By Dr. Mehmed Ali, Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
/ Published November 08, 2018
Students at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School receive some of the books donated by the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center. On right, Air University library staff Ataya Wallace, Mehmed Ali, Monica Tolver with media specialist Jennifer Sanford. (Courtesy Photo)
On an early Saturday morning in August plumes of smoke billowed over the Centennial Hill neighborhood just a few minutes’ drive from Maxwell Air Force Base. The source was sadly the Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, which caught on fire that day causing severe damage and necessitating a move over to a new location in another part of the city. And while fortunately no one was injured in the blaze, the historic building and all of its contents were completely lost – including the school’s entire library collection.
After hearing about the fire and the destruction of all of the school’s books, staff at the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center decided to see how they could assist. After raising funds, over $700 worth of new books were purchased and brought over to the school this past month. The school’s media specialist, Jennifer Sanford, related that the students were excited to see the new titles and stated, “We are very appreciative of the partnership that is growing between Maxwell Air Force Base and our school. This donation is really going to help our students in so many ways.”
The AU Library’s assistance was part of a larger initiative by the base to aid the high school, which included efforts from several different units and individual families who donated money, school supplies and other items.
“Maxwell is part and parcel of the community, and as they always support us, we need to step up and assist our neighbors in their time of need,” said Director of the library Mehmed Ali, “The resources we have provided are a small way to help promote learning to young folks in Montgomery and since Air University’s mission is to educate people our contribution is a no-brainer.”