Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in North East Lincolnshire

Sat, Sep 3rd 2022 at 8:39 pm- Sun, Dec 31st 2023 - 10:39 pm

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in North East Lincolnshire

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.

After launching in 1995, the program grew quickly. First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. It became such a success that in 2000 a national replication effort was underway. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It would prove to be the first of many millions of books sent to children around the world.

Dolly’s home state of Tennessee pledged to pursue statewide coverage in 2004 and global expansion was on the horizon. After the United States, the program launched in Canada in 2006 followed by the United Kingdom in 2007 and Australia joined in 2013.

How does the Imagination Library work?

All children enrolled in the Imagination Library receive a book in the post every month until their 5th birthday. Every book is personally addressed to each individual child. All titles in the Imagination Library are published by Penguin Random House and carefully selected by a panel of experts in early childhood literacy and reading.

A child enrolled from birth to their fifth birthday will build their own home library of up to 60 books. The books are posted to the child at a cost of £2.08 this is excellent value for money

The programme is completely free for children and their families.

Supportive Research

Exploring How The Imagination Library Impacts Communities 

The Imagination Library began with Dolly Parton’s desire that every child, regardless of income, would have access to books. Since its founding, the Dollywood Foundation has conducted and encouraged research on the Imagination Library program in an effort to assess communities’ reactions to the program and its impact on children literacy. The majority of this research has been implemented at the local community level, by program staff or local researchers, to provide formative and summative feed back to support local Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) implementations. The Dollywood Foundation initiated a review of over 20 years of research conducted on Imagination Library programs in the U.S. and internationally. The findings from the body of DPIL research indicate the program is extremely popular in the communities where its implemented and shows promise in promoting changes in home literacy environments, children’s attitudes toward reading, and early literacy skills.

Positive Perceptions

  • Participating family members were overwhelmingly positive about the program and its impact on their children when asked in questionnaires, interviews and focus groups.
  • Community members, including Imagination Library partners and preschool and kindergarten teachers, also had positive views of the program and its impact on book ownership and literacy practices in homes.
  • The positive views of the program and its impacts were present regardless of the demographic characteristics of the community or its participants, and longer program participation often resulted in more positive outcomes.

Richer Home Literacy Environments

  • Parents read aloud more to their children and were more comfortable reading as a result of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
  • Parents reported their children owned more books as a result of participating in the program.

Improving Attitudes & Skills

  • Parents believed their children were more interested in reading due to receiving the books each month.
  • Participating children were excited when their Imagination Library books arrived in the mail monthly, addressed specifically to the child.
  • Some studies found Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had promise with respect to developing children’s early literacy skills, as participants had more advanced skills than their classmates who did not participate in the program.

3 To 5 Years Old

Continue reading to your child as he/she ages. Children continue to benefit from being read to in the pre-school years, building essential early literacy skills as they grow into readers.

Read to your child every day. Children who have high interest in reading are read to every day, often by multiple people.
Make reading a regular event that everyone participates in.

Read books multiple times. Reading the same book over (and over) encourages children to participate in the reading activity through
contributing to the “reading” and asking questions.

Think about it!

Ask your child questions about the characters or the story that require predicting, imagining, or making inferences.
Examples: How do you think Madeline feels right now? If you were Peter Rabbit, what would you do?

Make it relevant!

Relate books to your child’s life.
Example: Can you think of a time you were reluctant to try something new like Little Burro?

Begin with sounds!

Point out beginning sounds.
Example: Did you hear a word that started with the same MMMMM sound as your name?

Name it!

Practice letter names.
Example: Name the letters you recognize on the cover of the book.

Read it!

Encourage your child to read common words.
Example: This word, t-h-e, is the. Help me read “the” when you see it in the book.

Encourage curiosity!

Respond to your child’s questions about letters, numbers, and reading.

Our Program with the Imagination Library


'What We Do' Main Pages:

Our Club with the young people


This is the photo archive from our club "The Rotary Club of Cleethorpes"


Rotary Club of Cleethorpes programmes with the Imagination Library


We welcome new members interested in having fun while 'giving something back' to the community. Fresh ideas and enthusiasm are the life blood of any organisation!


Our Own Charity - The Rotary Foundation


Our club has many projects overseas in South Africa, Nepal, India and many other countries.


Keeping the public aware of the Club