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South Carolina State Documents Depository: Notable State Documents Awards Program

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Criteria for Notable State Documents Awards

Publications will be judged on a point basis according to the following criteria:

1. Extent of lasting reference and informational value.
2.  Extent to which the publication appeals to a broad audience and is written in a lucid style.
3. Extent to which the publication helps to enhance quality of life or provides information that assists in making informed decisions. 
4.  Extent to which the publication contributes to an understanding of government processes, provides significant government information, or reflects the mission the agency.
5. Extent to which the publication displays an innovative presentation or a creative approach. Consideration is given to features such as typography, design, quality of illustrations, use of maps, graphs, color, ease of use, and the extent to which the publication is generally pleasant to look through.
6. Extent to which the title reflects actual contents and achieves its purpose by doing what it says it will do.

Submission Guidelines

Please follow these guidelines when submitting your nomination:

The publication was produced by the State, a state agency or department, state-supported college or university, or by a firm which produced the publication under contract with or supervision of a state agency.

The publication was produced within the calendar year for which nominations are being accepted. However, a publication produced in a previous calendar year, but not received by the State Library until the current year may also be submitted for nomination.

The publication, in either physical or electronic format, has been provided to the SC State Library for addition to the SC State Documents Depository.

Please note, submissions may also be sent to our state publications email address:

About the Award


The Notable State Documents Awards Program began in 1991 to recognize exemplary state publications. In honor of Freedom of Information Day, awards are presented each March in a ceremony at the State Library. The awards recognize notable state agency publications that were released in the previous calendar year. State agency publications received by the State Library qualify to be nominated. Nominations may be submitted by depository librarians, State Library staff, or state agency employees. Agency websites and apps also qualify as nominees.

All nominations are reviewed by librarians at the State Library, and approximately 25 documents are selected as final candidates. Lbrarians familiar with depository collections and/or state agency representatives are invited to serve as judges. Our judges review the candidates and select the final winners on the basis of criteria such as the document's appeal to a large audience, or its ability to provide significant information to the public.

The archive for previous winners is available in our digital State Documents Depository.

See photos of previous awards ceremonies on the South Carolina State Library Flickr. Posted on YouTube are virtual awards ceremonies for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Nominations for the 2023 awards are now closed. Enter your nominations for the 2024 Notable State Documents Awards or click on the Award Logo on the left.

Nominations for publications produced during 2024 will be accepted through December 31, 2024.

2023 Notable State Documents

      Monographs (physical or born digital)

  • Addressing Social Isolation in Older Adults as a Determinant of Health I South Carolina Department on Aging, South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health.
    While social isolation finds its way to all ages, this focus centers on the impact it has on older adults in our state. In this report, readers learn about the effect social isolation has on the physical and mental health of older adults. The recommendations in the report are noted as the top areas of concern, and include suggested ways to reduce problems associated with social isolation in our most vulnerable population.
  • Unbeleafable! A Kid-Friendly, Self-Led Guide to Identifying Trees in Harbison State Forest I South Carolina Forestry Commission.
    The South Carolina Forestry Commission children's tree identification guide is designed for families to use while visiting Harbison State Forest to learn more about the basics of tree identification. The guide includes leaf characteristics, types of fruit/flowers, bark characteristics, the difference between hardwoods and softwoods, common tree species found on Harbison, and fun facts from Serrated Sam, the leaf character found on the cover. The guide is intended to be completed alongside an adult with access to a smartphone and directs families to go on a fun tree ID activity to try to identify 10 different tree species.
  • South Carolina Strategic Statewide Resilience and Risk Reduction Plan*  I South Carolina Office of Resilience. 
    The South Carolina Office of Resilience is responsible for developing and implementing a Strategic Statewide Resilience and Risk Reduction Plan (Resilience Plan). This Resilience Plan is intended to serve as a framework to guide state investment in flood mitigation projects and the adoption of programs and policies to protect the people and property of South Carolina from the damage and destruction of extreme weather events. The Plan identifies major flood risks around the state and potential losses that could occur as a result of extreme weather events, and provides guidance on ways communities can better anticipate, absorb, recover and thrive when presented with environmental change and natural hazards.
    *Note: This publication must be downloaded to open. Click on the PDF file on the Documents Depository page to download.
  • Florence-Darlington Technical College Early College Academy Career Pathways  I Florence-Darlington Technical College.
    This informational booklet describes FDTC’s Early College Academy (ECA) program, an innovative way for high school students to earn both a high school diploma and complete an associate degree in the time it takes to attend high school.  Completing the program allows students quicker entrance into the workforce or entry into a 4-year college with junior status. FDTC's ECA program requires maturity and dedication, and is academically rigorous, but makes it possible for students to eliminate two college years and accumulated debt.
  • Come Back to the Land: An Exploration of James and Johns Islands African American Settlement Communities Guide I South Carolina  Department of Transportation, New South Associates.
    This publication comprises a research study, completed by New South Associates (NSA), of multiple African American Settlement Communities on both James and Johns Islands in Charleston County, South Carolina for the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) Mark Clark Expressway Expansion Project. This investigation sought to compile and create a “cultural atlas” of the identified communities that the respective communities can use for future cultural heritage preservation. 
    Oral history interviews were gathered from May through June of 2022. This report brings collected narratives and archival information together with historic images and maps to present a historic context for James and Johns islands. Specific examinations of each settlement community for which information was gathered follow that broader historic context. The report also includes an atlas, both visual and narrative, of identified sites and areas across both islands that are associated with the various settlement communities, as well as a bibliography.


  • Grown in SC* | South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
    Grown in SC is an annual publication by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Complete with striking graphics and photography, it is produced to promote and highlight agriculture and agribusiness in South Carolina. This year's issue features "Ag Facts," articles on the beekeeping experience, a quail habitat program, flower farming, sweet potato recipes, and much more. 
    *Note: This publication must be downloaded to open. Click on the PDF file on the Documents Depository page to download.
  • Coastal Heritage | Sea Grant Consortium. 
    Established in 1978, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium was created to manage and administer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant College Program for the South Carolina and adjacent regions that share a common heritage. The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium publishes Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication that covers environmental policy, science, history, and culture.
    This issue, from Fall, 2023, features an extensive article on Carolina bays, which are shallow, elliptical depressions found in the unconsolidated sediments throughout the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Some believe they were created by a shower of meteorites. Also included are regular features exploring Consortium related news and happenings around the state.
  • 2022 Annual Report | South Carolina Department of Children’s Advocacy.
    The South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy (DCA) completely redesigned its FY22 annual report to more clearly communicate our program operations and overarching legislative duties, as well as to note the achievements and benchmarks we hit during the fiscal year and what we set out to achieve in FY23.
    The DCA began operation on July 1, 2019, and is an independent state agency that examines the care and services that other state agencies provide children. The agency recommends ways to improve the quality of those services through the development and promotion of a broad vision for statewide reform. 
  • Statistical Profile FY 2021-2022 | South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs.
    This profile contains information on the fiscal year 2021-2022 demographic shifts in the 21st century, economic and employment trends, educational attainment and occupational selection, housing and homeownership, poverty, public assistance, and health insurance coverage, linguistic diversity, ethnic identities, and citizenship in SC's minority communities, and conclusions and suggestions. The purpose is to help ascertain certain areas where South Carolina's minority populations have consistently experienced socio-economic deprivations, particularly in educational attainment and homeownership.

  • South Carolina State Museum Website: I South Carolina State Museum.
    The State Museum's website, rebuilt from the ground up this year with a focus on accessibility, showcases how guests can explore South Carolina's rich history in-person and online. This new website also features a digital collection database, launched this fall, which allows educators, students, researchers and others to explore the museum's collection digitally for the first time in its 35-year history. This new feature allows the museum to share more of the over 1.1 million artifacts, artwork, fossils and specimens in its care as only a small portion of their collection is on display in its galleries. Additionally, this robust website offers more opportunities to explore the state (and museum's) history through podcasts, deeper dive articles and more.
  • South Carolina Arts Commission Website: I South Carolina Arts Commission.

    On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation that established the South Carolina Arts Commission. For more than 50 years, the agency has worked to build a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians.
    The newly redesigned website features the results of a nearly 18-month process to better represent the work of the Arts Commission and the people it serves. The Commission wanted a look that showed boldness, demanded attention, and was fresh and original. This new brand hints at a vibrant, dynamic team. Special highlights of the site are Arts Daily, which directs users to art events around SC; The Hub, reporting on news happening around the state related to the arts; and a grants directory for artists, organizations, and schools.

  • South Carolina Secretary of State Website: I South Carolina Secretary of State.

    The Office of the Secretary of State is mandated to serve as the state filing office for business corporations, nonprofit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies. In addition to business filings, the Secretary of State’s Office examines and files state trademarks, maintains the state notary public database, and issues commissions for elected officials and those appointed by the Governor.
    The goal of the Secretary of State's website is to provide the public with easy access to information and services from the convenience of home or office. This website is designed to serve as a one-stop portal for accessing general information, completing important tasks online, and providing information specifically related to each division. Whether one is a new user who is visiting to learn more about this office and what is done there or a returning visitor who simply needs to complete a filing online, the public is invited to take advantage of this convenient resource.

2022 Notable State Documents

 Monographs (physical or born digital)

  • Agritourism 101 I South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
    Agritourism is growing in South Carolina as farmers find that it is a viable option to bring additional income to family farms. This manual describes agritourism, agritourism on the farm, business planning, marketing, farm safety, and legal considerations. Customer service, community relations, and expansion guidance is included, along with additional resources. 
  • Are You Storm Ready?: A Guide to Being Prepared for Storm Damage I South Carolina Department of Insurance.
    It’s likely you’ll face storm threats from tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, tropical storms and/or snow storms at some point during the year. That’s why being storm ready is a year-round state. Steps you take to mitigate damage, create a catastrophe savings account or build an emergency kit can benefit you and your family in many ways and protect you from physical and financial hardships in the event of any disaster. You can take steps today to Plan, Prepare & Protect yourself and your home. The South Carolina Department of Insurance hopes this booklet will provide you with the information you need to be storm ready, and with tools to help you recover after a storm strikes.
  • For Our Future : South Carolina's Birth Through Five Plan 2022-2027 I South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council.
    South Carolina’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) is a collaborative body representing the state’s early childhood system. Established in law, the ECAC includes the directors of eight state agencies and government entities that provide state and federally-funded services to young children. South Carolina First Steps coordinates the activities of the council. This strategic plan is a five-year roadmap for optimizing South Carolina's early childhood system and moving toward a shared vision of success for every child, from birth through age five.
  • South Carolina Waste Tire Management at a Crossroads: A Special Report  I South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling. 
    This report is designed to provide information to assist stakeholders in addressing the challenges of costs associated with collecting waste tires and limited markets for waste tires. It includes tire recovery data with cost and funding information as well as a checklist of possible actions for stakeholders to consider.
  • Discover South Carolina: 2022 Vacation Guide I South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
    This guidebook describes all aspects of tourism in South Carolina including lodging, food and drink, outdoor activities and "hidden gem" adventures. Details are displayed for ten different regions around the state. Welcome Center locations are also included.


  • The Gold Star Journal, 2022 Edition | The Citadel, The Military College of SC.
    The Gold Star Journal showcases the excellence of every academic department at The Citadel through the publication of cross-disciplinary, nonfiction papers. It encourages creativity and ingenuity through the publication of photographs and photo stories. This edition's featured papers are: China’s Shadow War; Properties of a Sequence Derived from Another Sequence; Whistle Blowers: Heroes or Traitors; Carbon Nanotube Types and Application: An Examination and Analysis of Sensor Technology as it Relates to Autonomous Vehicle Design; Dangerous Technology: Modern Threats Posed by China and Russia; The Opioid Crisis and its Connection to Dentistry; Understanding the Impact of Quantum Technology on Modern Cryptography. The featured photographs are: The Flag Bearer; Lunar Winter; Boat in a Bottle; Blue Ridge Bridge; The Perspective; Steeple Chaser. 
  • FY 2021 Annual Report | South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority. (Note: This PDF must be downloaded from the Documents Depository page to open.)
    The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority gives its annual report that includes a summary of statistics, performance measures, strategic plan, and report of programs of the Authority.
  • South Carolina Conservation Districts 2021 Annual Report | South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Conservation Districts.
    The South Carolina Conservation Districts 2021 Annual Report is a comprehensive set of accomplishments by South Carolina’s 46 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Districts), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources – Conservation Districts (SCDNR-CD), and the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts (SCACD). This report highlights conservation implementation, economic impact, education, outreach, and dedicated service to the citizens and natural resources of South Carolina. 
  • Manufacturing Incentives | South Carolina Department of Commerce.
    South Carolina’s performance-based tax incentives reward companies for job creation and investment. This booklet describes incentives available to qualified manufacturing companies. The booklet is provided to illustrate South Carolina’s pro-business environment and to assist a company in its evaluation of South Carolina taxes and incentives.


  • South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Website: I South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.
    Established in 1974, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is the state consumer protection agency. The Department helps to formulate and modify consumer laws, policies and regulations; regulates the consumer credit marketplace; resolves complaints arising out of the production, promotion or sale of consumer goods or services in South Carolina, and promotes a healthy competitive business climate. A special highlight of the site is access to the weekly Wednesday Webinar series on a variety of topics related to ID theft, and scams and financial literacy. 
  • I South Carolina Educational Television. features over 9,000 mobile-friendly videos, worksheets, and interactives for preK-12. It also includes teacher lesson plans that meet SC education standards, along with topic-based content for one-to-one teaching and learning in classrooms. It is funded by the S.C. General Assembly through the K-12 Technology Initiative.
  • South Carolina Election Commission Website: I South Carolina Election Commission.
    Every Vote Matters. Every Vote Counts. The mission of the State Election Commission is to ensure every eligible citizen has the opportunity to register to vote and participate in fair and impartial elections with the assurance that every vote will count! The South Carolina State Election Commission helps uphold democracy by ensuring the election process is fair, impartial, and easily accessible for everyone in our state.

2021 Notable State Documents

Monographs (physical or born digital)

  • South Carolina Strategic Highway Safety Plan Target Zero I South Carolina  Department of Public Safety. South Carolina Department of Transportation. 
    The purpose of the 2020–2024 SHSP is to lay out a strategic approach to further the state’s goal of eliminating fatalities and reducing serious injuries on South Carolina roadways. The plan provides a comprehensive and coordinated framework for safety partners to unite around in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads in South Carolina.
  • Final Report on the Resiliency of South Carolina’s Electric and Natural Gas Infrastructure Against Extreme Winter Storm Events I Office of Regulatory Staff.
    Governor Henry McMaster requested the ORS undertake a comprehensive review of South Carolina’s public and private power grid to evaluate its ability to withstand potential ice storms and other dangerous winter weather. The resulting final report indicates that, given the information provided by 65 participating utility providers, South Carolina’s energy system and utility providers are adequately prepared to prevent and respond to outages caused by ice storms and other winter weather events.
  • Business Transfer Guide: Senior Generation I Clemson University, Cooperative Extension Service. 
    Often, farm transfer decisions can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. This workbook takes you through the farm transfer process step-by-step at your own pace. The steps in this workbook are a guide, and you may use them in a different order if you wish.
  • Eating Healthy in a SNAP Recipe Book  I South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, SNAP-Education Team. 
    Eating Healthy in a SNAP is a recipe book designed by your South Carolina DHEC SNAP-Education Team. These dishes are easy, healthy, budget-friendly, and will keep that tasty Southern flare that we all enjoy! All the It’s Your Health Take Charge participants will explore some of these recipes in our classes. Each recipe follows recommendations for improving your plate: increasing fiber and limiting added sugars, salt, and saturated fat intake. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard!
  • Pinnacle Mountain Fire: A Five-Year Retrospective of the Largest Wildfire in Upstate History I South Carolina Forestry Commission.
    This describes the Pinnacle Mountain wildfire of 2015, its origin and the 26 day effort to contain it. The retrospective marks the fifth anniversary of the longest, largest and costliest fire in Upstate history. Photography from the front lines, maps and graphics detailing the movement of the fire and the personnel mobilized to fight it, and informative sidebars explaining key concepts of wildland firefighting, fire prevention and incident management coordination round out this retelling of the fire. The publication also documents the strategies and efforts of hundreds of firefighters from across the country.


  • South Carolina Wildlife | South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 
    The South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, published by the Department of Natural Resources, is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of our state’s wildlife and natural resources, and to the education of our people to the value of these resources. It includes conservation success stories, heartwarming reflections, humorous tales, intriguing field notes, hunting and fishing instruction and guidance, firearm safety skills, delectable recipes, and awe-inspiring outdoor adventures.
  • 2020-2021 Annual Report | South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.
    Each year the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority publishes a report with summary of agency-related legislation passed, descriptions of grants, application processes, and yearly statistics.
  • Agritourism Passport | South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
    The Agritourism Passport provides an exciting way to experience participating farms across South Carolina. This program highlights a variety of farm opportunities in each region, including crop mazes, u-picks, hayrides, wineries, and petting zoos. Users may visit the farms to gain passport stamps which lead to prizes that can be won at the close of the passport year.
  • Annual State Debt Report: An Overview and Summary of South Carolina Debt Outstanding, Limitations, Constraints and Capacity as of June 30, 2020 | South Carolina Office of the State Treasurer.
    The South Carolina Office of the State Treasurer publishes an annual report to provide an overview and summary of South Carolina’s debt profile, constraints, and limitations. This revamped edition, which includes a State Debt Snapshot infographic and a Legal Margin Summary Document depicting the debt classes and category limitations, reflects the Office's ongoing efforts to furnish government officials, taxpayers and investors with a transparent view of the State's long-term financial obligations.


  • South Carolina Hurricane Guide Website I SC Emergency Management Division.
    South Carolina residents have a new, state-of-the-art tool to help them be better prepared for hurricanes. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division launched, an interactive website designed to guide people through the fundamentals of being prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms. Designed to be a quick, adaptive and flexible online reference, is accessible on a desktop computer, a smartphone or a tablet. “People in potentially vulnerable areas will be able to use this new site along with our other resources to update their emergency plans, know what evacuation zone they’re in and make informed decisions about their personal safety,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said. “ is another tool in the toolbox for people to use when becoming their own emergency managers and being personally prepared for hurricanes.”
  • South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office Website I South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office.
    In 2014, the South Carolina General Assembly established the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office (RFA) as part of restructuring the Budget and Control Board. RFA is responsible for providing diverse sets of fiscal and statistical analyses, reports, and other services to the Governor, General Assembly, state and local government entities, the private sector, and the citizens of the state. The agency has a staff of approximately seventy-five comprised of analysts, statisticians, epidemiologists, database administrators, web developers, GIS analysts, economists, surveyors, and project and program managers.
  • South Carolina Forestry Commission Website I South Carolina Forestry Commission.
    This new web presence is the product of a complete makeover. Everything from the design and the content to the responsiveness and functionality are significant improvements over the site the agency had for more than 20 years. The website is engineered to present the best possible viewing experience for users, regardless of the device, be it a phone, tablet or desktop computer. The development keyed in on the main functions of the agency. Users will immediately notice a slimmed-down main menu corralling all previously available information into five primary solos. All of the changes amount to a very user-friendly experience.