Get Free Books From Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Donates 100 Millionth Book To Library Of Congress

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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program mails children a free book each month from birth until they are 5 years old. These high-quality books are chosen by experts in publishing and education, and are based on the child's age.

The mission of this book club, founded in 1995, is to foster a love of learning in children, making the experience of reading fun and meaningful. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is available in over 2,000 communities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Since the program's inception, more than 163 million children's books have been distributed to young readers in participating countries.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Books

The free, brand-new books available from Dolly Parton's program are a mixture of classic and contemporary fiction and non–fiction for children. Children get a book appropriate for their age on subjects like rhyming, nursery rhymes, letters, safety, diversity, and school preparation.

The books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library strive to showcase diversity, help build self-confidence, and show the importance of the arts and its impact on the world. Audio and braille books are also available. See the concepts and themes for each age group for more details.

The first title that children receive is always The Little Engine That Could, and the last title is always Kindergarten, Here I Come! Other titles have included: 

  • The Bug Book
  • Peace Is an Offering
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Pretend
  • The First Strawberries
  • Violet the Pilot
  • Jake at Gymnastics
  • Plenty of Love to Go Around
  • Last Stop on Market Street

A portion of the books change each year to make room for newly published titles. Your child will get at least 60 different books if you sign them up at birth. That's a lot of reading!

Sign Up For Free Books

To see if Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is available in your area, visit the availability page, choose your country, and enter your zip code. Currently, there are participating communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

If the program is available for you, go through the steps of registering your child (submitting your mailing dress and information about your child). If online registration isn't available, or you prefer not to register online, contact your local affiliate to sign your child up.

There are no income limits or other qualifications to participate in the Imagination Library. As long as your area has an affiliate, your child can enroll in the program.

Once You've Registered

Every month, your child will receive a new book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The books will be addressed to them, so they can look forward to getting their own package in the mail.

Be sure that you have entered your correct mailing address and email so that program staff can contact you if necessary. You can make the most of the your books by checking out the parent resources, which include reading tips, printable worksheets, and extra stories.

Other sources of free books include:

What Inspired Dolly Parton’s Book Program

Country music star Dolly Parton credits her father with inspiring her to start the Imagination Library. Because he never had the opportunity to go to school as a child, Dolly's dad couldn't read or write. Nevertheless, he worked hard to provide for his wife and their twelve children in the mountains of East Tennessee.

Seeing her father struggle as a result of not being able to read, Dolly decided to create a fun and accessible way for children to learn this skill so that, even if they couldn't afford an education, they could learn about anything that interested them.

The program began in 1995 in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Dolly grew up. The first book order totaled 1,760 books, and as noted above, the Imagination Library has mailed out over 163 million books since then.

Starting a Local Imagination Library

If the Dolly Parton book program isn't available in your area, you can learn how to become an Imagination Library Local Champion and start a program where you live. The Imagination Library is supported by local organizations and individuals who want to volunteer their time helping children in their community get free books.

After submitting your information on the website, a regional representative will contact you to help get the process going.

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Article Sources
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  1. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Program Overview. Updated 2017.

  2. Imagination Library. Over 163 Million Free Books Gifted as of July 2021. July 30, 2021.

  3. NPR. Dolly Parton gives the gift of literacy: a library of 100 million books. March 1, 2018.

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