Submission Guidelines for the LITA / Ex Libris Student Writing Award

Formerly the LITA/Endeavor Student Writing Award, 2001-2006

The LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award is awarded for the best unpublished manuscript on a topic in the area of libraries and information technology written by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies graduate program. The purpose of this award is to recognize superior student writing and to enhance the professional development of students through publication of the winning manuscript in LITA's primary journal, Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL).

The winning manuscript will be published in an issue of ITAL. In addition, the award recipient will receive $1,000 (divided among joint authors) and a certificate. If present at ALA Annual Conference, the student(s) will be invited to attend a meeting of the LITA Board of Directors and/or LITA committees and will be recognized at the LITA President's Program.


At the time the manuscript is submitted, the applicant(s) must be currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited program of library and information studies at the Masters or Ph.D. level.

Manuscript Topic

The manuscript can be written on any aspect of libraries and information technology, including for example, digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, telecommunications, distributed systems and networks, computer security and intellectual property rights, technical standards, geographic information systems, desktop applications, online catalogs and bibliographic systems, optical information systems, software engineering, universal access to technology, futuristic forecasting, library consortia, vendor relations, and technology and the arts.

Criteria for Selection

Manuscripts will be selected based on the following criteria: relevance to libraries and information technology, timeliness, originality of ideas, persuasiveness of arguments, quality of writing, clarity of presentation, and contribution to the continuing education of the LITA membership. Manuscripts may be applicable to a variety of library settings, including public, academic, special libraries, and library and information studies programs.

Manuscript Length

3,000 to 5,000 words. An abstract of 100 words or less should accompany the manuscript on a separate sheet.

Guidelines for Submission

Submissions must include a completed  application form [pdf form] signed by the Dean or Director of the ALA-accredited program of library and information studies in which the applicant is enrolled.

  1. Submit original, unpublished manuscripts only. Do not submit a manuscript being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the information in the manuscript, including references, statistics and URLs.
  2. Manuscripts should be authored solely by the student applicant(s). No manuscripts jointly authored with faculty or non-students are eligible.
  3. Manuscripts should be double-spaced. Author name, title, and affiliation should appear on a separate cover page only. This information should not be repeated in the text of manuscript, or in the abstract. Pages should be numbered. An abstract of 100 words or less should be provided on a separate page.
  4. Follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition for capitalization, punctuation, quotations, tables, captions, and elements of bibliographic style, including references. Spelling will follow Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition.
  5. Information on submission of electronic copy, tables and illustrations, copyright forms, and other aspects of a final copy will be provided when a manuscript has been accepted for publication.

Submission and Deadline

The deadline for application is February 28 of each year.

Submit completed application form(s) [pdf form] (electronically or mail) and submit the manuscript (electronically only) to the current committe chair.

Selection Committee

Appointed by the LITA President-elect, members include the Editor of ITAL, a member of the LITA Education Committee, and two additional LITA members.  See the current committee members

Notification and Presentation of Award

The successful applicant(s) will be notified in April. The award will be presented at the LITA President's Program at the ALA Annual Conference if the winner is present. If no suitable manuscripts are received, no award will be made.