Alpha Beta Alpha

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Alpha Beta Alpha
Founded May 3, 1950
Northwestern State College of Louisiana
Type Professional[1]
Scope National
Motto Books, People, Service, Life
Colors Royal Purple and White
Flower White Rose
Publication The Alphabet (formerly)
Chapters 1 active
Headquarters Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Homepage ABA home page

Alpha Beta Alpha (ΑΒΑ) is a national honorary library fraternity that is dedicated to serving college and university library science majors at the undergraduate level. The fraternity numbers 13 active members in the one active chapter at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.


Alpha Beta Alpha was founded at Northwestern State College of Louisiana on May 3, 1950. It is the first co-educational undergraduate library science fraternity to be established.

The idea of such an organization was first discussed at a banquet on the campus in 1945 at which were present some forty library science students and librarian and several dignitaries, including Nora Buest, of the U.S. Office of Education, Sue Hefley, Louisiana State Supervisor of School Libraries, and Mary Harris, Assistant State Librarian. Attendees spoke of the need for a nationwide professional development organization geared towards library science students. The banquet was held on October 30, 1945 which was hosted by Eugene P. Watson on the campus of Northwestern State College of Louisiana, since known as Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.[2]

The following year on January 10, 1946, the Northwestern State College Library Club was founded. Finally, on May 3, 1950, the members of the Scharlie E. Russel Library Club founded Alpha Beta Alpha, the first co-educational library science fraternity in the United States. Two years later, on March 15 and March 16, the first Alpha Beta Alpha national convention was held at Northwestern State College of Louisiana.[2]

Charter Members[edit]

The charter members were Helen Belisle, Marguerite Bozeman, Mrs. Lucille Carnahan, Agnes Clark, Billie June Corry, Randall Detro, Mary Alice Driscoll, Julia Duke, Patsy Eason, Bobbie Elkins, Ruth Ann Ellender, Yvonne Ewing, Myrtle Freeze, Sue Gilmore, Maurine Gray, May Hammett, Sallie Harper, Kath- erine Hopkins, Audrey Jo King, Dorothy Keyser, Mrs. Johnnie Mallory, Irene Pope, Olive Roberts, Freida Squyres, Charles Thigpen, Warren Tracy, Tommie Jean Tullos, Dr. Eugene Watson, Mrs. Ora Williams, and Avis Jean Windham.[2]


The badge is in the shape of a closed book, behind which a quill pen is placed vertically; diagonally across the book are the letters ABA. The pedge button is in the shape of a shield and is crossed by a diagonal line. The blazon of the official coat of arms is as follows: arms-purpure, on a bend argent, three Greek letters ABA, of the first between; in chief, a white rose-leaved vert; and in base, the reproduction of the ABA key. Crest-on a wreath of the colors, a candle holder argent holding a candle purpure, flamed and resplendent or. The motto is Books, People, Service, Life. The fraternity colors are purple and white; and the official flower is a white rose. The official seal is round in shape with a reproduction of the badge in the center and with the name of the fraternity and the date encircling the badge.[3]


Chapters as of 1968:[2][4][5]

Name Founded Institution Location Status Notes Reference
0001Alpha May 3, 1950 Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana Inactive
0002Beta December 2, 1950 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, Mississippi Inactive
0003Gamma February 3, 1952 Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana Inactive
0004Delta January 10, 1953 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Inactive
0005Epsilon January 17, 1953 Murray State University Murray, Kentucky Inactive
0006Zeta April 11, 1953 Concord University Athens, West Virginia Inactive
0007Eta May 6, 1953 Texas Woman's University Denton, Texas Inactive
0008Theta May 23, 1953 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona Inactive (1970)
0009Iota 1953 San Jose State University San Jose, California Inactive (1968)
0010Kappa April 12, 1954 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, Pennsylvania Inactive (1972)
0011Lambda April 14, 1954 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana Inactive
0012Mu February 25, 1956 Illinois State University Normal, Illinois Inactive
0013Nu April 15, 1956 Marshall University Huntington, West Virginia Inactive (1975)
0014Xi May 26, 1956 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa Inactive (1971)
0015Omicron April 5, 1957 Florida A&M University Tallahassee, Florida Inactive
0016Pi April 13, 1957 Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, Texas Inactive (1967)
0017Rho November 20, 1957 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, Pennsylvania Active
0018Sigma March 22, 1958 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan Inactive (1971)
0019Tau 1958 Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois Inactive (May, 1964)
0020Upsilon November 1, 1958 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, West Virginia Inactive
0021Phi January 16, 1960 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan Inactive (1970)
0022Chi March 31, 1960 University of North Texas Denton, Texas Inactive (1973)
0023Psi May 22, 1960 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, Missouri Inactive
0024Omega November 17, 1960 University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Inactive (1968)
0101Alpha Alpha April 8, 1961 James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia Inactive
0102Alpha Beta April 14, 1961 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana Inactive
0103Alpha Gamma November 10, 1962 Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky Inactive
0104Alpha Delta October 17, 1963 Oklahoma State University–Stillwater Stillwater, Oklahoma Inactive
0105Alpha Epsilon November 20, 1963 University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama Inactive
0106Alpha Zeta May 14, 1965 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg, Pennsylvania Inactive
0107Alpha Eta April 29, 1967 East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina Inactive
0108Alpha Theta 1966 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana Inactive
0109Alpha Iota 1968 Rowan University Glassboro, New Jersey Inactive
0110Alpha Kappa 1968 University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, Oklahoma Inactive
0111Alpha Lambda 1969 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro, Pennsylvania Inactive
0112Alpha Mu 1969 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, Missouri Inactive
0113Alpha Nu 1969 Radford University Radford, Virginia Inactive
0114Alpha Xi 1969 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois Inactive
0115Alpha Omicron 1969 West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, West Virginia Inactive
0116Alpha Pi 1970 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield, Pennsylvania Inactive
0117Alpha Rho 1970 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee Inactive
0118Alpha Sigma 1970 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas Inactive
0119Alpha Tau 1970 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania Inactive
0120Alpha Upsilon 1970 University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas Inactive
0121Alpha Phi 1970 Jackson State University Jackson, Mississippi Inactive
0122Alpha Chi 1972 University of Wisconsin–Whitewater Whitewater, Wisconsin Inactive
0123Alpha Psi 1972 Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois Inactive
0124Alpha Omega October 28, 1973 South Carolina State University Orangeburg, South Carolina Inactive [6]

Conventions and Host Chapters[edit]

Conventions through 1965 include:[2]

  • 1952 - March 15-16; Alpha Chapter
  • 1954 - March 19-20; Epsilon Chapter
  • 1957 - April 26-27; Gamma Chapter
  • 1959 - April 24-25; Mu Chapter
  • 1961 - April 28-29; Kappa Chapter
  • 1963 - April 26-27; Xi Chapter
  • 1965 - May 7-8; Eta Chapter

Current organization[edit]

On November 20, 1957, the Executive Committee of Alpha Beta Alpha established a new chapter at State Teachers College in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The Rho chapter is the last active chapter of Alpha Beta Alpha and is located at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. The group holds bi-weekly meetings where they plan and organize various service events on and off campus, discuss current events in the library science field, bring in library and academic professionals to talk about library related topics, and job opportunities around the United States. Recently, the organization has offered more social activities and events than just purely academia. Alpha Beta Alpha holds an annual banquet where they discuss the year's events as well as honoring special guests and graduating seniors.



  1. ^ "Alpha Beta Alpha Constitution" (PDF). Alpha Beta Alpha: 1. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Nasri, William Z. (1968). "Alpha Beta Alpha". In Allen Kent & Harold Lancour. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. 1. New York: Marcel Dekker. pp. 166–169. ISBN 0-8247-2001-6. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  3. ^ Baird, William R. (1991). Jack L. Anson & Robert F. Marchesani Jr., ed. Alpha Beta Alpha. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities. 1. Indianapolis: Baird's Manual Foundation Inc. pp. V–66–67. ISBN 0-9637159-0-9. 
  4. ^ William Raimond Baird (1977). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities. G. Banta Company. pp. 737–. 
  5. ^ Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities. Baird's Manual Foundation, Incorporated. 1991. pp. V–66–67. 
  6. ^ "New Frontiers". South Carolina Librarian. Spring 1974. pp. 33–34. 

External links[edit]