Imagination Library

Credit: United Way of Lake County

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, Australia in 2013 and the Republic of Ireland in 2019.

The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is starting a new chapter in early childhood literacy across Ohio. Through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to put more books in the hands of Ohio’s children, Ohio is working to ensure that every student enters kindergarten ready to succeed. That’s where the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library comes in. Through the partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, we are working to send every child in Ohio from birth to age five a new book each month. Research has shown that a child with 25 books in their home complete an average of two additional years of schooling compared to their peers without books in their home. Our goal is that every kindergartener begins school with 60 books in their home.

Lifeline is excited to be one of Ohio’s affiliates, working with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and other local affiliates to enroll Lake County’s children. Contact our office at 2-1-1 to learn more or for help with enrollment. You can also enroll online by visiting

Donate now to the Imagination Library Project!

Want to help Lifeline provide books to Lake County’s children? A simple $25 donation will help us purchase a year’s worth of books for two children…$50 will help us provide four children with a year’s worth of reading! Please specify that your donation is a contribution to the Imagination Library Project!