Imagination Library

dolly-parton-ILDolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The MONARCH TRAIN has partnered with the Imagination Library to make it available to children in Idaho, who live in Shoshone County. The program serves ages 0-4 (children graduate from the program on their 5th birthday). The goal is to prepare them for kindergarten and instill a lifelong love of reading.

Since the program started in June 2018, we’ve impacted the community in the following ways:

  • We’ve delivered over 9,000 books to hundreds of children. (as of May 2022)
  • About half of all eligible children have participated in the program.
  • There were zero interruptions to book deliveries during the pandemic, providing literary stability to kids in the Silver Valley.

We’ve heard from many parents who have told us how much being a part of the Imagination Library has meant to their children. When they go to the mailbox and there’s a special gift in there, addressed to them, it makes them feel special to know they’re thought of.

At a Head Start event we were a part of in Kellogg, Idaho, a parent came up to us and thanked us. She said she hadn’t considered reading to her child. She figured she was too young and wouldn’t really understand. Then when the books started arriving, her daughter asked her to read them to her. Now it’s not only their nightly routine, but they have an entire library of books to choose from, thanks to the Imagination Library.

So, how did the Imagination Library begin?

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 for children in her home county. Her goal was to instill an early love of reading and to help prepare children for kindergarten. Today, her program spans four countries and mails over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.

“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”

By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to the homes of children, Dolly wanted children to be excited about books and feel the magic that books can create.

Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

Books create entire worlds where children can dream of becoming exactly who they want to be. Every child should have access to the imaginative opportunities books provide.

Why can’t Dolly Parton take on 100% of the financial cost of the program?

We’ve had many people ask us why Dolly can’t just financially support the program alone. The answer is simple. Millions of books are sent to children all around the world every single month. If Dolly were to pay for the program alone, she’d eventually run out of funds. Tens of millions dollars per month is a lot, even for Dolly. It’d also be impossible for her to financially cover every single child on the planet.

Dolly remembers being left out of a lot of things as a child because her family didn’t have much money. Because of this, she doesn’t want any child left out of any program she’s connected to. So, Dolly needs community involvement to make the program grow and thrive, not just for today, but for generations to come.

The Imagination Library is not a charity or a social service, it’s a book gifting program. The book is a gift from the community, to help children develop a love of learning and reading.

The Silver Valley has generously come together to make these gifts possible for the children in our community.

You can help us with our mission to continue the Imagination Library in Shoshone County, by donating in one of the following ways:

Go to our page here. On the right hand side, just below the lead image, you’ll see a big blue “Donate” button. 100% of your donation will go directly to us.

You can also start a fundraiser for us on Facebook and ask your friends and family to help.

Please donate through our PayPal page here. Please note: Paypal does take a percentage, so if you choose this method, not all of the money will be given to our cause.

Send us a check for any amount you would like to contribute. Please make checks or money orders payable to:

PO Box 951
Pinehurst, Idaho 83850


If you shop on Amazon, you can use our donation link to do your shopping. This has zero impact on you or your wallet. It is simply an Amazon service to give back to local communities. They donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to us when you choose to support our mission. Please click on the link below to easily set this up.

Your donation is completely tax deductible. Our EIN is 82-5287260.

If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact us. We appreciate everything you are doing to help children in the Silver Valley have access to books.

If you have a child between the ages of 0-4 and live in Shoshone County, you can register for the program here.

We have a great FAQ page for any questions you might have. Also, below shows you when to expect your first book, depending on the month you register.

Sign-Up Month First Book Arrives
June August
July September
August October
September November
October December
November January
December February
January March
February April
March May
April June
May July
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