All-Access Library Card

If you live within city limits and pay taxes to the City of Columbia, you can get a free library card. 

With a library card you will have access to Columbia Library’s collection of over 45,000 items, four different digital libraries, and through interlibrary loans you can borrow items from over 500 other library collections or with WorldCat borrowing can happen from around the world! 

You will gain access to books, audiobooks, Playaway’s, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, Wifi hotspots, fun activity kits for all ages, and more.

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 $112.00 — ask us about our Friends of the Library discount program!

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

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.

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.

Non-Resident Student Card Program

Non-resident patrons living in areas unserved by Columbia Public Library may receive a non-resident library card for free. Patron must reside within the non-resident’s school district, Columbia Unit #4 (per State of Illinois guidelines). This opportunity was made possible by the Illinois Law SB3497.

Patrons eighteen and under must apply for a card with a parent or legal guardian. The guardian acknowledge responsibility for the items borrowed, fees incurred and children’s access of content in any form. 

Cards are for ages 18 and under. 

Non-resident patron does not need to be enrolled. 

Card will be valid for 1 year after date issued. 

Non-resident patron will be required to present library card at check out. 

Non-resident patron will select  age appropriate items. 

Non-resident patron card will be a single use library card. No other family member may use card. 

To get a library card, you will need two items with your name and current address (i.e. Driver’s License, FOID card, voters’ registration, checkbook, official mail, vehicle registration). If your driver’s license has an old address, we will still need that, plus two other items with your current address. 

Non-Resident Library Card Program

If you live outside the city limits and would like a library card, the Friends of the Library may be able to help. 

Our Friends group is a local not-for-profit organization committed to library access for all.

The group will now pay 91% of the $112.00 non-resident library card fee, which will allow households that reside outside of Columbia city limits to check out library materials for one year.  This is a first come first served sponsorship program as funds allow.

To qualify for the Columbia Library Card Program, participants must,

  • Live outside of Columbia city limits.
  • Live within the Columbia Unit 4 School District.
  • Pay $10.00 of the non-resident fee.