Highlights from the UK Imagination Library’s 10th Birthday Conference

Watch video highlights and presentations from the UK Imagination Library’s 10th Birthday Conference. Held in Doncaster, UK,  the presenters at this event left everyone informed and inspired. Post-conference attendee feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“A fantastic, inspiring day! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the celebration! As a school, we value the Imagination Library so much and everything it has brought to our families.”

“Excellent conference varied and engaging, thank you!”

“A well organised event. I met lots of like-minded people who just love books and Dolly!”

Look back with us at some of the highlights from the conference with our video gallery and download the presentation slides used at the event for a closer look.

Video Gallery Details




1. Dolly Parton Welcome

Conference attendees received a special welcome from Dolly herself, who filmed a special message for the occasion. (Runtime 00:41)

2. UK 10th Birthday Highlights

Watch this quick recap of the 10th Birthday Celebration and Highlights from the event. (Runtime 3:36)

3. Story Starters

Kirsteen Watson from the Dollywood Foundation UK and Ginny Lunn of Beanstalk explain Story Starters’ partnership with Imagination Library, Beanstalk and LuCiD, with the aim to address delays in literacy for disadvantaged children thanks to the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Postcode Dream Trust. (Runtime 23:43)

4. Sophy Henn

Imagination Library author Sophy Henn shares her journey to becoming a children’s author & illustrator and gives fascinating insights into where her ideas and inspiration come from. She also gives a step-by-step guide on how to draw George from her book ‘Almost Anything’! (Runtime 29:45)

5. The Dollywood Foundation

Jeff Conyers, President of The Dollywood Foundation, welcomes guests to the UK Imagination Library’s 10th Birthday Conference. He shares some insights behind Dolly’s work and her motivation for the Imagination Library, and outlines new plans to continue to grow the program in the UK and elsewhere. (Runtime 6:07)

6. Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP

MP Ed Miliband reflects on what books mean to him, how they foster empathy, and why Imagination Library is an important initiative for the country. He also reveals some of his favourite childhood reading matter! (Runtime 11:18)

7. Peeple – The Hello Song

Susannah Chambers speaks about the aims of Peeple to support parents and children to learn together from birth to school. She discusses a current Randomised Control Trial and shares some research-based, great practices for book-sharing. (Runtime 23:40)

8. Governors Books From Birth Foundation

Theresa Carl from The Governor’s Books From Birth Foundation shares the story of Imagination Library in Dolly’s home state of Tennessee, explaining how relationships and partnerships are key to the continuation of the programmes in all 95 counties of Tennessee, where enrollment is at 70%. (Runtime 41:38)

9. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education

Charlotte Hacking draws on The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education‘s 40-year research history to discuss how to sow seeds for early literacy and close the inequality gap. She also shares practical techniques that can be used to engage early readers with picture books.
Copyright © 2012 Chris Haughton. OH NO, GEORGE! by Chris Haughton. Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd.
(Runtime 38:29)

10. Doncaster MBC

Steph Douglas, Head of Early Years at Doncaster Council, shares the vision for a whole community committed to sharing and enjoying books at birth and explains how Imagination Library is helping them close the language and literacy gap. (Runtime 30:00)

11. The Dollywood Foundation UK

Kirsteen Watson, Regional Director for The Dollywood Foundation UK, shares about the overall success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library since being established in the United Kingdom. (Runtime 8:14)