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T.J. Jones Library
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About the Library

T.J. Jones Library Mission Statement

The T. J. Jones Library provides quality resources and innovative services to stimulate learning, creativity, and curiosity in support of the North Central University community. To fulfill this mission, the library commits to: 

  • Understanding the teaching and learning needs of its patrons
  • Building collections and services to support teaching and learning
  • Providing access to and promoting the discovery and use of local and external information resources
  • Ensuring the preservation and long-lasting availability of library collections and resources
  • Creating hospitable physical and virtual environments for study, teaching, and research 
  • Collaborating with other members of the university to enrich the teaching and learning community
  • Cultivating in its patrons a Christian attitude toward learning that is critical and charitable
  • Developing, encouraging, and sustaining expertise, skill, commitment, and an innovative spirit in its staff

T.J. Jones Library History

Building History

Dr. Jacob Francis Tourtellotte, a former military surgeon, and his wife Harriet Arnold Tourtellotte (a direct descendent of Benedict Arnold) moved to Winona, Minnesota in 1870. As the Tourtellottes prospered financially, their personal lives were touched by tragedy. Their youngest daughter, Frances Harriet (Hattie), died of scarlet fever at eleven months, and their second daughter, Harriet Lucina (Lucy), tragically died at age ten from what was suspected to be food poisoning or appendicitis.

Harriet Tourtellotte

John Francis Tourtellotte and Harriet Arnold Tourtellotte, Portraits

The Tourtellottes then moved to Minneapolis where Jacob continued a successful career in real estate. Harriet, while still grieving the loss of her only children, focused her efforts on philanthropy. When Dr. Jacob Tourtellotte died in 1912, the Tribune reported that even as a wealthy, successful man, he remained humble and “never missed an opportunity to do a charitable act.” A few years later, Harriet donated $125,000 to build the Tourtellotte Memorial Deaconess Home.

Tourtellotte Memorial Deaconess Home, 1921

The Tourtellotte Memorial Deaconess Home, completed in 1914 (pictured above), would first be used as housing and training grounds for the Deaconesses of the Methodist Church until 1946. At that time, this stately mansion housed the students and nurses of Asbury Hospital (now Miller Hall), then became a home for retired nurses up until 1968 when it was acquired by North Central Bible College.

Asbury Hospital nurse-in-training at the Tourtellotte Memorial Deaconess Home

Becoming T.J.

In its first five years, North Central utilized the space to house chapel speakers, pastors, professors, and other guests of the college. In fact, former NCU President Gordon Anderson once lived on the second floor with his family for a short period of time.

North Central Bible College Library, 1958

In 1973, the building was remodeled and renamed the T.J. Jones Memorial Library after beloved faculty member, T.J. Jones, who donated his personal collection of over 20,000 volumes to the library.

T.J. Jones

Jones, originally born in England, taught Bible courses at North Central Bible College starting in 1946. He then served as Principal from 1948-1952, as Dean from 1953-1960, and also served as a member of the Board of Regents. Students referred to him as "Our Beloved Pastor."

A New Era

Since 1973, this stately mansion has undergone some impressive transformations. The most recent project will create additional study and learning spaces, and house the book collection on the second floor in a unified space with flexible and expandable shelving to grow with the library for years to come. By removing the individual rooms that held the stacks (which were “decorated” with 1970s era paneling and dropped ceilings) This renovation allows us to expose the original brick walls and high ceilings to create wonderful new spaces with a nod to the old, solid structure—a gift from the past!

Library Fun Facts

  • As of 2022, the building is about 109 years old
  • Currently, T.J. Jones Library is home to over 55,000 print books
  • The library also has expanded into the digital world with over 29,000 eBooks
  • The patrons of T.J. Jones Library average approximately 10,000 physical item circulations per year
  • The current T.J. team is comprised of three fulltime employees (all are alumni!) and eleven student library assistants
  • The library provides free eBook access to approximately 20% of all required textbooks each semester
  • Over 1,000 new print books are added to the collection each year
  • We lent a book to the CIA last summer via Interlibrary Loan!