Beta Phi Mu

Beta Phi Mu
The crest of Beta Phi Mu.png
FoundedAugust 1948; 74 years ago (1948-08)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
TypeHonor Society
EmphasisLibrary & information science and information technology
MottoBibliothekarios philax mathesis
“librarians are the guardians of knowledge”
Colors  Purple and   White
SymbolDolphin, Anchor
PublicationThe Pipeline
HeadquartersBeta Phi Mu Honor Society
PO Box 292992

Davie, FL 33329
WebsiteOfficial website

Beta Phi Mu (also ΒΦΜ or βφμ) is the international honor society for library & information science and information technology. Founded by a group of librarians and library educators, the society's express purpose is to recognize and encourage "superior academic achievement" among library and information studies students. Beta Phi Mu now has 39 active chapters in the U.S. and abroad, continues to sponsor various publications and funds several scholarships.[1]

The society's name comes from the initials in the Greek phrase Bibliothekarios philax mathesis, meaning "the librarian is the guardian of knowledge".

Motto and insignia[edit]

Aliis inserviendo consumor serves as the society's motto; translated from Latin, it means "consumed in the service of others". Members of the society—librarians and other information professionals—dedicate themselves to serving the information needs of individuals, organizations, and communities.

A dolphin and anchor, the mark of Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, serves as the society's insignia, appearing on various pins, buttons, and similar memorabilia. The society's colors, as signified on honor cords, are purple and white.


Eligibility for membership in Beta Phi Mu is by invitation of the faculty from an ALA-accredited professional degree program. Invitations are extended only to individuals who complete the requirements for a master's degree and achieve at least a 3.75 (out of 4.0) GPA; invitations are further limited to a maximum of 25% of any given graduating class. Each eligible candidate must also be recommended for election by the faculty of the candidate’s school.

The printer's mark of Aldus Manutius, the dolphin and anchor seen here on a 1558 title page, serves as the insignia of Beta Phi Mu.

Notable dates[edit]

Beta Phi Mu Award[edit]

The Beta Phi Mu Award is an annual award to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education for librarianship. The first award was made in 1954 to Rudolph Hjalmar Gjelsness Dean of the University of Michigan's Library Science Department from 1940 to 1964.


  1. ^ "Beta Phi Mu: Scholarships, Fellowships, & Awards". Beta Phi Mu. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  2. ^ "History of Beta Phi Mu". Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. July 2000. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  3. ^ Beta Phi Mu International Honor Society for Library and Information Science
  4. ^ a b "Beta Phi Mu: Library & Information Studies and Information Technology". Association for College Honor Societies. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  5. ^ "American Library Association: Beta Phi Mu Award". American Library Association. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  6. ^ "About Pi Lambda Sigma". Beta Phi Mu, Pi Lambda Sigma Chapter, Syracuse University. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  7. ^ Special Libraries, October 1959 (vol 50, no 8), p. 402.
  8. ^ "American Library Association: Affiliates: Beta Phi Mu". American Library Association. Retrieved 7 October 2013.

External links[edit]