Helen Price Sawyer Braxton, a 1936 graduate of the library science program at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), was once a librarian at Alabama State Teachers College (now Alabama State University) and at the War-Time Civil Service Library at Fort McClellan, Alabama during World War II. In addition, Ms. Braxton was a founding member of the Beta Nu Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Later, Ms. Braxton was a librarian at the Manual Training High School in Bordentown, New Jersey. In 1951, she was hired as a librarian at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. That same year, Ms. Braxton and three other librarians at Lincoln University (Albert P. Marshall, Gertrude Franklin, and Mary McAfee Turner) attended the American Library Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois (July 8-14, 1951).
Ms. Braxton remained at Lincoln University until 1955. After leaving, Ms. Braxton served as a librarian at the Tompkins Square Park Branch of the New York Public Library.
The Helen Sawyer Braxton Student Library Award was later created at Lincoln University in her honor.
Dudley Randall, librarian, poet, and founder of Broadside Press, was a co-worker of Ms. Braxton. She and Mr. Randall were both hired in 1951 by Lincoln University.
Charles Wilbur Florence was president of Lincoln University from 1931-1937. His wife, Virginia Proctor Powell Florence was the first African American female to receive a degree in library science.
See related posts: Annette Hoage Phinazee: Dean, Professor, Author, and Librarian and Bernice Appleton Wilder: First African American Director of the Gary Public Library (Gary, Indiana).
Sources: "Mrs. Helen Braxton Named Head of Journalism Library." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 7 Feb. 1951: 6. Print. ; "Ill. [i.e., Illinois] Woman Takes Library Post at Lincoln U. (Mo.)." Indianapolis Recorder 17 Feb. 1951: 7. Print. ; A Directory of Negro Graduates of Accredited Library Schools, 1900-1936. Washington : Columbia Civic Library Association, 1937. 20. Print. ; "Librarians Attend Chicago Meeting." The Jefferson City Post-Tribune 5 July 1951: 10. Print. ; "Past Annual Conferences, 1876-Present." American Library Association. ALA, 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2o12. ; "History of Beta Nu Omega." Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Beta Nu Omega Chapter, Montgomery, AL. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Nu Omega Chapter, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. ; "Read Your Hometown Newspaper in J-Library." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 23 May 1951: 4. Print. ; "Page Announces New Pamphlets." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 7 Dec. 1951: 1. Print. ; "Page Has New Service System." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 7 June 1952: 1, 3. Print. ; "Faculty Spends Holidays Both Near and Far Away." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 7 Jan. 1955: 2. Print. ; "City News." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 20 Jan. 1956: 4. Print. ; "Haynes Wins Library Award." Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Mo.) 29 Apr. 1966: 1. Print.