Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is celebrating 20 years and over 66 million free books mailed
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Dolly’s Imagination Library. As part of the celebration, Dolly announced plans to bring back Dollywood’s “Showcase of Stars” concert series with all proceeds benefiting the book gifting program with a goal to raise $1 million!
Dolly will kick off the concert series with four shows on August 8 and 9 in an all-new acoustic production, “Pure and Simple.” She has called on her best friend and longtime duet partner, Kenny Rogers, to close out the series. More amazing artists will be announced throughout the summer.
Robert Lee Parton, Dolly’s father, inspired her to start the program. In 2014, Dolly talked about her Imagination Library with Southern Living magazine. She commented on her father’s influence and pride in the program. She said,
“And my dad was very proud of me. He got to live long enough to see the Imagination Library do well, so he felt like he had done something good too—that he was the inspiration for it.”
Now known to millions of kids as “The Book Lady,” Dolly continues to dream big dreams and as she says equip them with “wings.”
Imagination Library Milestones
The program launched in 1995 in Dolly’s home country. In 2000, it gained more momentum and supporters began replicating it in other areas. In 2003, the program had mailed 1 million books to children in the United States. By 2004, a statewide partnership was established in Tennessee and that was just the beginning of Dolly’s dreams.
In 2006, the program launched in Canada and in the United Kingdom the following year. By 2010, Imagination Library had mailed 25 million books internationally. Audio and Braille books were added in 2011 and in 2013, the program went Down Under when it launched in Australia. The year 2013 marked another important milestone when the organization mailed over 50 million books.
Today the program continues to forge new partnerships and reach even more children around the world with one message, Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More!