Q & A with TKA Librarian & Alumni, Christine Jensen (2002)
Q: What did you do after college?
A: "I worked a variety of jobs to get my feet wet while I contemplated going to grad school. I was a bookseller, Starbucks employee, and a page at a public library. They were all awesome jobs. I ended up going to grad school for a Master's in Library and Information Science and, upon conclusion of my schooling, worked at a mental health clinic for children and teens for two years. That was an amazing experience!”
Q: What brought you back to TKA?
A: “Being a librarian at TKA was my dream job. I used to want to be the librarian when I was a student at TKA. I always felt a little bad about that because I knew that would mean that Mrs. Emmenegger or Mrs. Brown wouldn't be a librarian anymore, but I couldn't imagine a better job. So, when I saw that the position was available, I took the leap and applied. It really is a dream come true! I love working with students, parents, and staff at TKA. It's an absolute joy and privilege.”
Q: Why TKA?
A: “There are so many reasons! It is amazing to come to work each day and know that if someone seems upset, worried, or scared I can ask to pray for them without fear of reprisal. It's a blessing to work with colleagues who also trust Jesus as their Lord. TKA wouldn't be TKA without the students. It really is a privilege working everyday to help TKA students grow in their faith, maturity, and information literacy skills.”
Q: What brings you joy in your job?
A: “Wow, where to start... I love so many things about my job. I love talking to students about books and hearing about their day. I enjoy seeing how students and staff help one another whether it is on homework or a hobby. It's important to me that students feel like they belong in the library. In my mind, the library is for everyone and all should feel welcome in it. So I get a lot of joy introducing new materials, displays, and programs. Anything to make students feel welcome. Some of my most joyful moments have occurred in lessons when a good conversation starts happening and students and I discuss why things happen/are important, etc. I love working with teachers so that both students and teachers have what they need to succeed on a particular project or paper.”
Q: What are some of the benefits of working for our alma mater?
A: “As previously mentioned, it's incredible to be able to talk about your faith openly and to discuss the complexities of it with others. It's powerful knowing that you can ask your colleagues to pray for you. In my mind, one of the best benefits of working at TKA is working with our particular students. Although I am biased, I think we have some of the most compassionate, intelligent, talented students.”
Q: What advice would you give to TKA alumni?
A: “I think it is hard to graduate from high school. For most, it's a really happy time. You don't have to live by a bell schedule or abide by a school dress code anymore. When I graduated from college though, it wasn't the happiest time. I feared for my future and wasn't sure what would happen next. I was struggling with some health issues at the time and didn't know if I would be able to function in the world as a self-sustaining adult. My path from that day to today was not at all like I imagined it would be, but when I look back, I see that God was there the whole time. He had something planned that I couldn't have even imagined, and even though I went through difficult things, He was at work. We have no guarantees about what life holds in store for us, but we are guaranteed that God will be there walking alongside us.”