Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the Estes Valley: FAQs Estes Valley Library > Posts > Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the Estes Valley: FAQs   |  print this page  

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What is the story behind this amazing program?

Dolly Parton’s father never learned to read, and when she was growing up she witnessed how huge the impact of illiteracy was on his life. Inspired by this experience, Dolly decided to make sure the children in her community had more access to books than her father had as a child.  In 1995, she started the Imagination Library program in Sevier County, Tennessee where she grew up. By 2000 it was so successful that they began working to replicate it on a national level. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It is now in five countries.

Is my child eligible to be signed up?

Do you have a child under 5 living in the Estes Valley? We’ll happily sign them up to receive a high quality, developmentally appropriate book in the mail (USPS)–one book each month! Your cost: nothing! Your child will receive books until their fifth birthday when they graduate from the program. Their first book (called the welcome book) is always The Little Engine That Could. Their last book, sent when they turn five, is always Look Out Kindergarten Here I come!

May I sign up my newborn?

Absolutely! Babies in arms may not be able to form words, but their minds are developing. A child is never too young to be read to.

What if I have several children under five? May they each sign up?

Yes — we love for each child to receive their own books — so they can experience the joy of a book with their name in the mailbox! AND the books are different, based on the year the child was born –making sure each book is developmentally appropriate for their age. This means that siblings who are different ages will receive different books. Their first book, however, will always be The Little Engine That Could regardless of their age. So siblings will each receive a copy of the same welcome book and then receive books based on their respective age groups after that. Twins will receive the same book each month. 

How is the program funded?

The local program is made possible by two sources: 50% from Imagination Library Colorado (funded through the State of Colorado), which has provided us tremendous guidance and encouragement. Another 50% is from a generous anonymous local donor, who worked with our Library Friends & Foundation to pursue this passion.

How can I sign up my child?

Join us for the Launch Celebration at the Library on Friday, May 20 from 11 AM to 1 PM (right after storytime). We’ll be excited to sign up your children! We’ll also have kids’ activities and live music, including the original song “Dolly Do” by local band Lost Penny. No sign-up necessary to attend the celebration. EVERYONE is invited!