn by all staff and patrons.  If you can’t wear a mask, we are happy to provide curbside service.

Sanitize:  Please sanitize hands upon entering the building.

Social Distancing:  Keep 6 feet between you and other people.

Building Capacity:  A maximum number of patrons will be maintained.  You may have to wait outside until space becomes available. 

Children’s Department:  No more than 4 people in the children’s department at one time.

Browsing:  Feel free to wear gloves during your visit.  Please keep your mask up at all times, even if nobody is browsing near you. 

Checking Out:  Bring items to circulation desk.  You can give us your library card or we can scan your card through our sneeze guard.  Place items on counter and move to marked area on the floor. 

Items You Check Out:  If you prefer to take your own precautions, you can quarantine your items for 4 extra days (we are already doing this for all returned items; they have been quarantined since the last patron had them, before they go back on the shelf). Library-to-library delivery is back in service, so you may order items from other libraries again but be aware that the wait time will be longer than it used to be, as both the sending libraries and receiving libraries hold delivery tubs for 4 days, due to a recent study done on the survival time of the virus on multiple library materials (up to 96 hrs for some surfaces).

Returns:  We currently have the book return located in the lobby.  Items can be placed there as well as in the outside book return.   If you see materials still on your account for a few days after you return them, don’t worry, we will check them in soon.  When items are returned, we quarantine them for 4 days before checking them in. 

Computer Use:  Limit 1 hour per day. 

Copy Machine Use:  Available for patron use.

Fax Service:  Available for patron use.

Notary Service:  Service will be available after July 20th, by appointment only.

Book Donations (Only Fridays):

  • Call ahead before bringing items on Fridays 9-4 and you will be given instructions on where to leave them.
  • Items must be in plastic grocery bags, NO BOXES.
  • No more than 5 bags per drop-off.
  • Please have your name and phone number with the items.
  • What the library will accept:
    • Fiction with publication dates less than 5 years old, however we are temporarily accepting like-new copies of older best-selling series and classics (i.e., Dork Diaries, Lego books, James Patterson, Baldacci, Grisham, Amish books).
    • Nonfiction not more than 5 years old.

Have more questions:   Please call us at 618-281-4237  or email reference@columbialibrary.org

We appreciate your understanding during this time and thank you for your patience.

Library Curbside Service

Materials Request

Library-to-library delivery is back in service! You may order books from other libraries again, but be aware that the wait time will be longer than you may be used to, since both sending libraries and receiving libraries hold the delivery tubs for 4 days at a time as a precaution against viral spread.

Three ways to request library materials:

  • Patron must call 618-281-4237
  • Email reference@columbialibrary.org (Subject Line: ‘Book Request’)
  • Request items using their online Library accounts.

How to Request Materials with Library Account

  1. Go to www.columbialibrary
  2. Click “My Account” or “Library Catalog”
  3. Login with Library Card number and 4-digit PIN 
  4. If you do not see user-friendly search bar, click “SHARE” logo at top.
  5. Once you have selected your item, click “Request It” to the right, then make sure your Pickup Library is “Columbia Public Library” before submitting.

Pickup Guidelines

  1. Patrons must call us when they are on the way.
  2. Patrons will need to call us when they arrive.
  3. Patrons’ bag of books will be placed on table outside the front door. Staff will go back into the building.
  4. Staff will monitor bag from inside the building.
  5. Patrons can then pick up bag after staff are inside.

Please call the library if you have any questions.

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


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.

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)

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


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