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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library celebrated, promoted

On August 9, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine will welcome Dolly Parton herself to celebrate the success of the Imagination Library program in Ohio.

Our corner of northwest Ohio will also be represented at the luncheon by Annetta Holmes, now retired from United Way and who helped start the program in Hardin County; Karen Moore from Forest-Jackson Public Library; Beccy Ramsey from Ridgemont Public Library; and Stacey Hensley from Alger Public Library. A livestream of the event will be available at 

Hensley is the Hardin County Imagination Library affiliate president and shared a progress report on the program.

The local team provides volunteers to administer the program in Hardin County, builds local partnerships and covers half of the cost of the books every month. 

Over 52% of Hardin County children who are eligible for the program--from birth to 5 years--are signed up; currently, 1,068 kids are enrolled.

Families can enroll more than one child to receive books in the mail each month from Dolly Parton Imagination Library Hardin County.

The Hardin County Imagination Library would love to reach 100% of eligible children in Hardin County and is working expand awareness of the program. Since 2006, the program has generated the funds to have books sent to young children and to encourage a love of reading in the family. It costs the organization about $30.00 to sponsor a child per year.

Hensley notes, "There is overwhelming evidence that this program increases a child's readiness for learning in school. This is a year round, every month effort, to reach children and help in their early reading development skills."

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio mails one high-quality, age-appropriate book each month to children until their 5th birthday. All children in Ohio are eligible to be enrolled in the program at no cost to their family.

In August 2022, 327,743 kids are enrolled in Ohio’s Imagination Library, which is 45% of eligible kids between birth and age 5.