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Kemper-James Library Mission
The Kemper-James Memorial Library’s mission is to serve the St. Thomas More Newman Center parish and the Catholic Community of Columbia by enriching our knowledge of Catholicism. The library collection includes books, periodicals, audio tapes, and videos in the areas of theology, church history, Scripture, spirituality, ministry, prayer and meditation, ethics, literature and Church teachings. The library has an extensive reference section and a section devoted to family spirituality, including books and videos for children.
There is a reading/study room adjacent to the library. A periodical rack, located in the Gathering Space, has a variety of current magazines and newspapers, including those from each diocese in Missouri.
Kemper-James Library History
The Kemper Library was founded as part of the new Newman Center by Father Donald J. Kemper and the Diocese of Jefferson City as an intellectual study center for all people. At the time of Fr. Kemper’s death in 1984, funds were donated by his family and friends to purchase new volumes and complete the cataloging of all materials under the Library of Congress system. The library was rededicated in memory of Father Kemper with a Mass and reception on October 6, 1985 and upon the construction of the new St. Thomas More Chapel in 1995, the library was moved to the second floor site of the original chapel. The library now contains more than 4,000 books and media items and is supported by the parish and countless donors.
In 2017, Dr. Elizabeth James, a long time parishioner, made a gift to the library which allowed for remodeling to accommodate both the library and the Newman Center archives. The library collection was moved to the study area and is now accessible to patrons whenever the building is open. The reference and Newman collection, located in the library workroom, are accessible when volunteers are available. The name of the library was changed in 2019 to honor the gift of Dr. James.
Hours of Operation
Library hours depend on the availability of volunteers and are subject to change at any time. If you would like to volunteer 2-3 hours per week, please let us know. For more information on the Kemper-James Library please contact the St. Thomas More Newman Center office at (573) 449-5424 or [email protected].
Why Come to Kemper-James Library?
- Quiet study space for students
- Find out more about Christianity and other religions
- Do research at the high school, undergraduate, or graduate level
- Enrich your faith and incorporate it into everyday life
- Prepare for classes, sermons, and discussion groups
- Help your family grow in faith together