Saturday, January 5, 2013

Imagination Library arrives in Lake County

I realized an ambition for my community on Friday, with the announcement that a partnership between the Lake County Office of Education, the Lake County Literacy Task Force and Sutter Lakeside Hospital had brought Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Lake County.

Logo: Dolly Parton's Information LibraryAccording to the joint press release, the first 100 babies born at the Sutter Lakeside Family Birth Center will receive a scholarship for a one-year enrollment in Imagination Library.

I learned about Imagination Library last year, reading an article in the Ukiah Daily Journal: that since April 2009, First Five Mendocino had distributed more than 50,000 books free of charge to children ages 0 to 5 through its role as fiscal champion for Imagination Library.

Parton launched Imagination Library in 1996, to benefit children in her home county in East Tennessee.

According to, Parton’s vision was “to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”

According to the website, Imagination Library became so popular that in 2000, Parton announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally.

“Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom.”

Reading the article about Imagination Library, I thought it would be wonderful to duplicate in Lake County: for Lake County to take its place among more than 1,600 communities that provide books to more than 70,000 children each month.

I wanted Lake County children to grow up in homes where books were familiar and accessible. I believed that was the reason why I avidly read today.

As it turned out, my view was shared by people who could actually make it reality. It was with gratitude on Friday that I received a press release announcing the program's arrival.

Now that it is here, I would like to see this program flourish and continue -- beyond those 100 babies, beyond enrollment for one year. I would like Lake County children to continue receiving books each month until they are 5. 

Lake County residents can support Imagination Library by sending a donation of $25, Attention: Imagination Library, to the Lake County Office of Education care of the Literacy Task Force, 1152 S. Main St., Lakeport CA 95453.

For more information, contact Stephanie Wayment at 707-262-4163 or For more information about Information Library, visit

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous gift to our Lake County Kids - thanks for spearheading this, Cynthia!


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