Over 28,000 children receive free books in Washington, D.C., and counting!
Each month, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails free high-quality and age-appropriate books to more than 28,000 children in the DC community. The DC Public Library’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library ensures all District children can have a great selection of books at home.
DC Councilmember Charles Allen was first introduced to the program when visiting family in Tennessee. The story goes that while visiting his brother in Tennessee, Councilman Allen saw how excited his niece (two-years-old at the time) was to receive her Imagination Library book in the mail and the enjoyment their family had reading together. He was intrigued by the program and its potential in his hometown. After learning more about how the organization worked, he went back to DC and built support with the council and mayor to help bring the Imagination Library to all children the nation’s capital.
On Feb. 4, 2016, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launched district-wide in Washington, D.C. Councilmember Allen joined Mayor Muriel Bowser for the exciting launch day activities. In addition, the Book Lady, Dolly Parton sent a special welcome aboard message to everyone involved.
The DC Public Library positioned Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as the cornerstone of their DC Books from Birth initiative, incorporating Sing, Talk and Read (STAR) videos, toolkits, and an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at getting parents to engage with their young children. The results have been stellar. By December 2016, about 40% of DC’s eligible population (birth to age 5) was enrolled in the Imagination Library. Two years in, DC enrollment has now topped 65% of the eligible children and has climbed even higher in key focus neighborhoods. Having mailed almost 500,000 Imagination Library books since getting started, we’re excited to see what our DC partnership achieves next.
DC Public Library March 2016 – March 2018
District of Columbia Public Library
Total children covered by this affiliate (as of Feb. 2018):
Total enrolled children in DC (as of Feb. 2018):
Contact: DC Public Library
1990 K ST NW
WASHINGTON DC 20006
Email DC Public Library
Sing, Talk and Read (STAR) – DC Public Library
Prepare your child for a bright future by singing, talking and reading with them every day. These three simple activities can jump start your child’s brain development and get them ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.