Health libraries have collaborated from the earliest days of inception.
A state based coalition of Medical Librarians Groups (MLG) was active from the 1970s, holding biennial conferences that rotated from state to state from 1975 until 1983.
In June 1981, a Medical Librarians Section (MLS) of the then named Library Association of Australia (LAA) was formed. MLG and MLS continued to hold joint biennial meetings until 1985. By 1987 all states had agreed to join with the MLS structure and MLGs were disbanded. In 1988, the Section changed its name to the Health Libraries Section to reflect the broadest possible coverage for librarians practicing across the Health spectrum.
Along the way, the LAA became ALIA and it was decided to restructure the sectional groupings within ALIA. In 2001, a proposal was put to the ALIA Board of Directors to form a Health Libraries Australia national group and thus the Group was formed.