Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was honored by a special ceremony at the Library of Congress on March 1 when that event also became a kick-off for a new initiative between the two. Beginning this month (March), for the next six months, the Library of Congress’ Young Readers Center will present a monthly program for children throughout the USA with a story time featuring music and guests. It will be shared by live-streaming to libraries across the nation.
At the March 1 event, Dolly shared the special presentation and story time on her Facebook page by reading from her children’s book, “Coat of Many Colors.”
Dolly is known as “The Book Lady.” Her nonprofit organization was founded in 1995 in Dolly’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee. In 2002, the Native American Communities were added. By the end of its first ten years, it had sent one million free, high-quality books to children in participating communities throughout the world by mailing them to young readers from their birth to their start in Kindergarten, regardless of their family’s income. Now they have celebrated sending out the 100 millionth book.
The Imagination Library has committed to inspiring a lifelong love for reading in young people, helping them succeed in academic endeavors, and aiding in shaping the next generation of readers, philanthropists, and writers. The program sends out the books across the United States, launched into Canada in 2006, into the United Kingdom in 2007, added audio and Braille Books in 2011, and went into Australia in 2013. In 2016, the Imagination Library began sending out the amazing number of one million books every month. In 2017, the official Dolly Parton license plate was made available in Tennessee to benefit the Imagination Library.
This extraordinary gift to humankind provides opportunities for children everywhere to have fun and engaging reading experiences and enrich their lives.
Dolly has made headlines for her philanthropy many times. For example, in 2016, after fires wreaked a great deal of destruction in Tennessee, her home state, where the fires also claimed the lives of seven people, the singer’s foundation, My People, donated over $8 million to families that were affected by that tragedy. Every month, Dolly donated $1,000 to each homeless family, and eventually survivors received an average of $10,000.