SRF Program

  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work, Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts.


    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 their family. The Imagination Library provides the infrastructure of the core program, including managing the secure central database for the Book Order System and coordinating book selections and wholesale purchasing. It also incurs the cost of the program’s administrative expenses and coordinates the monthly mailings. Services are responsible for providing a sustainable fund to support the imagination library.

    Detailed Costs

    In order to determine the specific cost to your service, you can liaise with the organisation directly on the email address listed under 'contacts'.

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: children and their families.

    Program adaptability: the program delivery depends on the interest and efforts of 'Local Champions'. The content of the library can be tailored based on location.

    Staffing: depending on how you set up the book-gifting program (see below) it may require additional staffing considerations and there may be backfill costs involved. This will provide your staff with the time to effectively plan the program, set up the service and support parents throughout.  

    Factors to consider: a three-step process for becoming a local imagination library champion is described on the program developer’s website. It includes:

    • figuring out ‘do I want to do this’?
    • putting the pieces in place
    • making final preparations and launch.

    While this program targets early literacy in the home, it will be important that parents are provided with support to develop their skills in book-sharing with their children in order for the program effectively enhance children’s development. You may want to consider how your service might set up a book-sharing program with parent support built into the model.

    Australian experience: the Dolly Parton Imagination Library started in the United States, and has since been implemented in Canada, the UK and Australia.

    Strength of Evidence

    Not applicable