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ABA Fraternity

Professional Undergraduate Library Fraternity

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 purpose of the fraternity to be exemplified by its members are:

  • To maintain an abiding interest in librarianship
  • To acquire a true professional spirit and a deep sense of responsibility to the profession
  • To seek a sincere, sympathetic and full understanding of the work and problems of human beings

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 following year, on January 10, 1946, the Northwestern State College Library Club was founded. Finally, on May 3rd, 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. A year later, the name was changed to the Scharlie E. Russel Library Club, which existed for four and a half years.  

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 has since been an active part of the Kutztown University campus and the library science community.    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. Any undergraduate Library Science major is welcome to join Alpha Beta Alpha. For active members, dues are $15.00 per year.

Alpha Beta Alpha's motto is Books, People, Service, Life.   For further information, please contact the Library and Learning Technologies Department at 610-643-4300.

Last Updated 11-18-2016 KC