In 1995, Dolly launched her Imagination Library in Sevier County, TN, where she was born and raised. Inspired by her own father’s inability to read or write, she determined that there had to be a way to help children fall in love with books. The program sent free books to children from birth to age five and helped inspire a love of reading in the lives of the children in the mountains of her youth.
Great ideas and unselfish dreams always have wings to fly, and such is the case with Dolly’s Imagination Library. It spread from one county to the entire state of Tennessee. The excitement and results of the program kept growing until it spread all over the United States. From there, it expanded to Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Republic of Ireland.
Generations of young children and adults affectionately call Dolly ‘The Book Lady,’ a title Dolly warmly embraces and one that gave her father great pride.
“My daddy just loved it when all the little kids would call me ‘The Book Lady.’ That meant more to him than the fact that I had become a star and worked my butt off.”
With over 200 million free, age-appropriate books mailed to date, Dolly’s Imagination Library is just getting started, and there seems to be no slowing down in sight!
The Dollywood Foundation
111 E Main St, 2nd Floor
Sevierville, TN 37862