Personality: Lucia Anna ‘Pia’ Trigiani

Spotlight on the Library of Virginia Foundation’s board president

10/13/2022, 6 p.m.
Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani is working to tell the story of an institution built around stories and histories.

Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani is working to tell the story of an institution built around stories and histories.

Since 2020, Ms. Trigiani has served as the board president for the Library of Virginia Foundation.

Her volunteerism is driven by a “love of the library and respect for the work that the library does,” she says.

“The library draws you in, captures your attention and invites you to become part of its important mission,” Ms. Trigiani adds. “The library is a special place with important purpose – to preserve Virginia’s written history – and more.”

The library’s mission, which includes archived texts, video, photos and more for research and discovery, is far more encompassing than many might know. Ms. Trigiani notes that the library distributes most of its state support to public libraries across Virginia, and provides connections for local libraries.

The remaining state support provides just enough resources to cover staffing and infrastructure costs, which makes the private donations and contributions even more important. It’s this support that the foundation helps facilitate through grants and donations it receives through individuals and organizations.

As board president, Ms. Trigiani wants to see the library open up more to the public – in ways that reach beyond the walls of the library itself. Besides donor events, book talks with authors from throughout the state and other programs, the foundation is supporting the purchase of a vehicle for LVA on the Road, a new endeavor that will bring more exhibits to regions across the state.

This program will allow the library to feature its collections, tailored to the interests and history of the regions the vehicle visits. LVA on the Road is a project Ms. Trigiani expects will require the contributions of a wide variety of the library’s staff, and could do a lot to demystify both its contents and its mission, encouraging greater engagement from the Virginia public.

“I would like to see the doors of the library open wider so that Virginians can be informed about and inspired by our great history and traditions,” Ms. Trigiani says.

With LVA on the Road expected to begin in 2023, the same year as the library’s 200th anniversary and the Foundations’ 40th anniversary, Ms. Trigiani is likely to have her hands full in coming months.

However, she seems undeterred by these responsibilities, and is eager to see the public join her and other board members and library staff in appreciating – and potentially telling – the Library of Virginia’s story for years to come.

“A variety of exciting events are being planned for 2023 to observe the library’s 200th anniversary,” Ms. Trigiani says. “We are looking forward to engaging the community – the entire Commonwealth – in celebrating one of the oldest agencies in state government.”

Meet one of the leaders in safeguarding Virginia’s literary legacy and this week’s Personality, Lucia Anna Trigiani:

Volunteer position: President, Library of Virginia Foundation.

Date and place of birth: Oct. 13 in Easton, Pa. Moved to Big Stone Gap in 1966. Graduated from Powell Valley High School in 1976.

Where I live now: Alexandria.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame; Juris Doctor, University of Richmond.

Occupation: Attorney.

Family: Four sisters, two brothers, three nephews, four nieces.

The Library of Virginia Foundation is: A private 501(c) (3) organization that receives grants, bequests, and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations in support of the Library of Virginia.

The Library of Virginia Foundation is important in our community because: The foundation provides necessary support for the Library of Virginia, particularly in the areas of education, community outreach, programming, acquisition, and conservation – that benefit the Richmond community as well as citizens of the Commonwealth — and others.

Who benefits from The Library of Virginia Foundation: The foundation works with and in support of the Library of Virginia, a trusted resource for over 4 million members of the public every year. The Library of Virginia is a state agency — now almost 200 years old (The library celebrates 200 years in 2023!) that serves as the state archives for important state papers including the Governor’s papers, Circuit Court records, daily and weekly newspapers serving Virginia, to name a few. The library also curates the Commonwealth’s art collection and maintains some interesting collections — including community cookbooks and year books from secondary schools and higher education institutions across the Commonwealth.

When and why I became involved: My sister introduced me to the library. She began serving as host to the Literary Awards in 2008. Soon after, I joined the board and found the work compelling and rewarding. The library is a special place with important purpose, to preserve Virginia’s written history and more.

Number one goal or project as the board president: Telling the story of the library – like many governmental institutions, the work of the library, the treasures of the Commonwealth that the library protects and preserves – can be guarded secrets. I would like to see the doors of the library open wider so that Virginians can be informed about and inspired by our great history and traditions. Enhanced access will attract more folks of like mind to join the effort to tell the story of the library.

Strategy for achieving goals: Under the leadership of Scott Dodson, we are working to enhance our fundraising efforts – by expanding our reach and looking for opportunities for funding in support of the library and its work for the people of the Commonwealth and beyond.

Ways that The Library of Virginia Foundation thinks about impacting Black and Brown Richmond: The library is a nationally known genealogical resource. We have records that are a great source for ancestry research for the Black and Brown community — and beyond. The library is also working to encourage more diversity in the library and archives workforce by providing fellowship, internships and volunteer opportunities to underrepresented populations.

Black Lives Matter and The Library of Virginia Foundation: During the summer of 2020, knowing that history was unfolding around us, the library made a concerted effort to photograph and collect materials that documented the BLM movement in Richmond without intruding on the events and participants themselves.

We were also pleased to add to our collection documentation, photographs, video, and personal accounts of protests that took place on the evening of June 1, 2020, at Lee Circle and the police response. A settlement agreement that resolved a lawsuit filed against the Richmond City Police by several citizens who protested that evening named the library as the repository trusted by both sides to preserve this collection and share it with the public.

The Library of Virginia Foundation’s upcoming events: The Library of Virginia’s largest annual fundraiser – the 25th Annual LiteraryAwards Celebration–will be Oct.15 at 6p.m. This year’s speaker is the James Beard Award-winning author and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty. We are also honoring veteran journalist Katie Couric for outstanding contributions to literature and journalism.Attend- ees help support the education, community outreach, collections and programs of the Library of Virginia. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/litawards.

How I start the day: I get my current events fix by watching the news.

Best late-night snack: Dry cereal! Oh’s – we call them Cap ’n Crunch for grownups!

How I unwind: Cooking and baking. Do not do enough of it. And, of course – binge watching holiday movies.

What I have learned during the pandemic about myself: I am okay with being alone but also need people. Social interaction is fundamental to our core and is what enriches us.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Needlepoint.

A quote that I am inspired by:

“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

At the top of my “to-do” list is: Clear my desk. Take a long trip. Disconnect.

The best thing my parents ever taught me: The good you do is diminished by talking about the good you do.

The person who influenced me the most: So many – I am truly the byproduct of good mentoring and observing many great leaders who inspire and motivate. At different times in your life, different people influence you. The right influencer always seems to appear just when you need their influence.

What I’m reading now: “The Good Left Undone” by Adriana Trigiani.

Next goal: Figure out my next big thing!