History of Beta Phi Mu

Beta Phi Mu, the library and information science honor society, was founded at the University of Illinois in August, 1948 by a group of leading librarians and library educators. Aware of the notable achievements of honor societies in other professions, they believed that such a society would have much to offer librarianship and library education. The first initiation was held in the spring of 1949 at the University of Illinois. The society was ably served by Roland Stevens as first president and Harold Lancour as first Executive Secretary.

Its significance was recognized in 1969 when Beta Phi Mu was formally admitted to membership in the Association of College Honor Societies.


Beta Phi Mu Motto

Because librarians and other information professionals are dedicated to the service of others, Beta Phi Mu has chosen as its motto:

Aliis inserviendo consumor

“Consumed in the service of others.”

Beta Phi Mu Insignia

The insignia of Beta Phi Mu is the dolphin and anchor, the mark of the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius. Not only did Aldus strive to create beautiful editions of the Greek and Latin Classics, but he dedicated his life to making his works accessible to many.