Kristie Sojka is a graduate student, wife, mother to four boys, and our new Youth Services programming librarian. If you’ve heard any 80s era heavy metal music recently, you might have passed Kristie on her commute here to Augusta. A Wichita native-Kristie will graduate with her MLS degree in December. Kristie brings experience in both public and academic libraries and we are pleased to welcome her to Augusta!
“Programs will provide opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to come together to get to know each other and spend time together.”
Mara: What’s your first memory of a public library?
Kristie: My dad would take us to Wichita’s Central Branch when we were young. He is a photographer and was drawn to the art section located on the third floor, nearby the children’s room. I have always had a special attachment to that floor of Central.
Mara: What attracted you to be a librarian?
Kristie: I have always loved to read. When I was completing my Bachelor’s degree in History, I spent a lot of time doing research in the library and that’s when I first started thinking about a career as a librarian. I have also worked with children my entire working life, mostly in preschools and child care centers. My goal is to help children develop not only a love for reading, but also a love for libraries. I hope to help them become life-long library patrons.
Mara: How old were you when you got your first library card?
Kristie: 10? It’s been a really long time…
Mara: What did you do before joining the APL team?
Kristie: My most recent position was with Wichita Public Schools as the library paraeducator at Payne Elementary School. I was also a youth services assistant at Derby Public Library for several years.
Mara: What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the work of public libraries?
Kristie: Public libraries are so much more than books. We offer many types of materials, as well as lots of services and programs for people with a variety of backgrounds and interests.
Mara: What do you find most challenging about being a librarian?
Kristie: Keeping up with ever-changing technology.
Mara: What do you wish other people knew about public libraries or librarians?
Kristie: Librarians enjoy assisting people with accessing information. You are not bothering us when you seek our help-it’s our job and we love to do it! Also, I’m sad to say, we don’t get to read all day.
Mara: What do you think will change about public libraries over the next five years?
Kristie: I think public libraries will continue to evolve as a hub for community activity. Programs will provide opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to come together to get to know each other and spend time together. Books and materials will still be relevant, but community interaction will be vital, especially in our digital age.
Mara: What do you do when you aren’t working or studying?
Kristie: Since I’m in my last semester of graduate school, I have very little free time. However, I try to spend most of it with my family, who keep me busy. My husband and I have four sons who range in age from 12-18. I also read books (I prefer the paper kind, even though I own an e-reader)and I play the violin.
We hope you are excited as we are to see what Kristie will bring to Augusta!