Quick access:

Go directly to content (Alt 1) Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)

Nguyen Tien Vinh

We interviewed Nguyen Tien Vinh for the 25th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut Hanoi:

HAN Interviews Nguyen Tien VInh© Goethe-Institut Hanoi

I would neither describe my job as my dream job, nor a job that I disklike. That’s because every single one of my tasks and responsibilities have value in their own right.

Working in the library requires meticulousness. However, my workdays run pretty regularly. Every morning I turn on all the necessary equipment (note: to regulate the humidity) so that the books and the equipment of the library will be preserved for a long time. The library handles the circulation and return of many works, so my first task of the day is to sort the returned books, and put them back on the shelves. After that, I show new students around the library, create library cards, and manage the circulation equipment.

Every time a new book arrives from Germany, it first has to be "made into a library book," a task that is quite challenging. I have to enter the information about the book into the library's system and assign it to a genre. What sounds simple sometimes takes a lot of time. Most books can be easily assigned to a genre, but there are also books that cannot be clearly categorized, so assigning them can sometimes give me a headache. After the categorization, the book has to be wrapped with a protective cover. Since the books are touched and read by many people, their lifespan would be reduced if they were not protected by a cover. The library of the Goethe-Institut is blessed with a special cover from Germany, which is almost invisible. Wrapping a book with a protective cover may seem small at first, but it is very important to ensure a good reading experience for everyone. Finally, I add a barcode and attach the chip so that borrowing and returning can go smoothly later.

It takes me 15 to 30 minutes to finish processing a book, depending on how quickly it is sorted by genre. During the time of arranging and researching, I also learn briefly about the content of each book, which is helpful later when I advise library patrons. I haven't read all the books in the library, but I'm sure that whenever you need advice on books, I can answer your questions.