Posted at 4:58 p.m., Friday, May 23, 2003
State Librarian Lowell to retire June 30
Advertiser StaffThe state Board of Eduction announced today that State Librarian Virginia Lowell will retire June 30.
Lowell has been on family leave since April 21. In a letter to BOE chairman Herbert Watanabe, Lowell said she did not wish to have her contract renewed when it expires June 30 because she planned to move to Washinton state to care for her ailing mother.
Jo Ann Schindler, director of the Hawai'i State Library, has been serving as acting librarian.
Lowell has been state librarian since August 1998. She came to Hawai'i after serving as director of New York's 54-branch Nassau Library System.
Lowell has had to cope with budget cuts and funding shortages. Following a budget cutback by the Lingle administration, Lowell ordered libraries to cut back hours of operation to 40 hours and five days a week. The move prompted criticism from Gov. Linda Lingle and some state senators called for her resignation.
In a written statement, Watanabe said, "I want to thank Virginia Lowell for her dedicated service to the Hawai'i State Library System. She took the helm of the library system during a very difficult time and has ably guided it over the past four years through a number of challenges, including painful budget cuts. The Board of Education wishes her well in her retirement."