What is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an international program that offers free books to children each month from birth until age 5. This program is available to any child living in Taylor County thanks to United Way of Abilene and generous donations from community partners. Eligible zip codes include: 79508, 79530, 79536, 79541, 79561, 79562, 79563, 79601, 79602, 79603, 79604, 79605, 79606, 79607, 79608, 79697, 79698, 79699

Is Imagination Library really free?

There is no cost to families to participate in Imagination Library. Funding comes from donations and sponsorships given to United Way of Abilene.

Who is eligible to participate?

This program is for children from birth to age 5 who are residents of Taylor County. Due to processing time, the age cutoff for registration is 4 years, 8 months.

How do I register?

1) Online: register at https://unitedwayabilene.org/imagination-library/ by clicking the link “Register Your Child for Their Free Monthly Books” buttons.

2) In-person: at any of the Abilene Public Library Locations (Main Library: 202 Cedar St, Abilene Texas 79601 | South Library: 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, TX 79606 | Mockingbird Branch: 1326 N Mockingbird Ln, Abilene, TX 79603)

Can I enroll multiple children?

If there are multiple children under five in a household, each child is eligible to enroll. The Dollywood Foundation switches out 18-20 books each year to ensure children in the same family won’t always get the same books. Please note that twins and multiples will receive the same book selection.

How long does it take to start receiving books?

Book orders are placed a month in advance. Depending on when you register your child, it may take up to eight to twelve weeks for the first book to arrive. After that, the books will come every month.

For example, if you registered your child on January 6th and were approved by your local affiliate in January, you would receive your first book in March.

How do I know if my child was accepted into the program?

If you provide an email address with your registration, you will be notified via email when the registration is approved or entered into our system. If you do not have an email address, you will need to contact your local affiliate to find out more information, but it does take 8-12 weeks for books to start arriving after approval.

Do all children receive the same books?

Each child within an age group receives the same monthly book. We make sure children receive an appropriate book by allocating them to an age group based on their year of birth. For example, children born in 2023 will receive board books with minimal text focusing on nurture and attachment, whereas a child born in 2018 will receive a softcover picture book, covering more complex concepts. A child enrolled from birth to their fifth birthday will build their own home library of up to 60 books. Learn more on our website: https://imaginationlibrary.com/usa/themes-concepts/

Are the books age appropriate?

Yes, All books within the program are age-appropriate and are selected by early childhood experts. More information about our Book Committee can be found at www.imaginationlibrary.com and select “Choosing Our Books under your country’s menu. Every child receives the same welcome book, regardless of age, and the following month the age-appropriate titles will start to arrive.

How can I help support this program?

Please contact the United Way of Abilene at marcus@unitedwayabilene.org if you would like to help sustain Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Taylor County through donations. United Way of Abilene is happy to speak to your organization about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.