Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library BLOG Monday 24th February 2020

It is my belief that books are an important foundation of life for children and that is why I applaud the work of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Dolly Parton is not just a brilliant, singer, performer and songwriter. She is one of the most generous people in the world. She is also one of the biggest promoters of books for children through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and her Dollywood Foundation.

The Dollywood Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Dolly Parton, with headquarters in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Shortly after the opening of the Dollywood theme park in 1986, the Dollywood Foundation was created in April 1988, and began by offering scholarships to local high school students. From there it grew into the Imagination Library, started in 1995, which distributes free books to children monthly, up until the age of 5. The Dollywood Foundation grew again into the My People Fund, which started in 2016 after wildfires ripped through Tennessee. The current President of the Dollywood Company is Craig Ross. Today, the foundation continues to support people in need by providing scholarships and awards to those who deserve them and provides support to countless non-profit organizations that aim to improve the quality of life to children and others in need.


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The Imagination Library is a free children’s book gifting program started by Dolly Parton in 1995. It is based at her Dollywood theme park near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The program started by offering every child in Sevier County, Tennessee, the area where Parton was born and raised, a free age-appropriate book each month in the mail until the age of five, regardless of family income. In 2000, the Imagination Library became so popular that Dolly announced that she wanted to make the program available to any community that would partner with her and support it locally. The program has since expanded to over 1,800 local communities in the US, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The program can be implemented in other communities by private or public non-profit organizations, and the Foundation is responsible for the distribution of books in those participating communities and the database that manages the children’s information. In 2018, Parton celebrated the delivery of the 100 millionth book since the inception of the program. The Library of Congress hosted an event in February of 2018 commemorating the milestone with Parton holding a Story Time to children attending the event. The Imagination Library program currently sends roughly 1.3 million books to children every month. The program has drastically improved literacy for the children enrolled.

My People Fund

In November 2016, two teenage boys were charged with setting a fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, known as the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, which killed fourteen people and burned down thousands of homes and businesses. The death toll included two children and a woman who died escaping the flames. Dolly gathered her Dollywood companies (Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure, Pirates Voyage, The Dollywood Company) and joined together to establish the ‘My People Fund’ which ultimately donated $1,000 a month to all families who lost their homes in the fire. Those collecting charitable donations from the Dolly Foundation, could collect their funds for up to six months. Anyone can donate to the My People Fund online or by mail. As the Dolly Foundation website states, any family whose primary residence (renters or homeowners) is a complete loss or is uninhabitable due to the wildfires in Sevier County are eligible for charitable donations. Significant donors to the fund include Verizon, Tanger Outlets, Miley Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation, CoreCivic and The Blalock Company. The My People Fund helped more than 900 families and raised over $9 million.


“Love life, and life finds a beautiful way to love you back”


Happiness is…a child engrossed in a book


Doctor, Doctor, I think I am a newspaper.

Take these pills, they will improve your circulation.


Love is…not letting him go to work without a kiss




©2020 Phil M Robinson