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Interning Abroad at the First Public Library of Ireland

June 25, 2024
by Julianna Bruemmer
A study abroad student smiling at the camera

My Internship Abroad at Marsh’s Library in Ireland    

One of the best experiences I had while studying abroad was my time at my internship abroad. I interned at Marsh’s Library which is the oldest public library in Dublin. As an English major and someone planning to go to school for library sciences, my placement at Marsh’s was extremely rewarding.  

A gate leading to a staircase

The front entrance of Marsh’s Library feels like you’re entering a secret garden. 

The CEA CAPA team worked hard to ensure that I got placed somewhere that both interested me and lined up with my future career goals. When I received my placement at Marsh’s, I felt extremely lucky because it felt like the perfect fit for me. And, after talking to other CEA CAPA internship students, it seems like it’s a similar story for them as well. In my experience, the CEA CAPA team does an amazing job finding the perfect fit for every student interested in interning.  

A study abroad standing in a library and smiling with two thumbs up to the camera

POV: you first enter the library and I’m here to greet you. 

Marsh’s Library is a wonderful place to work. The environment was extremely friendly and welcoming, I felt like I slotted right into working there. I started off working in the reading room, supervising readers and making sure they were handling the books in the proper way. I also retrieved books from the library for the readers to look at and put back the books that they were finished with.  

A small LEGO toy sitting on a bookshelf in a library

If you look really closely, you might see a friend or two around the library. 

A study abroad student sitting at a desk and reading a book

When there are no patrons around, we’re allowed to read a good book to pass the time. 

I was also in the tourism part of the library which means I interacted with patrons and taught them about the history of the library. I enjoyed my time in tourism because I loved talking about the library and sharing with people how special it is and about all the different pieces of history attached to it.  

A long hallway with bookshelves and a painting

The first gallery. 

A room with a cage and bookshelves

Did you know that Marsh’s Library used to lock people in these cages to prevent theft? 

Marsh’s Library welcomed readers like James Joyce and Bram Stoker who are two very prominent figures in Irish literary history. It was also caught in the crossfire during the 1916 Easter Rising and machine gun fire was shot into the library and embedded into a few of the books. Those bullet holes are actually still able to be seen in the books!  

A ladder in a library

The shelves are the original shelves built in 1707 when the library was established! 

A study abroad student pointing at a portrait hanging on a wall

Edward Stillingfleet’s collection of 10,000 makes up the first gallery of the library. 

Me and my friend Claire (another CEA CAPA student who also interned at Marsh’s) had a really fun time with our internships and enjoyed learning and teaching others about the library! 

A study abroad student looking at books in a gift shop

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop! 

A study abroad student sitting at a desk giving two thumbs up to the camera

Marsh’s is definitely getting two thumbs up from me.


Julianna Bruemmer is the Content Creator - Photographer in Dublin, Ireland, and is currently studying at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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