Student Spotlight: Laura Santowski
Major: Library and Information
Laura Santowski has worked in public libraries since 1992, gaining experience in circulation, acquisitions and cataloging.
With financial assistance from her employer, she decided to pursue an associate's degree so she could work at a reference desk. After looking into several programs, she chose College of DuPage's Library and Information Technology program because it offered a majority of classes online.
"Being a full-time working student raising a family, I needed the flexibility," she said. "I attended one class per semester and found this was the easiest way to get started. COD even offered courses during the summer. Due to the online and evening classes, I only attended two classes on campus along with my practicum, which really was convenient.
"Not only did I have supportive faculty members and fellow students, but everyone was willing to work together to help me accomplish my career goals."
Santowski earned her associate's degree in 2010. She currently works part-time at the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee. She feels fortunate to be working at the Adult Services desk, where she helps patrons locate material, answers questions and guides the community with technology and community programs and events.
"I would offer any students looking the Library and Information Technology program to check websites like RAILS, Indeed.com and even COD offers a web page with library openings. It’s a great place to see the types of positions that are available and what salary you can expect," she said. "COD also encourages students and graduates to join LinkedIn and social media groups.
"College of DuPage’s Library and Information Technology program offers a degree that was beneficial to my career in public libraries and gave me hands-on experience in areas that I hadn’t worked, for example the children’s department. Completing the practicum at a local library also provided an opportunity to work in several different departments and learn from experienced professionals. It’s been a good networking opportunity and I’ve made some excellent lifetime connections."
2014 College of DuPage