Dolly Parton Donates 100 Million Childrens Books! Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library’s 100-millionth book placed in Library of Congress.
Not even Dolly Parton herself could have imagined in 1995 that her idea of giving free books to children around the world would one day surpass the 100-milionth mark and make its way into the halls of the Library of Congress. Parton was on hand on March 8th to enshrine the milestone book, her own “Coat of Many Colors”, adapted from her song of the same name, into the nation’s archive.
Indeed it seems as if Parton’s coat of many colors transformed into a magic flying carpet that, through the pages of books sponsored by her imagination library, transports children into a magical world of literature. Sevier County’s, and indeed Tennessee’s, favorite daughter’s example of overcoming a humble childhood and her amazing rise to an incredible career encourages children to look beyond superficial appearances and into the heart and character of others.
Parton is an accomplished songwriter and it could be that her love of stories and books paved the way to her stellar career.
“I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories,” Parton said, adding that she was honored that “our little program has grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”
And partner she has. A special Story Time is scheduled at 10:30a.m. on the last Friday of each month from March to August in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Children up to the age of 5 can enjoy a book reading, music and special guests. Live streaming will make the event accessible to children and parents around the globe.
The Imagination Library distributes 1 million books free of charge each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities in the United States, Belize, United Kingdom Canada and Australia. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden offered praise for Parton and deemed the program “awe-inspiring, and an extraordinary gift to humankind”, adding, “there is no way to truly quantify the impact this program has had on developing young readers across America and in other parts of the world.”
Hayden said reading is a passion that the Library of Congress in pleased to share with Parton and expressed her excitement about the cooperative programs that will provide and an opportunity “for children anywhere to connect with a fun, engaging reading experience.”
Story times take place at 10:30 a.m. on the last Friday of each month, March through August in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. The events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
For more information on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, exclusively published by Penguin Random House, visit dollywoodfoundation2018.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States as well as extensive material from around the word. It is accessible both on site and online and is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and home to the U.S. Copyright Office. For more info visit loc.gov or access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov.