Trying new things and getting inspired in the SeAMK Library
I’m Paula, a third-year adult learner studying Library and Information Services at SeAMK. I am a career changer who decided to apply to SeAMK after much deliberation. I have previous work experience in the commercial and food sectors, but libraries were only familiar to me as an eager customer. The opportunity to study in my hometown in an interesting field attracted me back to school.
In library and information services studies, internships are carried out usually in the autumn semester of the third academic year. Unlike in many other fields, there is only one period of internship and it lasts 5 months at a time. There are both advantages and disadvantages to a long internship. Students may feel under pressure to find a suitable placement when their strengths and interests have not yet been clearly mapped out in a career plan. On the other hand, a long internship can give you a good insight into the workplace and the tasks can be a bit more demanding.
Public libraries are the largest employer in the sector and naturally many people apply for an internship in a public library. However, there are many other options. Before I started my internship, I had a lot of questions about where I would fit in or where I would get the best experience. Above all, I was hoping for a variety of tasks, growing confidence in my own skills and learning something new. And that’s exactly what I got!
Already during the interview at the SeAMK Library I noticed the importance of cooperation and networks. Library staff works as a part of library networks together with fellow staff members and colleagues in other libraries. Information is shared openly. The only limit to where you can go with your work is your own enthusiasm. The university library was therefore the perfect place to challenge your own skills, explore opportunities and develop your expertise.
The internship not only tested the lessons of the school in practice, but also gave responsibility and encouraged to develop new things. I was able to practice customer service, cataloguing, event production and publication information collection, among other things. Everyone in the work community was supportive and kept answering my endless why-questions. In return, I was able to bring out the student and customer perspectives, which is valuable information for the library, for example when testing services.
Now that the internship is over, I can say that studying at SeAMK has given me a good capabilities for working in a university library. The internship convinced me that customer encounters and information retrieval are things I am really passionate about. Knowledge of the resources is essential for a good customer experience, so browsing both the databases and between the shelves is an essential part of the job. At the same time, the importance of high-quality metadata became clear to me, and cataloging became one of my favorite, although most difficult, tasks.
You can still meet me behind the information desk in the SeAMK Library throughout the spring. Please visit the library and come to talk with me, how the library can support your work and studies!