I have been a member of the Hiebert Library staff since 1984 (and even earlier if you count two years as a student assistant from 1980 to 1982). I was the Archivist in the Mennonite Library & Archives from 1984 until 2010, at which time I became the Library Director. I am a graduate of FPU (B.A. in history, 1982), the University of California, Riverside (M.A. in history, 1984), and San José State University (M.L.I.S, 2015). I have published numerous articles on Mennonite history, and also maintain a Website called “A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno, California.” From 1996 to 2009 I served on the City of Fresno’s Historic Preservation Commission. When not at work, I enjoy playing guitar and birding, with a North American “life list” of over 460 species. My wife Connie and I have two adult children and three grandsons.
Cataloging & Technical Services
I graduated from Fresno Pacific College in 1979 with a bachelors in Psychology, before it was known as Fresno Pacific University. I had interest in going to the MB seminary, but was injured and unable to attend; I then went to Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, where I received a Master’s degree in Divinity, American Baptist. I then went to Temple University, where I studied for a PhD Program, however graduated with a Masters of World Religions. I made it to his Library Science degree at the University of Denver, where I was part of the pilot class of ALA Accreditation. I enjoy exploring nature and being outdoors. As an old farm boy, I truly and deeply enjoy nature. Wherever my pick-up truck can take me, that’s where I like go. The fewer people on that road the better; then I can really see the wildlife!
I have been the archivist in the Mennonite Library & Archives since July 2014. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and am a graduate of Bluffton University (B.A. English, Peace & Conflict Studies, 2011) and Indiana University (MLS - Archives & Records Management, 2014). In between studies I was a PULSE participant (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience, 2012). I can often be seen commuting to campus by bicycle. In my spare time I enjoy baking, cooking, and traveling. My most recent travels include a three week solo trip around Northern Ireland and Ireland. As Tolkien said, "Not all who wander are lost."
Though I grew up here, over in Clovis, I did my undergraduate degree in Art History and French at Humboldt State University, graduating in 2015. I then returned to the Central Valley, where I married the love of my life, Jason. I have a cute dog I rescued, who we lovingly named Figgy. While adjusting to newlywed and dog-mom life, I also began a graduate program at San Jose State University iSchool in Library and Information Science, which I graduated from in 2017. This is my first position as a Librarian, but let me just tell you… I’m obsessed with my work! I love to read (a given, I think), craft, and spend my time learning new things. I also have a precious baby boy I love to devote my love and chatter to. Some of my special skills are remembering random facts and meeting people once but usually being able to recall their name when I see them again, and being a very loud and excitable person. I would love to meet you, so feel free to come up and say hey to me!
Emma Sorensen (photo coming soon!)
Acquisitions/Collection Development Librarian
I grew up in Bakersfield, California, and lived there until moving to Fresno in 2015 to attend Fresno Pacific University. I graduated from FPU in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in History. While I was a student, I also worked in the Mennonite Library and Archives, which is located in the back of Hiebert Library. After graduating from FPU, I went on to get my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I graduated from my program at the University of Arizona in 2020. I started as the Acquisitions/Collection Development Librarian in August 2021. In my free time I enjoy reading, watching new tv shows and revisiting old ones, and doing puzzles.
I am married to a wonderful woman named Marissa, and we have a son named Ezra and a daughter named Lyla. I like origami, Star Wars and Star Trek, philosophy, theology, and in general the cross-application of ideas (i.e,. how any one thing relates to another) I think myth, fantasy, and fiction are wonderful ways to discuss real life issues and “truth” in general. Whether talking ancient myth or modern fiction, we all have stories around which we build our worldview. It is always interesting to learn about people by becoming familiar with the stories that have shaped their approach to life. My formative stories come from family (church and biological), the Bible, cartoons of the 1980s and 1990s (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thundercats,Transformers, Darkwing Duck, etc), and books (like The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien or The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis). My last job was with Blossom Bluff Orchards, a stone-fruit farm near Reedley, where I did everything from drive tractors to make deliveries in the San Francisco bay area. My favorite part was when a praying mantis would land on my arm or shoulder when tractor driving and eat the bugs stirred up by the tractor while I drove around.