Saying Goodbye to the UEF Library Internship

As I find myself at the doorstep of my final week in the “pool of knowledge” that is the UEF Library, it’s hard to believe how quickly the last two months have passed. It feels like just yesterday that I started my journey as a trainee, and what a journey it has been. This experience has been nothing short of amazing, and I can’t help but reflect on the incredible wealth of knowledge and the valuable insights I’ve gained while here.

When I first stepped into this library during my internship, I was an eager second-year Master in IT student. If I could turn back time, I wish I knew about all the services and opportunities this library offers from the moment I set foot on campus as a first-year student. As I prepare to dive into my thesis work, I now understand just how crucial the library is in accessing research materials, publications, and electronic books through resources like UEF Primo. It’s more than just a storage of books; it’s a valuable collection of resources that can guide the direction of one’s academic journey. I credit my recently acquired insight to the incredible staff members who make it all happen. The dedication, passion, and hard work they put into their roles in different departments are truly admirable. Without them, the library wouldn’t be the dynamic centre of learning that it is.

Michael Gebremedhin stands in front of a lending machine in hall 2A of Joensuu Campus Library.
Michael Gebremedhin lending a book using the lending machine in hall 2A of Joensuu Campus Library.

During my time here, I had the opportunity to explore various aspects of library operations. I gained valuable insights into Training and Information Services, where I witnessed how knowledge is distributed and shared effectively. The Collection Services team taught me how they take care of all the books and materials in the library. I also saw how the library’s extensive communication channels, are vital for connecting with the academic community. IT and Publishing Services provided me with a newfound understanding of the technological backbone that supports the library’s digital resources.

However, my journey didn’t stop there. I had the privilege of attending important meetings, where I met inspiring individuals like Rafaella Lenoir Improta, a Ph.D. holder, during the YERUN research mobility visit at UEF. I also had the chance to interact with Marko Aupic from the University of Ljubljana, who shared insights about the Erasmus Exchange Programme. One of the memorable highlights of this internship was the opportunity to travel to Kuopio with Marko. It was an experience that not only expanded my network but also allowed me to appreciate the diversity of academic opportunities available within the UEF community.

My journey as an intern in this library has been nothing short of awesome. I’ve grown both personally and academically, and I’m very grateful for the experiences and knowledge I’ve gained. As I bid farewell to this incredible place, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the library staff members. Your interest, dedication, and warm acceptance have made this experience truly special. You are the heart and soul of this place, and I’m grateful for the support and guidance you’ve provided.

My time at the UEF Library has been a journey in the world of knowledge, and it’s a journey that I’ll carry with me throughout my academic pursuits. It’s a farewell, but it’s also the beginning of new chapters in my academic and professional life. Thank you, UEF Library, for being an essential part of my journey.

Michael Gebremedhin, Intern

Unlocking opportunities – My evolution from student to UEF Library intern

My name is Michael Tekeste Gebremedhin, and I’m delighted to share my exciting journey as an intern at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) Library in Joensuu. It’s been an incredible three weeks, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

My journey to UEF was not without its challenges. In my first year of studying IT, I arrived in Finland later than expected due to some visa issues. This setback meant that I had to take on a heavy workload to catch up on the courses I missed. As a result, I spend most of my time working at home, but when I do come to the library, it’s primarily as a student racing to complete assignments and projects, rather than reading books.

Despite the initial difficulties, I saw this late start as an opportunity for a fresh beginning. It pushed me to develop a strong sense of discipline and time management. I learned to navigate the complexities of coursework and exams efficiently. My late arrival, which seemed like a setback at first, turned into a valuable lesson in resilience and adaptability.

Over time, I began to appreciate the library not just as a place to study under pressure, but as a hub of knowledge and resources. It became a space where I could refine my IT skills and seek assistance when needed. While my focus remained on catching up academically, I couldn’t help but notice the wealth of information and inspiration that surrounded me in those hushed library halls.

Fast forward to today, and I find myself in a completely different role – an intern at the UEF library. Over the past three weeks, I’ve come to realize just how much this place has to offer, beyond being a study hub. The library is a treasure trove of knowledge, with an extensive collection of both electronic and hardcopy books that pique my interest as an IT student.

One of the first things that struck me about the UEF library is the warmth and friendliness of its staff members. They went out of their way to ensure I didn’t feel like an outsider. Instead, they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like an integral part of the team.

As an intern in the library world, I’ve been on a big learning journey. Initially, the library’s system platform felt like uncharted territory, but my supervisor Marja Kuittinen has shown remarkable patience and support in helping me navigate it. I’ve gained knowledge in various facets of library operations, such as UEF-Primo, which is the library’s digital resource and search platform, as well as Library Services and Communication Functions. I’ve also been involved in training and information services, and even had the opportunity to learn about collection services, including the interesting task of shelving books based on the codes assigned to them. This learning experience encompassed both theoretical understanding and hands-on application. And, by the way, I can’t help but why do the letters ‘V’ and ‘W’ get treated the same when it comes to sorting author names on books? It is a little funny!

Intern Michael Gebremedhin in a library collection hall. Michael is standing between two shelves and holding an open book in his hands.
Michael in the UEF library.

Fortunately, I had the chance to attend the presentation on Friday, September 8th, 2023, when my supervisor introduced bibliometrics to Rafaella Lenoir Improta, who holds a PhD and came from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, during her visit to Finland. It was truly an amazing experience!

My time as a library intern at UEF has been a remarkable journey of learning and growth. I’ve gone from a student who primarily used the library as a quiet place to study to someone who now appreciates the immense value it offers in terms of knowledge and community. I am grateful for the warm welcome and the guidance I’ve received from the library staff, and I look forward to continuing this adventure as I dive deeper into the world of books and information.

Oh, I forgot to mention the exciting part – I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to immerse myself in learning Finnish! It’s truly amazing to discover and embrace new words and phrases every single day. Learning a new language is like unlocking a treasure trove of knowledge, I’m enthusiastically expanding my language skills with every passing moment.

These initial weeks were nothing short of enjoyable. I’m excited to share my full experience with you at the end of these two months when I’ll have had the chance to delve even deeper into the world of libraries. So, stay tuned for my upcoming blog post where I’ll recount my adventures, discoveries, and the lessons learned along the way. The journey has just begun, and I can’t wait to take you along with me.

“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein

Michael Gebremedhin, Intern

Se on enemmän kuin kirjasto! | It is more than a library!

Aytac between library shelves

(Please, scroll down to read in English.)

Olen Aytaç. Onnekseni onnistuin saamaan harjoittelupaikan Itä-Suomen yliopiston Joensuun kampuskirjastosta kahdeksi viikoksi. Tämä mahdollisuus auttaa minua parantamaan suomen kielen taitoani ja oppimaan lisää työelämästä Suomessa. Itse työ yliopiston kirjastossa oli sopiva sekoitus tiimityötä ja itsenäistä aherrusta.

Ensimmäinen kandidaatin tutkintoni on historiasta ja toinen on bulgarian kielestä ja kirjallisuudesta. Lisäksi ensimmäinen maisterin tutkintoni on historiakasvatuksesta lukioasteelle ja toinen maisterin tutkintoni käsittelee turkologian historiaa. Tällä hetkellä olen tohtoriopiskelija Itä-Suomen yliopiston yhteiskunta- ja kauppatieteiden tiedekunnan historia- ja maantieteiden laitoksella Joensuussa.

Työskentelin historioitsija-asiantuntijana Turkin historiallisessa seurassa Turkissa yhdeksän vuoden ajan. Olen työskennellyt akateemisten julkaisujen ja lehtien toimittajana. Olen järjestänyt myös paljon akateemisia tapahtumia ympäri maailmaa. Sitä ennen työskentelin historian opettajana kaksi vuotta Turkin opetusministeriön alaisuudessa lukiossa.

Heti alkuun pitää kehua kirjaston työntekijöitä ja terhakkaa työilmapiiriä. Kiitellä kyllä kelpaakin, sillä koin alusta alkaen, että minut otettiin vastaan arvostavasti heti ensimmäisenä työpäivänä ja kohdeltiin kuin vertaisena vähintään. Harjoittelukokemukseni oli todella hämmästyttävä.

Minut esiteltiin suoraan jokaiselle henkilökunnan jäsenelle ja kerrottiin heidän roolistaan kirjastossa. Ystävällisen henkilökunnan kanssa työskentely oli todella jännittävää ja mielenkiintoista, koska he kaikki saivat minut tuntemaan oloni mukavaksi ja tervetulleeksi. Työharjoitteluni oli hauskaa ja jännittävää paitsi työkokemusten, myös ystävällisen henkilökunnan ja työharjoittelun aikana saamani lämpimän ryhmäkulttuurin vuoksi.

Aytac with fellow librarians

I am Aytaç, and lucky to get a volunteer training placement at the Joensuu Campus Library of the University of Eastern Finland for two weeks. This opportunity helps me to improve my Finnish language speaking and learn more about work life in Finland. The work at the university library has been a good mixture of teamwork and independent work.

My first bachelor’s degree is in history and the second one is in Bulgarian language and literature. In addition, my first master’s degree is from history education to high school and my second master’s degree deals with the history of turkology. I am currently a doctoral student at the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business of the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu.

I worked as a historian expert at the Turkish Historical Society in Turkey for nine years. I have worked as an editor of academic publications and magazines. I also organized a lot of academic events around the world. Prior to that, I worked as a history teacher for two years under the Turkish Ministry of Education in high school.

I must praise the library personnel and the wonderful working climate: from the first day I felt that I was warmly welcomed and appreciated so my internship experience was truly amazing.

I was directly introduced to every staff member and I was told their roles at the library. Having to work with friendly staff was really exciting and interesting because they all made me feel comfortable and welcome. My internship was fun and exciting not just because of the work experiences but the friendly staff and the warm group culture that I got during my internship.


Aytaç Yürükçü, kirjastoharjoittelija | library trainee