Donor delivers thousands of books to WBU library

Release Date: June 30, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – For James Brazier’s first visit to the Wayland Baptist University campus, he drove a U-Haul truck. That’s because packed inside the truck were numerous boxes containing a portion of Brazier’s personal library, donated on Monday to Wayland’s Mabee Learning Resources Center.

Brazier made the trip from his home in Ennis, Texas – more than 400 miles away near the Dallas/Fort Worth area – in order to deliver some 4,500 books that he said range in subject matter from agriculture and art to naval science. The remainder of his 7,000-volume personal home library will be coming to Wayland in another trip, since as Brazier put it, “I ran out of boxes and space to put them. I’ll have to come up another time.”

Brazier said he had no tie to Wayland except for being friends with Dr. Samuel Brown, who teaches adjunctly in Wayland’s School of Music and was a former coworker at Jacksonville State University in Alabama beginning in the 1980s.

“I was the education and children’s literature librarian for 15 years there,” noted Brazier, who is now retired and substitutes and volunteers at Ennis High School.

The decision to donate the books was not done lightly, but Brazier joked that he had to get rid of some books or move, as his collection was crowding his residence. With bookshelves lining four rooms of his home – many double-stacked – he felt it was time to let them go to a good home.

So why Wayland?

“I’m unfamiliar with any Baptist university library that can’t use more books,” he said. “I wrote letters to three Baptist universities offering the books, and Wayland was the only one that wrote me back.”

So Brazier commenced to packing the books away, loaded the U-Haul and headed for Plainview. He notes that the donation is about 99 percent hard-back books, with subject matter varying greatly. Of note, he said, is a large Civil War collection and children’s literature collection as well as several boxes of Western literature that will be housed in the Museum of the Llano Estacado.

As students and staff unloaded boxes from the U-Haul and loaded them onto carts for sorting inside the LRC, Brazier smiled wistfully and even waved goodbye to a few loads of boxes.

“It’s a little sad to see them go,” he smiled. “I’ve been collecting since my college days.”

Donated in memory of Brazier’s parents, James “Jim” and Hazel Ray Brazier, the volumes will definitely be helpful in building the LRC’s collection, said director Dr. Polly Lackey.      

“This definitely will help our children’s section we’ve been building, and more will help the master’s degree programs we have already,” Lackey said.