Quest Award Criteria and Guidelines


The Quest Award recognizes a new member who embodies the essence of the ALA Code of Ethics. This individual demonstrates conviction, dedication and relentless pursuit of personal and professional excel­lence through their engagement, advancement and influence in early interactions with the Association of Legal Administrators. Examples of this impact may include volunteering to support an initiative, activity or event-related program or project at the ALA chapter or international level; joining a committee or task force; serving as a chapter officer; recruiting new members; or, introducing innovative new ideas to elevate ALA at the chapter and/or international levels.

Eligible Candidates

To be considered for the Quest Award, a candidate must:

  • Be an ALA Regular Member in good standing.
  • Be a first-time member of ALA (not someone who has rejoined).
  • Be a primary member of the nominating chapter.
  • Have been a member for more than one, but less than three years. We use the calendar year for measuring this element, so a 2016-2017 ALA join date [not a chapter join date] is required.
  • Abide by the ALA Code of Ethics.

Entry Guidelines

  • Nominations are accepted from chapters only.
  • ALA provides a list of eligible members to the chapter by email before November 1, 2018.
  • Chapters may nominate one eligible member who best exemplifies Quest Award criteria.   
  • The entry will consist of the essay and a cover page in Word format and a high-resolution photographic headshot.
  • The entry will be submitted by December 10, 2018, in accordance with all submission instructions (please note that the submission process is different this year).
  • Only one candidate will receive the award; there will be no runners-up or honorable mentions.
  • Neither the award recipient nor the nominating chapter will be informed in advance of the entry's selection status prior to bestowing the Quest Award during the Annual Conference. 

Format and Deadline

The cover page, essay and photograph will be uploaded to the Quest Award entry form no later than December 10, 2018

1. The Essay. Describe why your nominee exemplifies the criteria. The judging panel only knows what you tell them, so a thorough essay is in your candidate’s best interests. You do not, however, need to address regional or national engagement in your narrative; ALA staff will provide that information to the judging panel.

In 1,000 words or less, please describe the:

  • traits demonstrated in your candidate’s successful quest in accordance with the criteria
  • local events or projects your candidate has participated in since he or she joined
  • how your candidate exemplifies the ALA Code of Ethics

The essay itself should “make the case” for your nominee. Do not provide or attach any additional documentation regarding your nominee’s participation in various activities.

2. The Cover Page. Include a cover as the first page of the entry (not counted toward 1,000-word limit) with the following identifying information:

  • Essay title: Quest Award Nomination for _____________ (nominee’s name).
  • The phonetic (e.g., fə-ˈne-tik) spelling of the nominee’s name so volunteer leaders can correctly pronounce the finalists’ names at the awards presentation
  • Chapter name
  • Name and email address of the chapter’s president
  • Name and email address of the essay’s author (if different from chapter president)

3. The Photograph. Your submission requires a high-resolution photo of your nominee. Images should be at least 600 pixels W x 600 pixels H at a minimum of 300 dpi. (To determine image size, right click on the image file select properties and view the details tab.) This image should be a separate file and not embedded as an image in the Word document.


  • The judging panel, which includes former Quest Award recipients, evaluates the new member's involve­ment through the essay entry.
  • The judg­ing panel will also use the ALA Code of Ethics to evaluate contest entries.

Nominee Notification

Once essays have been forwarded to the judging panel, following the deadline for submission, each nominee will receive an acknowl­edgement mail from ALA indicating that he or she is a finalist in the Quest Award competition.


  • The single recipient of the Quest Award will be recognized and receive the award during the ALA Annual Conference.
  • The recipient's name will be posted on the ALA website following receipt of the award and retained on a historic list of recipients.
  • Nominees’ attendance at Annual Conference is strongly encouraged but not required.


  • All submissions are final; no additions or changes are permitted to the entry after receipt by ALA Headquarters.
  • Essay text exceeding the 1,000-word count will be deleted by ALA staff before the entries are given to the judges for review.
  • All entries become property of ALA.


Please direct questions regarding the Quest Award to