At the end of November 2019, Sukim Bae completed a 10 month full-time internship in the UCI Libraries under the sponsorship of the Korea Foundation. Working under the mentorship of Dr. Ying Zhang, research librarian for Asian Studies, Bae is the fourth Korean student to work as a Korea Foundation intern in the Libraries. Bae gained valuable experience working with Dr. Zhang to build and manage our Korean Studies collection. Sukim says her internship has motivated her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Library Science when she returns to Korea. She would love to work in an American library someday. Bae answered a few questions about her internship.
Why did you apply for the Korea Foundation Internship?
I had finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science at Pusan University, and I was working in the library there. I had studied English in school and had an opportunity to go to Vancouver, Canada while in college. So, I was interested in going abroad again and had heard a lot about U.S. libraries. After attending a brown bag with a librarian from UC Berkeley, I was very attracted to the University of California.
What have you enjoyed about your internship?
I’ve searched book lists and catalogs to find Korean language books that meet the UCI Libraries’ selection criteria and provided recommendations to Dr. Zhang on what to add to our collection. I’ve also done some cataloging of Korean material. I’ve worked on a special project that required identifying books we already had in our collection in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. And of course helping the students and faculty find information for their research has been very interesting. In addition, I’ve been able to attend meetings of the Librarians Association (LAUC-I), and I have learned a lot about how American academic libraries work. I have also attended the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., where I visited the Library of Congress, and I went to Denver for the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) conference and saw the Rocky Mountains and the Red Rocks amphitheater.
Outside of your work in the Libraries, what else have you found interesting about your stay in California?
I’ve been able to do some traveling to other places in California, like Laguna Beach, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I really like the environment here! Irvine and California are so beautiful. I come from Busan which is a very big city and a very urban environment, so I have enjoyed the climate and the natural beauty of southern California. I was very happy to find a room in the home of a retired faculty member in University Hills. She has been so kind, and I even have access to lemons, oranges, and grapefruit from her backyard. My visit to Irvine has been beyond my wildest dreams!