The first "Workshop" was held in January, 1989, sponsored by Austin Presbyterian, Episcopal Theological, and the GSLS at UT Austin. Fourteen institutions and thirty people registered for the two day event that started with a dinner and an evening meeting. The speakers the next day were Professor Loriene Roy on "Collection Evaluation." Professor Fran Miksa on "Developments in Subject Access" and Bob Walton on "Overview of Automation."
Dallas Theological and Southwestern Baptist hosted the next workshop in January of 1990. Following the workshop, a steering committee composed of Valerie Hotchkiss, Robert Ibach, Roger Loyd, and Genevieve Luna, drafted a Mission Statement and Organization Features, for the organization.
A history of SWATLA has been written by Mikail McIntosh-Doty and is available as a Word document SWATLA_History.doc.