Campaign FAQs

Columbia Public Library – Capital Campaign FAQ’s

Why is it necessary to expand and renovate the library?

  • The existing library on South Sixth Street was built in 1960 and the last major improvement was completed 44 years ago.  Due to the age of the building and compliance with current building codes, the library needed to update heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; plumbing, electrical, lighting, fire alarm and low voltage systems; and to add fire protection systems and an elevator.  The project also creates a new 1,700 sq. ft. addition in the upper and lower levels. This project also allows us to add handicap accessibility at the front entrance.

Why do we need a capital campaign to fund the library expansion?

  • Due to the diligence of the current and previous library boards and prudent management of the library’s funds, the library was in a position to start the expansion and renovation project with a $1.1 million commitment.  However, the library project will cost approximately $2.5 million. So reaching the total goal is extremely important. It also allows the library to recover part of the initial investment to replenish funds that will be needed to operate a much larger facility.  This investment in our community includes new construction, renovation, furniture, shelving, technology updates, meeting rooms, an expanded children’s area, and an elevator. Donating to the library’s capital campaign is also a significant philanthropic opportunity.

What is happening to the library services during construction?

  • Due to the scope of work inside the library, it will take less time and less interruption to the library by closing the library for a period of time. The community has stepped up to help.  Columbia Life Network, 336 Locust Street, Columbia, is offering use of computers for patrons while the library is closed. The book mobile comes to the library the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am till 1:00 pm and the 4th Saturday of the month from 9:00 am till noon. Wi-Fi is also available at McDonald’s and Burger King.  

When will the library re-open?

  • We anticipated the library re-opening by the end of May 2018, but due to the extreme winter weather and unforeseen circumstances, including rock and rotted joists, we are anticipating the library re-opening mid July 2018.  Once the construction is completed, the library staff has the huge job of setting up the library and re-stocking the books on the shelves. We appreciate your patience, but we guarantee that the re-opening will be well worth the wait!  Please watch for information about our re-opening and dedication ceremony.

How many people use the library?

  • In 2017, there were over 42,000 visits to the library.   Our visitors come to the library for research, reading, or to check out books; to attend programs; to utilize the computers for wireless log-ins, job applications, or assistance with government forms; or for general help – faxes, taxes, bus schedules, etc.  The library is more than a depository of books. It is a community center for all to enjoy!