In 1995, Dolly started the Imagination Library in her home Sevier County in East Tennessee. In Dolly’s words “When I started the Imagination Library it was to honor my Daddy. My Daddy was so smart but he felt crippled with the fact that he couldn’t read or write”. The program’s goal was to increase childhood literacy and grew quickly. By 2000 it was replicated across the USA, followed by Canada in 2006, the UK in 2007, Australia in 2013 and The Republic of Ireland in 2019. By 2020, the 150 millionth book was gifted. The program has received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Best Practices award from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards and recognition in Reading Psychology, as well as many other prestigious acknowledgments. * As of January 2022 over 172 million books have been gifted!
On Dolly’s 75th birthday in 2021, she celebrated and stated her wish for the year was a call for kindness. She posted the following message on her Facebook page: “We can’t just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. We have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends and our neighbors.”
Imagination Library of Franklin County (ILFC) strives to follow Dolly’s hopes by sharing the love of reading with preschoolers and their families in our Franklin County community.
ILFC is one of the many Imagination Library affiliates. The program mails age-appropriate books directly to registered Franklin County children from birth to 5 years old each month at no cost to the child or their family. ILFC works to recruit and register children, while the Dollywood Foundation chooses the books and mails them directly to the child. ILFC funds the approximately 360 children on our book mailing list each month at an average cost of $30 per child per year. ILFC is constantly working to obtain grants and donations from individuals, organizations and businesses in our community, and sincerely appreciates those who support our cause. Forms to register children can be obtained at the Brookville and Laurel Library and on our ILFC website at http://imaginationlibraryfcin.com
Happy Birthday to Dolly Parton, our Leader in Kindness and our Book Lady Hero!
Current ILFC Board members are: Don Jobe, Melinda Brown, Amanda Herbert, Nancy Hawkins, Linda Rosenberger, Rachel McGee, Dave Willhelm, Sharon Bryant, and Velda Clark.
In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. She wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. In March 2000, Dolly established the Imagination Library nation wide.
In August 2007, the Imagination Library of Franklin County (ILFC) was initiated. The purpose of ILFC is to serve every preschool child in Franklin County with their own library of books that would encourage a love of reading and learning. It is also to provide each month, from the day the child is born until his/her fifth birthday, a book which arrives in the mail addressed to the child. The books provided are age appropriate to the development of such positive themes as self-esteem and confidence, regard for diversity and appreciation of art.
The establishment of the ILFC is an illustration of the passion the community has for helping others. Current Board members are: Don Jobe, Melinda Brown, Amanda Herbert, Nancy Hawkins, Linda Rosenberger, Rachel McGee, Dave Willhelm, Sharon Bryant, and Velda Clark.