Who We Are
Columbia Learning Center was founded in 1995 with a mission to create and nurture an environment that values life-long learning and building community relationships.
Originally, the Learning Center was formed to build a new library and community center and to bring technology like the internet and computer sciences to our rural county. This was during a time when many people still didn’t have computers at home and the only internet services available required a long distance dial up. Once up and running, we were the first internet service provider in Columbia County. We also offered computer training and internet access in our computer lab.
Through a partnership with the City of St. Helens, individuals and the business community, Columbia Center was built, providing a vibrant hub of community activities to this day.
Over time, commercial internet providers established services locally and the library was able to offer public computer access. As these services were now broadly available, we discovered there were still unmet needs in the community that related to our mission of fostering lifelong learning. In 2000, we created a scholarship program that focused on individual students with great potential that were slipping through the cracks. This ultimately transformed in to our Chance to Become scholarship. Through 2018 we have helped more than 230 students with over $1.1 million in scholarships.
Sustaining the Dream
Columbia Learning Center is celebrating a decade of existence and is looking toward a bright and growing future. The Center operates through minimal charges for its services, grants, donations, and volunteer support. Key to the programs is the support the community provides through the Black Tie & Blue Jeans Summer Social and Auction that has become Columbia County’s premier benefit event. Columbia Learning Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that accepts current contributions, deferred gifts, and endowments. Columbia Learning Center welcomes assistance from the community, from which its origins sprung.
The complete story of the beginnings of Columbia Learning Center can be found here (pdf): CLC History
St. Helens Public Library
The Columbia Learning Center is home to the St. Helens Public Library. Additional information on the Library may be found on their website here.