As of June 2022, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gifted 184,615,046 total books since its inception in Sevier County in the mid-1990s. Each month, the organization gifts more than 2 million books to children, which is the equivalent of one book every 1.4 seconds, according to a post shared by the nonprofit Thursday night.
East Tennessee treasure and international icon Dolly Parton has long said her love for books, reading and personal mission to grow the literacy rate for children has been close to her heart.
Her love of books and sharing them with children through her Imagination Library has been an ongoing passion project for the superstar since its 1995 launch in Sevier County. The organization then expanded to offer books to children across the country, then internationally. By 2003, it had mailed one million books. By 2020, it had gifted its 150 millionth book.
Now just a few years later, the number of gifted books continues to grow with the help of nearly 3,000 community partners across five countries. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library gifts books in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and of course the United States.
The book-gifting nonprofit mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age 5 years old regardless of their family’s income. Families can check availability here.