Everybody loves Dolly.. Everybody loves libraries… Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library signed into Washington Law by Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday, June 9. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library signed into Washington Law by Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday, June 9.

Imagination Library is an early literacy program that mails high quality, age-appropriate books each month to children from birth to five-years-old. for free.

Washington state is the 11th state to commit to achieving statewide coverage and the first statewide program on the West Coast.

United Ways of the Pacific Northwest reports to the Department of Children, Youth and Families in coordination with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to help the Imagination Library promote develop and sustain  programs across all of Washington.

Imagination Library founder Dolly Parton says, “I was so excited when Washington expanded my Imagination Library a couple months ago, and now I’m over the moon to learn that we’re opening the program to all children in the state – it’s just amazing! I’m so grateful to everyone involved helping us get more books to children and families across Washington. Our dream is coming true, so let’s keep up the great work!”

OSPI has a goal to enroll 150,000 children in the Imagination Library of Washington by June 2023.

Dolly Paton's Imagination Library signed into Washington law

The statewide program has 29 operating affiliates covering portions of the 39 counties in Washington, and 26,000 eligible children in the state are receiving free books through these existing local programs.

“The Imagination Library is an incredible opportunity for children and families across the world, and OSPI was proud to support the initial expansion with our emergency relief funds,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “I applaud the Imagination Library Expansion team and the Legislature for their efforts to expand this important program statewide, so every Washington child and family has access to these supports.”

World-class superstar and philanthropist Dolly Parton started the program in 1995 as a way to distribute books to her Tennessee county where she grew up. The state of Tennessee adopted the program statewide. Since then, the nonprofit program has expanded into five countries.

Imagination Library was approved through the signing of House Bill 2068 and enrollment in the program gives equitable access to the books, increase school readiness, foster a love of reading and books and improve family engagement.