Celebrate Springtime with Imagination Library

Published March 22, 2022 / Last Updated March 25, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Inspires a Love of Reading This Spring

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library welcomes the arrival of spring by celebrating major achievements in literacy while encouraging good reading habits with a colorful selection of spring books!

As of March 2022, Dolly’s childhood literacy program has gifted over 178 million books to children across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. As we enter into spring, the Imagination Library continues to inspire more children around the world to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More®!

Celebrating Significant Growth

Thanks to our incredible affiliates and local partners who are dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books to children, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has seen significant growth over the past few months, and the program continues to expand into even more communities around the world.

In Canada, the Imagination Library recently kicked off the province-wide expansion of Dolly’s book gifting program across Newfoundland and Labrador, thanks to an anonymous donor who will cover most of the cost for community partners. And, in the United States, the Imagination Library celebrated National Read Across America Day (March 2) by announcing that the program would be expanding statewide in Washington! Soon, all children under the age of five in the state of Washington will be eligible to receive a free book each month.

On March 17, the Imagination Library was announced as the 2022 Carle Honors Angel honoree by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The Carle Honors celebrate individuals and organizations whose creative vision and long-term dedication have had a profound effect on picture books and the vital role they play in arts appreciation and early literacy. The Angel award, in particular, recognizes those whose generous resources are crucial to making illustrated children’s book art exhibitions, education programs, and related projects a reality. Now in its 16th year, the Carle Honors will be awarded at the Benefit Gala and Art Auction at Guastavino’s in New York City on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

Books for Budding Readers

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading and learning by gifting books, free of charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly and local community partnerships. Spring is a wonderful time of the year to let your child’s reading skills blossom by opening a good book together! Here are a few of the specially-selected, age-appropriate books going out to registered children this spring.

 

2021-When The Storm ComesWhen the Storm Comes

A storm and its sunny aftermath come to life in “When the Storm Comes,” with gorgeous art by Taeeun Yoo and lyrical text by Linda Ashman.

 

 

2021-Not So Great OutdoorsThe Not-So-Great Outdoors

Discover the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature in this playful picture book, “The Not-So-Great Outdoors,” by Madeline Kloepper.

 

 

2022-Where is the Very Hungry CaterpillarWhere is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?

Find out where everyone’s favorite caterpillar is hiding in this lift-the-flap book that lets little readers join in the fun as they search for this beloved character by Eric Carle.

 

 

New to the Imagination Library?

Check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyCelebrate Springtime with Imagination Library

Embrace the Season of Giving With Imagination Library

Published November 5, 2021 / Last Updated January 24, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Inspires a Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library welcomes the holiday season by celebrating major achievements in literacy while cherishing the gift of quality time with family.

As of November 2021, Dolly’s childhood literacy program has gifted over 170 million books to children across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. As we enter into the holidays, the Imagination Library continues to embrace the spirit of the season by gifting more books to more children around the world and inspiring us all to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More!

Gifting More Books to More Children

Dolly’s dream has always been to inspire a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. What started in 1995 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevier County, TN, however, has now grown into an international program. While Dolly and the Dollywood Foundation cover many overhead costs and administration needs, the Imagination Library is made possible through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local communities. So, when the program becomes available to children in new areas, it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating!

Imagination Library Expands Across Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Representative Troy Waymaster and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet recently joined Dolly to announce that the Imagination Library would soon be available to all children under five in Kansas! The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Kansas.

Currently Kansas has 82 programs covering portions of 77 of Kansas’ 105 counties. Once full county participation is achieved, Kansas will join only 12 states and the District of Columbia that have earned this distinction. Continue to check availability as the Imagination Library expands programs across the state!

Kentucky Kicks Off Statewide Expansion

Kentucky families are also celebrating after news that the Imagination Library will soon be available to all children under five in the Bluegrass State! Dolly recently announced the statewide expansion of her Imagination Library program in Kentucky, through funding shared by Dolly, the State of Kentucky and local community partnerships.

The Imagination Library of Kentucky expansion will focus on reaching more children and families to increase registration in existing Imagination Library Programs in the state, while finding community partners to start new Imagination Library programs in Kentucky. Visit imaginationlibrary.com/kentucky to learn more and check availability as the program expands across the state!

 

Cherish The Gift of Quality Family Time

The holidays are special for many reasons, but perhaps most special of all is the quality time spent with family. The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to cozy up with your child and read a good book together! Here are a few of the specially-selected, age-appropriate books going out to registered children this season.

 

The Snowy Day“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

Perhaps nothing is so magical as waking up to wintery blanket of snow, and this book by Ezra Jack Keats captures that magic beautifully!

 

 

Counting On Snow“Counting on Snow” by Maxwell Newhouse

The gorgeous illustrations in this book by folk artist Maxwell Newhouse provide a lovely introduction to numbers and the animals of the northern wilderness.

 

 

Otto the Book Bear in the Snow“Otto the Book Bear in the Snow” by Katie Cleminson

Otto is a bear who lives in a book in the library with his friend, Ernest. Read about their incredible adventure through the snow as they try to get back to the library for the special winter party!

 

Show Your Thanks by Giving

Join in the spirit of the season and share the gift of literacy with families in your community by donating to your local Imagination Library!  A donation as small as $25 covers the cost of providing an Imagination Library book to a child each month for 1 year!

New to the Imagination Library?

Check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyEmbrace the Season of Giving With Imagination Library

Usher in Autumn with Imagination Library

Published September 20, 2021 / Last Updated January 24, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Inspires a Love of Reading This Fall

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library ushers in autumn by celebrating major achievements in literacy while encouraging good reading habits with a colorful selection of fall books!

As of September 2021, Dolly’s childhood literacy program has gifted over 167 million books to children across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. As we enter into fall, the Imagination Library continues to inspire more children around the world to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More!

Celebrating Significant Achievements

On International Literacy Day, September 8, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received one of the highest literacy honors from the Library of Congress for the work it does to instill a love of reading in children. The Library of Congress awarded the Imagination Library with the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize for its work in delivering more than 160 million books to children around the world. According to a release from the Library of Congress,

“Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth…Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”

Another recent achievement of the Imagination Library was its recognition as the 2021 Friend of Education by the National Association of State Boards of Education. This national award is given annually to an individual or organization whose contributions to preK-12 education are significant and enduring. Robert Hull, NASBE president and CEO said,

“The Imagination Library exemplifies what NASBE values: equity and excellence in the education of all children. The Imagination Library has inspired the love of reading in our youngest children, making it possible for children in all circumstances to thrive in school and support lifelong learning.”

Fall in Love With Reading

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading and learning by gifting books, free of charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly and local community partnerships. Fall is a wonderful time of the year to cozy up with your child and read a good book together! Here are a few of the specially-selected, age-appropriate books going out to registered children this fall.

 

You Choose Fairy TalesYou Choose Fairy Tales

Children can choose what’s happening next in this imaginative adventure! “You Choose Fairy Tales” by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt inspires children to use their imagination to make up a story of their own.

 

 

Corduroy Takes a BowCorduroy Takes A Bow

Using her own experiences as a Tony Award-winning Broadway actress, Viola Davis writes the story of Corduroy and Lisa’s first trip to the theatre in “Corduroy Takes a Bow.”

 

 

The Golden GlowThe Golden Glow

Fox embarks on a quest to find a rare and mysterious plant in “The Golden Glow,” a perfect book for nature lovers, written and illustrated by Benjamin Flouw.

 

 

New to the Imagination Library?

Check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyUsher in Autumn with Imagination Library

Library of Congress Honors Imagination Library With Significant Award

Published September 16, 2021 / Last Updated September 29, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library awarded David M. Rubenstein Prize by Library of Congress

The worldwide literacy program that many have called “the little program that could” continues to receive praise and recognition for its role in shaping the future for millions of children around the world. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received one of the highest literacy honors from the Library of Congress on International Literacy Day for the work it does to instill a love of reading in kids.

The Library of Congress awarded the Imagination Library, an initiative of The Dollywood Foundation, with the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize for its work in delivering more than 160 million books to children around the world. The Imagination Library continues to race at an ever-accelerating pace, now providing 1.8 million high-quality, age appropriate books each month to children birth to age five around the world. Dolly herself visited the Library of Congress on February 28, 2018, to enshrine the program’s 100 millionth book, fittingly a copy of “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” which is an adaptation of her iconic song of the same name.

According to a release from the Library of Congress, “Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth…Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”

The David M. Rubenstein Prize

The prize award is named in honor of David M. Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. Rubenstein is a major benefactor of the Library of Congress and is the chairman of the Library’s lead donor group, the James Madison Council. Dollywood Foundation President Jeff Conyers said,

“We are grateful to win what truly is the most prestigious award from the Library of Congress. This award showcases how the dream Dolly had years ago has become one of the world’s largest book gifting programs. She continues to express her pride in what the Imagination Library has become, and she is excited for the growth it is poised to experience moving forward. There is no doubt Dolly treasures being called ‘The Book Lady’ more than just about anything.”

The United Nations General Assembly designates a number of “international days” to mark important aspects of human life and history, including International Literacy Day on September 8. For more information on International Literacy Day, visit en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday.

New to the Imagination Library?

You can check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyLibrary of Congress Honors Imagination Library With Significant Award

National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Published August 8, 2019 / Last Updated August 9, 2019
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly addresses over 4,000 US lawmakers and legislative leaders at the annual conference

Dolly Parton appeared as a keynote speaker at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2019 Legislative Summit, held August 5-8 in Nashville, TN. The annual bipartisan conference aims to provide states “support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill,” and Dolly took the stage to talk about literacy and her Imagination Library program.

During a Q&A segment with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Dolly shared how her father’s inability to read or write inspired her to launch the Imagination Library, which mails one free book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. What started in 1995 as a program in her hometown of Sevier County, TN, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now spans five countries and mails over 1.4 million free books each month to children around the world.

The Imagination Library relies on local partners to secure funding for the program, and in 2004, the state of Tennessee became the first to pass legislation supporting a statewide rollout of the program. During their on-stage discussion, Gov. Lee emphasized the scientifically-proven benefits of reading to your child, while Dolly encouraged all of the legislative leaders in attendance to adopt the Imagination Library as a statewide program so that “all children in our country will have access to books.”

 “We’d like all the states to go statewide with it,” she said. “It’s not just for poor kids, but for all kids, for every child who signs up.”

Representing the Tennessee General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker-select Cameron Sexton appeared on stage to present Dolly with a $25,000 check for her Dollywood Foundation, which funds the Imagination Library.

Dolly concluded her appearance with a touching performance of “Coat of Many Colors” and brought the entire audience to their feet with an inspiring rendition of “Try,” a song she wrote to celebrate her Imagination Library. Dolly left all of the conference attendees with a message of inspiration, encouraging them all to follow their dreams, to respect and love all of God’s children and to take any opportunity to work together.

Pictured Above: Dolly Parton, Toi Hutchinson (Illinois, Legislator)

Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen

Michelle Vos, Dolly Parton, Robin Vos (Wisconsin, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Scott Saiki (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Curtis Bramble (Utah, Legislator)
Tomee Heining, Dolly Parton, Jon Heining (Texas, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Martha Wigton (Georgia, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Chuck Truesdell (Kentucky, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Jim Hendren (Arkansas, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Matthew J. Shepherd (Arkansas, Legislator)
Matthew Moonen (Maine, Legislator), Dolly Parton, Jeremy Kennedy
Dolly Parton, Matt Huffman (Ohio, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ronald Kouchi (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Nicole Jefferson (Amazon)
Dolly Parton, Mike Bell (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Bill Powers (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ken Yager (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Art Swann (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Jeff Yarbro (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Dolores Gresham (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, William Lamberth (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Bo Watson (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
Dolly Parton, Patsy Hazlewood (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mary Littleton (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mike Carter (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Jack Johnson (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Lowell Russel (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Scott W. Gilmer (Tennessee, Legislative Staff)
Cameron Sexton (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
 
 
 
 
 
David Dotson (CEO, Dollywood Foundation), Dolly Parton, Nora Briggs (Executive Director, North America, Dollywood Foundation), Jeff Conyers (President, Dollywood Foundation)

 

Team DollyNational Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit