Farewell to a Friend: Jean E. Lowrie

Dr. Jean E. Lowrie
Dr. Jean E. Lowrie

Dr. Jean E. Lowrie, an influential leader in librarianship & elementary education and dear friend of Florida State University’s iSchool, has passed away. In her ninety-six years, Lowrie pioneered school media and librarianship with her efforts reaching worldwide.

She began her studies at Keuka College where she received her B.A. in 1940, going on to receive her B.S.L.S. from Western Reserve University in 1941. At Western Michigan University, she earned her M.A. in Elementary Education. Returning to Western Reserve University, she earned her Ph.D. in 1959, following with her DLitt in 1973 from Keuka College.

While at Western Michigan University, Lowrie taught and mentored Dr. Wayne Wiegand, F. Williams Summers Professor of Library and Information Sciences & Professor of American Studies, at Florida State University. In 2013, Wiegand and his wife established the Jean E. Lowrie Endowment in honor of her mentorship that shaped Wiegand’s career in librarianship. “I shall forever be indebted to Jean for her advice and counsel,” shared Wiegand.

Director of the School of Information, Kathy Burnett, remembers Jean with fondness: “Jean was a mover and shaker, whose vision of a global future for school librarianship inspired us all.”

Lowrie served as:

  • Director: School of Librarianship at Western Michigan University from 1963-1981
  • President: American Library Association from 1973-1974
  • President, Board of Directors: American Library Association
  • Executive Board: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions from 1971-1977
  • Founder: International Association of School Librarianship
  • Past President: Friends of the Hoke Library in Martin County, FL
  • First recipient: ALA’s American Association of School Librarians Distinguished Service Award in 1978

The Jean E. Lowrie Endowment awards scholarships and fellowships to students studying library & information studies in the School of Information at Florida State. If you would like to honor Dr. Jean E. Lowrie’s legacy in school librarianship at Florida State University, please contact Mafé Brooks at  mafe.brooks@cci.fsu.edu/850.645.8312.

Online gifts in Jean’s memory can be also be made here. In the Designation, select Designate a Fund and type in Jean E. Lowrie Fund #F07255.