Working in Finnish Libraries

Posted
24.7.2021

Moi! I work as a circulation clerk for a small library in the United States, and am hoping to one day make Finland my home, particularly Helsinki or Kerava. I am not fluent in Finnish. I enjoy working behind the scenes...packing up materials to go to other libraries, pulling books for patron requests, reshelving materials, etc...and am wondering if there is ever an opportunity for this kind of work in the Finnish library system? I would be happy to do this work until, and even beyond, becoming fluent in Finnish. Is this a possibility, or is it a lost cause?

I appreciate your time. Kiitos!

Answer

Answered
24.7.2021

Thank you for message. I asked from my work colleague for information regarding this matter, as he moved from Australia to Finland many years ago.  As I work for Espoo Libraries, I can only speak on behalf of our libraries. However, the library systems in Helsinki and Kerava are very similar. It is quite difficult to work in Finnish libraries without at least a working knowledge of Finnish. However, it's not impossible. I would suggest that you contact the libraries directly that you are interested in working in, and see if you can organise a work placement there. That way, they can see your working ability without any risk to them, and may be able to offer you a contract afterwards.

Also, if you move to Finland, then you will have the opportunity to study Finnish language as part of your integration plan, if you are residing here on the right kind of visa. Part of the Finnish language course involves doing a work placement somewhere. You would then be able to choose a library as your work placement. Unfortunately, the process is not simple, but is worth doing if you really want to commit to living in Finland.

I hope that this information has been of assistance.

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