Notable Documents Awards


Nominations are Closed for the 2022 LRL Notable Document Awards!

Each year the Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) staff section sponsors the competition for outstanding state and legislative documents.

Any state or legislative document published in the last two years is eligible. Submissions are generally made through each state’s legislative librarian but can be made by other interested persons.

Deadline for 2022 submissions has past. Please check back in Spring 2023.


The Notable Documents Awards are presented annually by the Legislative Research Librarians at the NCSL Legislative Summit. Recipients will be honored at the Salute to Legislative Staff session at the 2022 NCSL Legislative Summit and the annual LRL Business Meeting.

The purposes of the award are to:

  • Formally recognize excellence in documents or publication that explore topics of interest to legislators and legislative staff and present substantive material in an outstanding format.
  • Advertise the extensive range of information available to legislators and staff.
  • Increase participation by legislative research librarians in the states information network.

The winning documents will be highlighted at the NCSL Legislative Summit and will be announced in the LRL Newsline and the NCSL website. Elizabeth Lincoln, director of the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, is serving as the chair of the 2022 Notable Documents Awards Committee.

Submissions are considered based on the criteria listed below. The document:

  • Clearly and prominently displays title, author, publisher, and date.
  • Contains a title that reflects actual content.
  • Appears relevant to identifiable readership.
  • Significantly contributes to knowledge of concern to legislators.
  • Is innovative in presentation of material.
  • Contains strong bibliographic/footnote entries.
  • Presents information accurately and clearly in an organized fashion.
  • Offers graphics that are readily grasped.
  • Was published within the last two years.
  • Compares state activities in an area of contemporary legislative interest in a comprehensible manner.
  • Expands understanding of government processes, functions, or relationships.
  • Attempts to provide balance and perspective from various sides in the political spectrum.

Using a scorecard, committee members evaluate each document on specific criteria, including relevance, organization, clarity, effective use of graphics, innovation, balance, and expansion of the base of knowledge on a particular subject.

Winners are selected from the highest rated documents. Certificates and bragging rights are awarded to authors of the winning documents during the NCSL Legislative Summit.

For more information about the LRL Notable Documents Awards, please contact Megan McClure, NCSL staff liaison to LRL.

There is no limit to the number of documents that can be nominated. For purposes of this award, a document is defined as one produced by a federal, state, or local government or legislative agency, by a foundation, or quasi-public or private sector nonprofit organization. Formats may include print, web, CD-ROM, or periodical/serial.