Southwest Area Theological Library Association
Meeting Minutes
June 22, 2006

Call to Order
Laura Olejnik called to order the 2006 summer meeting, during the annual ATLA conference. The following persons signed the attendance sheet:
Dorothy David Austin Graduate School of Theology
Kathy Fowler Austin Presbyterian Seminary
Ellen Frost Bridwell Library/SMU
Linda Umoh Bridwell Library/SMU
JoAnn Rhodes Columbia International University, Columbia, SC
Andrew Street Criswell College
Debbie Hunn DTS
Jeff Webster DTS
Marvin Hunn DTS
Robert Ibach DTS
Rob Cogswell Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest
Ferne Weimer Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
Teresa Ellis Logsdon/Hardin-Simmons Univ.
Duane Harbin Perkins/SMU
Clair Powers Phillips Theological Seminary
Bob Phillips Southwestern Seminary
Laura Olejnik St. Mary's Seminary/Univ of St. Thomas
Steve Vanderhill Westminster Theological Seminary

Old Business
Laura encouraged everyone to join the SWATLA listserv hosted by ATLA. It replaces the newsletter.

New Business
The group discussed plans and location for the fall meeting. Rob Cogswell offered to host the meeting at ETSS (Austin), pending institutional approval.
Program ideas suggested were: what are university libraries doing [are theological libraries too provincial]? Review of state of the art library practices. The Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin focus on preservation and preparing exhibits; the "death of print"; information literacy in online courses; capturing blogs; What reference sources are available for the study of religion in Texas, including what is needed.
Rob Cogswell will investigate possibility of program at the HRC and UT-Austin, date to be determined, but probably on a Friday in late October or early November.

With no further business, the business meeting adjourned

Reports from the Schools

Austin Graduate School of Theology: adding a new part-time staff member

Austin Presbyterian Seminary: updating the look of public catalog; will upgrade Voyager software; seminary has announced a new capital campaign for housing, with a campaign for a library building to follow

Columbia International University: receiving the library collection of the Zwemer Institute of Islamic Studies; engaged in stack shift along with de-acquisition program to create space; prepared new assessment report and plan in preparation for accreditation. Islamic program designed to help students working in Muslim lands. Emphasizes folk Islam.

Criswell College: adding backlogged material to its library database

DTS: shifting circulating collection and finding space; new employee from IT in computer lab and media center; has begun offering classes for Th.M. degree in Houston; growth in rare books and archives; has developed online tutorials to use Biblos library catalog and online sources. Seminary is building new residence halls.

EPTSS: searching for a dean and a librarian; excellent candidates for librarian position; deadline for applications is July 31; having fun

GIAL (formerly Summer Institute of Linguistics): accredited in September; collection emphases materials that help in preparation for translation; working on backlog and serials cataloging; Ferne Weimer will become Librarian in July.

Phillips Theological Seminary: implemented Endeavor/Voyager hosted on Oklahoma State University server; doing catalog clean up; already preparing to upgrade the system and implementing the acquisitions module. Sandy Shadley becomes new director July 1.

SMU/Bridwell: developing a Charles Wesley exhibit for the fall; upgrading Voyager library system; recently purchased four unpublished Charles Wesley papers

St. Mary's Seminary: expanding library into whole building; school now has full faculty (after two years). Looking at new automation system.

SWBTS: Library has developed a campus writing center and helped develop a seminary style manual based on Turabian.

Logsdon (Hardin-Simmons): fully accredited after ATS site visit this spring; ordering lots of books

Westminster Seminary: adding 1000 volumes received from a retired philosophy professor at Baylor.

Submitted by Robert Phillips, July 8, 2006

SWATLA Fall Meeting
American Theological Library Association
November 5, 2004

The fall meeting of SWATLA met on the Phillips Theological Seminary campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Twelve members were present as well as three visitors. Attending were: Gary Cheatman-Northeastern State University; Rob Cogswell-Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest; Marvin and Debbie Hunn, Bob Ibach, and Lolana Thompson from Dallas Theological Seminary; Robert Phillips and Berry Driver from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Clyde Putman-Perkins School of Theology; Laura Olejnik-St. Thomas Graduate School of Theology; Roberta Hamburger, Beverly Nelson, and Sandy Shadley of Phillips Theological Seminary hosted the meeting. Guests were: Dennis Norlan, Executive Director-ATLA; John Imbler, Executive Vice President, and Virginia Walker, Director Institutional Advancement of Phillips Theological Seminary.

The program theme was fundraising for libraries. Lolana Thompson, Archivist at DTS described her experience writing grant proposals and suggested ways libraries could raise funds or assist campus development officers to do so. Dennis Norlin then spoke about the larger picture of fundraising for the larger ATLA organization.

Following lunch, the business meeting was called to order by the president Marvin Hunn. The minutes of the June meeting were approved. Marvin (for the whole group) then presented Roberta with a gift certificate to Barns and Noble Bookstore in appreciation of her several years of service as secretary of SWATLA and approaching retirement. (Secretary's note: it was greatly appreciated).

Nominations (or volunteers) were then called for to assume the position of secretary. Bob Phillips, SWBTS, volunteered (and was quickly elected) to serve as secretary beginning in June 2005.

Rob Cogswell, ETSS, serving as one of the local hosts for the 2005 ATLA conference in Austin discussed the planning as done to this date.

  • The opening reception is scheduled at the Austin Presbyterian
    Theological Seminary.
  • Other than the opening reception there will not be a day with meeting scheduled at either seminary
  • The Hilton Austin North hotel complex is changing ownership (possibly to Raddison). They should purchase and honor the contract with ATLA.
  • A draft of the program was distributed.

Rob also announced his retirement to occur sometime in the calendar year 2006.

Old Business:
1. The OCLC group access option cost is based on the FTE of the individual institutions In the new First Search ILL design such a group option can be chosen
2. The development of online instruction that could be shared is still on hold since the committee-Steve Vanderhill and Mikail Macintosh-Doty were absent. Rob noted that he has posted his local library's instructions for using ATLAS Full Text Plus through Ebsco

It was announced that the Wabash Center is offering a grant writing consultation service that some may be interested in attending.

News from the several institutions was shared. Dennis Norlin fielded questions about some of the ATLA products and services.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned and a tour of the PTS campus was offered.


Roberta Hamburger, Secretary.

SWATLA Mid-Year Meeting
American Theological Library Association
June 17, 2004

SWATLA-meeting during the ATLA conference, June 17,2004, in Kansas City, MO-was called to order by Past-President, Rob Cogswell, who then presented the gavel to new President, Marvin Hunn. Fifteen members were present (list at end of minutes).

Laura Olejnik (Beran Library, University of St. Thomas School of Theology) was nominated for vice-president/president elect position. There were no other nominations and she was elected unanimously.

Roberta Hamburger (Phillips Theological Seminary Library) announced her plans to retire July 2005. This means that a secretary will need to be elected at the fall meeting.

Roberta also issued an invitation to host the fall meeting at PTS in Tulsa, OK. Two Fridays, October 15 or 22, were suggested. Members were asked to e-mail Marvin Hunn if there were problems with either date-mhunn@dts.edu. (NOTE: At a later ATLA business meeting, Dennis Norlin, indicated he would like to be invited to meet with regional groups. Roberta issued an invitation to him and he thought he could come in October. The final date for the fall meeting may be determined by his schedule.)

Rob Cogswell asked if our membership criterian needs to be clarified. Since we do not charge dues, it is unclear exactly who is a member. No final decision was reached, but the consensus seemed to be to use the list of persons attending each meeting as the membership basis adding institutional contacts from the schools in the SWATLA area.

Roberta Hamburger asked if there was any value in revisiting the serials project of several years ago. SWATLA libraries checked that all journals indexed by ATLA's religion database were available in the area. If not, Bridwell Library would subscribe to those journals. There was some discussion, but no decision was made. Libraries were encouraged to check their holdings on an informal basis.

The meeting was then turned over to Timothy Lincoln (Austin Presbyterian) and Rob Cogswell (Episcopal Seminary in Austin), the local hosts for the 2005 ATLA annual conference, to outline the conference plans as they now stand.

  • A Hilton Hotel complex has been reserved. There are two-three options with various rates in the same area.
  • The meeting spaces are adequate.
  • Many restaurants are nearby.
  • There will not be a day at one of the seminaries. However, the opening reception will be at Austin Presbyterian.
  • The banquet will be at the LBJ Presidential Library-a tour first, then a reception on the top floor (with 360 degree view of Austin), the dinner at an adjacent building.
  • Many local entertainment options available.

If any SWATLA institution outside Austin would like to be a sponsoring institution, they need to be willing to make a financial contribution. The opening reception is the primary cost for the host institution (s). Contact Rob Cogswell if your institution can make such a contribution-rcogswell@etss.edu.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


Roberta Hamburger, Secretary.

SWATLA Mid-Year Meeting
American Theological Library Association
June 26, 2003

SWATLA-meeting during the ATLA conference, June 26,2003, in Portland, OR-was called to order by President, Rob Cogswell, Sixteen members were present.


  • The fall meeting location, tentatively scheduled to meet at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, needs to be changed. The new acting director of NOBTS felt it would not fit into the seminary's schedule this year. Invitations were solicited. St. Mary's Seminary/University of St.Thomas in Houston and Westminster Theological Seminary in Dallas offered to host the fall meeting. Westminster won the toss. [Comment added by webmaster - next meeting planned for November 14 at Westminster.]
  • Steve Vanderhill (Westminster) has updated the SWATLA website and changed the format to fit ATLA guidelines. He suggested that we might include regional vendors, regional resources, SWATLA card information (including participating institutions)
  • Roberta Hamburger (Phillips Theological Seminary) announced that PTS will re-instate interlibrary loan processing as of July 1, 2003.

25 October 2002

Approximately 28 members and guests met at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, on October 25, 2002, for the fall conference. The topic for the morning's session was Digital Information in Theological Libraries. Georgia D. Harper, Office of General Counsel for the University of Texas System, made a presentation on copyright issues related to putting information online either as courses or as e-reserves. Following her presentation, three faculty member of St. Edwards University, Austin, Dianne Brownlee, Instructional Services/Reference Librarian, Fran Ebbers, Circulation/Reference Librarian, and Anna Stewart, Instructional Services/Reference Librarian, presented course software and e-resources form varying viewpoints within their library.

A group photo was taken following lunch. Copies of the picture will be available to all attendees.

The business meeting was called to order by Rob Cogswell, Vice-President/President-Elect, who announced that Bill Hair, President, has had to resign the office due to changing job responsibilities at Baylor. He sent his regrets and assurances that Baylor would continue to participate in SWATLA and will send a representative to the meetings as soon as a new theology and philosophy librarian is appointed.

Old Business:

Those present were invited to introduce themselves and report on their institutional highlights. In particular, Jennifer Peters, Director of the General Archives of the Episcopal Church (which are housed at ETSS), spoke briefly about the archives and how they are used. Retired members, Harold and Pat Booher, formerly of the ETSS Library, were welcomed. Upon their retirement the library was renamed the Harold and Pat Booher Library. Genevive Luna, retired from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Don Davis, University of Texas Library School, were also welcomed.

Don Davis reminisced about the early history of SWATLA. Beginning in September, 1987, conversations were being held about forming such a group. A meeting was planned for January 23-24, 1988, at ETSS. At the last minute it was learned that the mailing to invite everyone had been lost. Gene Luna then called all the potential institutions to be sure they knew they were invited and a successful meeting was held. A second meeting held the next year and the group decided to become an official organization. Fourteen years later, we are still functioning.

The minutes of 22 June 2002 were approved as distributed.

New business:

Timothy Lincoln reported on the 2005 ATLA conference scheduled to meet in Austin with the SWATLA libraries serving as hosts. The entire Hilton North Hotel has been booked (100+ rooms) at $109.00 per day. Blocks of rooms at two nearby motels have also been booked with rates of $49.00 and $59.00 per day. As local hosts we are responsible for some of the local arrangements. The only financial commitment is to pay for the opening reception. Timothy said he has made arrangements for a place for the reception that will not cost anything.

Timothy has been appointed to the ATLA Conference Committee. Another SWATLA member will be appointed to the Education Committee.

Rob asked if anyone would volunteer their institution to host next year's SWATLA meeting. The June meeting will be during the ATLA conference in Portland, OR. Lacking an enthusiastic response, Rob will contact possible locations and report to the June meeting.

Possible topics for the fall meeting were invited. The impact of full text periodical databases on the web to print resources was one topic mentioned.

The election of the Vice-President/President-Elect was held. Marvin Hunn was nominated and elected unanimously. Roberta Hamburger will continue as Secretary for another year.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. Tours of the Booher Library, ETSS, and Stitt Library, APTS, were organized.


Roberta Hamburger, Secretary

27 October 2000
Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas

President Duane Harbin, convened the SWATLA business meeting at 2:00 p.m., in Bridwell Library of Perkins School of Theology. It followed a morning workshop on "Planning for New and Renovated Library Spaces" led by Mr. Bill Hidell of Hidell and Assoc., Architects. Thirty-five people attended the workshop. The presentation of the workshop slides will be posted on the Bridwell Library Website. Twenty-four members were present at the business session.

Harbin invited offers for hosting the SWATLA fall meeting in 2001. The International Linguistic Center volunteered to host the meeting.

Roberta Hamburger presented a Deed of Deposit from the Stitt Library Archives to formalize the arrangement for Stitt Library to hold SWATA's archives. The members approved, by consensus, the signing of the document. Hamburger will complete the form and send all the material to the archives.

Valerie Hotchiss presented a proposed SWATLA Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement (attached). This is a program similar to the TEX-SHARE program, but would be limited to SWATLA libraries. It was moved to approve the proposal, seconded, and carried. Members who are willing to participate were asked to send their borrowing regulations to Duane Harbin.

Harbin moved a change in the Constitution and Bylaws to amend section 1. It would extend the terms of office to two years rather than one. (Constitution and Bylaws attached). It was suggested that the date of the change be added to track the evolving nature of the association. The motion was seconded and carried. This change will take effect immediately-extending the term of office for the current officers one more year.

SWATLA currently has a treasury balance of about $200. It is held in Austin and has been managed by the previous Secretary/Treasury, Gene Luna, now retired. Discussion was held about the disposition of the funds. Suggestions proposed included:

  • Give some to Stitt Library for handling the archives
  • Give some to ATLA for the endowment fund
  • Provide a floating fund for up front expenses for the hosting library as they prepare for the fall conference.

A motion was made to disperse the funds by giving 50% to Stitt Library for the archives and 50% to ALTA's endowment fund. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

ATLA has requested proposals for grant funds for continuing education by Nov. 1. This is short notice for SWATLA since we meet in October for the Fall Conference. Suggestions were made including:

  • Licensing of access to on-line information (both for libraries and to provide access to students at home)
  • Consortia agreements for documents
  • Electronic resources for theological research
  • Management of e-resources
  • Net library

International Linguistic Center suggested they could provide a program on bible translations if wanted. This seemed to be the consensus.

Other business:

Westminster Theological Seminary (Steve Vanderhill, librarian) asked how to become a SWATLA member and whether the home institution in Philadelphia was included. The executive board will meet following the business meeting to discuss the issue. The general consensus was favorable to invite Westminster Theological Seminary's branch campus to become a member.

A short discussion of the statistics needed for the SWATLA share card was held. No final decision was made.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned.

Roberta Hamburger, Secretary