When I arrived at the International Youth Library (IYL) I was not sure what to expect. I knew it was a library but that it also ran a huge number of other activities and I didn’t know what this would entail. I was lucky enough to be working in many different areas within the library and so got to see much of the work done firsthand. Even without organising and setting up the exhibitions and events and running tours for school classes, there is a huge amount of effort put into the library. I would never have guessed just how much work it takes and my time here has given me a new appreciation for libraries and their staff. Add to that everything else the IYL does and I can’t even find the words to describe how impressed I am with all that I’ve seen. It is friendly, efficient and run by a staff dedicated to their jobs. That is all on a purely work-related level. The kindness of the people here cannot be forgotten.
For me the idea of spending three months in a foreign country was daunting to say the least. I was going to be working in a new environment, in a field I had almost no experience in and I was not overly confident in my ability to speak German. However, thanks to a welcoming and generous staff, that which once seemed difficult became easy. It was a genuine pleasure to work here, in such an idyllic location, surrounded by a lovely group of colleagues and thousands upon thousands of books. If I ever have the opportunity to return to the beautiful city of Munich I will make it a point to visit the haven of children’s literature that is the International Youth Library. (Emer O’Keeffe)