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2/9/23 blog post

3 reasons to sign up for Imagination Library and start getting free books today

Celebrate National Library Lover’s month building your family’s library

Imagination Library of Ohio

In this article 

start building your family’s library  

There’s so much to love about the library. Reading not only creates positive moments between family members, it’s also been proven to help children learn more and be better prepared for school! 

This National Library Lover’s month, you can start creating your own family’s library for free thanks to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio.  

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books free of charge to children from birth to age five, through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local community partners. If you start at birth, that’s 60 free books in total you’ll be getting and a lifetime of memories! So what are you waiting for? Get signed up today!

why is reading important? 

Research has shown that signing up for Imagination Library has many benefits including: 

  1. Increasing the bond between caregivers and children: 81 percent of parents participating in Imagination Library say they’ve increased the frequency of reading with their children. 
  2. Making children more interested in reading: Children who read at an early age will become better students and live happier, healthier lives. Through reading, children begin to learn words and sounds, recognize pictures, and understand emotions. Reading better prepares children to start kindergarten by strengthening their vocabulary, expanding their speech, helping to create a regular routine, and so much more. 
  3. Preparing children for Kindergarten and developing their early literacy skills: Research shows an increase and improvement in kindergarten readiness when children are involved with the Imagination Library program. The longer a child is enrolled in the program, the greater the outcome. Currently, only 34% of children in Montgomery County are demonstrating kindergarten readiness. Dayton Children’s Hospital is working to address this statistic by supporting early literacy to improve kindergarten readiness as the Montgomery County affiliate for Imagination Library of Ohio. 

signing up for Imagination Library 

what to expect when you sign up

Each month, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails a high quality, age appropriate book to all registered children, addressed to them, at no cost to the child’s family.  

The books are chosen by the Blue Ribbon Book Selection Committee who make sure that each book that the child receives will contain certain characteristics that are specific for the child’s age 

The first book every child receives is “The Little Engine That Could.” Then, the month that a child turns 5 years old, they will receive “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” Several bilingual English/Spanish titles are included each year. 

Want to learn more about the books your child can expect to receive this year? Check out the 2023 book list categorized by age group. 

how to sign up

Click here to enroll!

The simple enrollment process allows families with children under the age of 5 to sign up online at or by using a paper form available at partner locations. Typically, the first book arrives 8-10 weeks after sign-up, and then monthly after that. Children graduate out of the program at their 5th birthday as they prepare to enter kindergarten. By signing children up for this program, parents and caregivers can show their children the value of books and set an incredible foundation for learning. 

more about Imagination Library of Ohio

Check out the graphic below for some helpful tips to make storytime more engaging!