Earlier this week I was telling someone about the Imagination Library and was surprised to see it has not already been a Feel Good Friday post. Time to find out more about it.
Founded in 1995 by the singer/actress/icon Dolly Parton, the Imagination Library is “a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.” Dolly’s vision is “to create a lifelong love of reading, prepare children for school and inspire them to dream.” Watch this short video and Dolly will tell you all about it.
When the program first started, books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. After expanding across the United States, the program launched in Canada (2006), United Kingdom (2007), Australia (2013), and the Republic of Ireland (2019). It is now one of the largest children’s literacy programs in the world. Use this link to check for availability in your community.
How many books are we talking about? In 2020 the Imagination Library gifted 19,326,219 million books for a total of 150,606,052 million books gifted since the program started! You can go to the 2020 year in review page for more details on book distribution by country.
In addition to the monthly books that are mailed out, the website has resources for parents. They include short videos that describe activities to do when reading specific books and more general reading tips based on the age of your child.
If you want more information about this program and its founder, check out the documentary film, The Library That Dolly Built. And if you like what you see, help spread the word on social media. Like their Facebook pageand follow them on Twitter @dollyslibrary and Instagram @imaginationlibrary.