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Students present at Maine Library Association Annual Conference

Pigeon Voigt '24 and Joanna Pittari '25 present their work at the Maine Library Association Annual Conference. Pigeon Voigt '24 and Joanna Pittari '25 present their work at the Maine Library Association Annual Conference. Pigeon Voigt ’24 and Joanna Pittari ’25 joined the Maine Library Association Annual Conference to present “COA Student Spotlight: Libraries As More Than Books.”

Voigt shared a map of Maine libraries with non-book resources that they created as their senior project at COA. They gave a brief tour of the map and explained how it works before describing the process of creating the map. Finally, they talked about the importance of the map and discussed the patterns expressed in the data.

Pittari, who has a work-study position in the COA Thorndike Library during the academic year, spoke about how to be a personal library resource. She reflected on her experiences working in a public library supporting patrons with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As a 2023 summer intern at Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills, FL—which primarily serves an elderly population—she completed certification in Coping with Dementia LLC’s workshop. Pittari shared highlights of her training, demonstrated best practices for supporting patrons experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s, and discussed how effective methods to support this population can sometimes be in conflict with library rules.

Together, these students highlighted the ability libraries have to support everyone with their resources—something much wider than books alone.

Their talk was well attended (almost every seat in the room was filled) and well received. Afterwards multiple librarians from across the state praised the session, with some saying it was the best session they attended the entire conference, others how impressed they were by the quality of the projects and presentation, and many how useful the session was to support other librarians as well as lauding the contagious enthusiasm the students brought to their presentation.