Colorado Kicks Off Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Children’s Book Area at Lamar Library


DENVER- Governor Jared Polis, Education Commissioner Katy Anthes, and the Imagination Library of Colorado joined American icon Dolly Parton to announce the Colorado statewide expansion of her namesake Imagination Library book-gifting program. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books to children (0- 5 yrs old), free of charge through funding shared by the state and local community partners.

“I’m so excited to be working with Governor Polis, the Department of Education, and our Colorado affiliate organization to bring my Imagination Library to more children and families across Colorado! Together we can gift a love of reading that will last a lifetime,” said Dolly Parton.

The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Colorado. Colorado has 30 programs covering just portions of its 64 counties. Currently, 4 percent of eligible children in the state are receiving books through existing community-based programs.

“Developing an early love for reading is so important for children’s success, and the Imagination Library shows Colorado’s commitment to making sure that every child and family can succeed,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’m thrilled that more Colorado children will have access to the books they need to develop a passion for reading and drive their imaginations even further.”

“Ensuring that students are reading at grade level by third grade is one of our most important priorities here at the Department of Education,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.

In year one of the expansion, the Imagination Library of Colorado will:

Form partnerships with local community organizations. These local partners are the heart of the program. They promote the program online and at in-person events, fundraise, and enroll children who live within their geographical area. A local program partner must be a 501(c)(3), though several organizations may form a coalition of support and leadership. Examples include businesses, school districts, local foundations, libraries, and service organizations.  Assist with program start-up and enrollment strategies in local communities.  Build and sustain strong statewide partnerships to assure long-term sustainability of the overall initiative.

We are grateful for the strong bipartisan effort to ensure that all children in Colorado, from ages zero to five, will have the opportunity to enhance and enrich their lives with books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” said Jack Tate, CEO of the Imagination Library of Colorado.

Coloradans can learn more about the Colorado program and monitor its progress by visiting

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