Hello Guys! My name is Valentine from Munich, Germany, and I took part in a 4-week exchange in Helsinki, Finland.
I have never been to Finland before, so I was very excited to meet the people and their culture. The only advice I got from my colleague’s back home was: “Watch out because you fall in love with the Finns really fast and we would like you to come back.”
So, with that advice and a lot of extreme warm clothing I start my exchange in the Library of Omnia Espoo.
I’ve never worked in a library before, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn something new – and that’s exactly what I did.
In the beginning I got to know the super friendly team, they gave me a little tour through the school and the library. Then I started my work, they explained to me in an understandable way how I have to do my tasks and have always been ready to help.
My tasks were for example the preparation of new books, taking care of the digital learning tools (IPads, headphones), creating advertising signs, creating a small Finland exhibition for exchange students, compiling various statistics, writing a list of all international books and tried to help visitors when they had problems.
I had a lot of fun at my work and that was especially because of the great people I worked with.
What I noticed during my time here was the difference between German and Finnish libraries.
Here in Finland people really enjoy spending time in the library, whether they are young or old people they can come here and grab a book and read it in a relaxed atmosphere, you can even book rooms and learn something with friends or prepare for a school project/ work project.
In Germany the libraries are not a place where you spend a lot of time, it is a quiet place where you can quickly borrow a book and then leave.
We Germans could definitely learn this from the Finns.
In conclusion I can only say that, to the annoyance of my work colleagues at home, I fell in love, not with a Finnish man but with the city, the stunning nature, the delicious korvapuusti (Cinnamon buns), and above all with the open and warm way of the Finns.